(Meredith/AP) -- A massive fire engulfed the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of the French capital Monday, toppling its spire and sending thick plumes of smoke high into the blue sky as tourists and Parisians watched in horror from the streets below.

A spokesman said the entire wooden frame of the cathedral would likely come down, and that the vault of the edifice could be threatened too.

And as tragic as this is, April 15 has historically been a day for bad news, according to History.com.

Here are a few other tragedies that were front page news decades and centuries ago:

April 15, 2013: The Boston Marathon Bombing

Three spectators were killed, and more than 260 others were injured when two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

[Click here to read the full account on History.com]

April 15, 1912: The Titanic sinks

107 years ago, at 2:20 a.m., 2,200 passenger and crew were subjected to the cold, unforgiving waters of the Atlantic Ocean as the Titanic broke in half, sending the bow and stern plummeting to the bottom of the sea.

[Click here to read the full account on History.com]

April 15, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln dies

April 15 also goes down in infamy as the day our 16th president was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in a balcony at Ford’s Theater. President Lincoln lived for nine hours after being shot before ultimately succumbing to the severe wounds he was inflicted with.

After shooting Lincoln, Booth jumped down from the balcony and broke his leg. He escaped from the theater and sought a doctor to treat his wounds with his accomplice, David Herold.

Booth found refuge with Confederate sympathizers and hid at a farm, but Union soldiers eventually found Booth. He refused to leave the barn he was hiding in, so it was set on fire, but he was shot and killed while inside the burning building.

[Click here to read the full account on History.com]

(1) comment

1Ace

In France, fifty churches were vandalized in February, 12 this week, and it is holy week. It was the tallest portion that was destroyed, tall represents power over. So you decide..

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.