This Day In History, April 10th

What happened on this day in history: The RMS Titanic sets sail from Southhampton, the Beatles break up, and more.

837 C.E.: Halley’s Comet Makes Closest Ever Pass By Earth

Halley’s Comet makes its closest-ever pass by Earth. The comet, known as a “periodic comet,” passes by the planet roughly every 75 years. It last passed by Earth in 1986 and is estimated to return in 2061.

1815: Mount Tambora Erupts

Mount Tambora erupts on Sumbawa Island in present-day Indonesia. The largest volcanic eruption ever recorded, the eruption had long-term, fatal effects. The temperature plummeted across the globe, crops failed, and some 80,000 people died from famine or disease.

1845: The Great Fire Of Pittsburgh

A massive fire destroys 24 blocks of buildings in downtown Pittsburgh, including churches, homes, and businesses. The fire caused more than $12 million in damages.

1866: ASPCA Is Founded

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by Henry Bergh. A philanthropist and diplomat, Bergh had been horrified by the treatment of carriage horses while posted in Russia. Bergh set out to establish an organization to aid “these mute servants of mankind” and ASPCA continues to work to this day.

1912: The RMS Titanic Sets Sail

What Happaned Today In History

Bettmann/Getty ImagesThe RMS Titanic on its doomed maiden voyage in April 1912.

The RMS Titanic begins its journey from Southhampton, England to New York City on its maiden voyage. Just a few days later at around 11 p.m. on April 14, the ship crashed into an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. In just under three hours the ship sank, killing 800 passengers and nearly 700 crew.

1919: Emiliano Zapata Is Assassinated

Emiliano Zapata is assassinated in Morelos, Mexico. A Mexican revolutionary, Zapata was killed by men working with Venustiano Carranza, the president of Mexico who opposed Zapata’s ideas for land reform. Zapata’s ideas endured, however, and were later included in the 1917 Mexican Constitution.

1970: The Beatles Break Up

Beatles 1967

Chris Walter/Getty ImagesThe Beatles, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon, in 1967.

The Beatles officially break up. After rising to prominence in the 1960s with hits like “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “A Day In The Life,” “Strawberry Fields,” and many more, the band’s member started to drift apart in the late 1960s. In 1970, McCartney released his first solo album, McCartney, which included a “self-interview” in which he suggested the band would not work together again.

1981: The Brixton Riots Begin

The Brixton riots break out in London, England. Fueled by tensions between the Black residents of Brixton and the neighborhood’s largely white police force, the riot lasted for two days. It caused £7.5 million in damages, left some 300 people injured, and revealed the nation’s deep racial divide.