Good Friday, also known as Great Friday, Holy Friday, or Sorrowful Friday, is a major Christian observance that commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a time for Christians to reflect upon his suffering and willing sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind. Churches may offer special services, as well as cover crosses with black cloth as a sign of mourning. For some worshippers, it is a day of fasting.
Good Friday occurs two days before Easter (which celebrates Christ's resurrection). It is part of Holy Week, which starts with Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. In certain countries, such as Canada, it is an official public holiday. In the United States, a number of states declare this a state holiday.
Traditional foods served on Good Friday include hot cross buns. These spiced sweet buns usually contain currants or raisins and are topped with icing in the shape of a cross.
Anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
1906: San Francisco earthquake
1909: Beatification ceremony for Joan of Arc held in Rome, Italy
1923: "Old" Yankee stadium opened in N.Y.C.
1946: League of Nations dissolved
Born 1947: James Woods (actor)
Died 1955: Albert Einstein (physicist)
1956: Actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in a civil ceremony
Born 1956: Eric Roberts (actor)
Born 1963: Conan O'Brien (talk show host)
Born 1976: Melissa Joan Hart (actress)
1978: Lighted fishing pole patented
1981: The longest professional baseball game started on this night. The 33-inning game spanned 3 days, beginning on April 18, extending into April 19, and ending on June 23. The Pawtucket (Rhode Island) Red Sox beat the Rochester (New York) Red Wings 3-2. Cal Ripken was playing 3rd base for the Red Wings
Born 1983: Miguel Cabrera (baseball player)
1994: Beauty and the Beast was the first Disney animated film to become a Broadway musical. It opened on this day at New York's Palace Theater
Died 2002: Thor Heyerdahl (Norwegian adventurer and author)
2005: Cardinals gathered in Rome to select Pope John Paul II's successor
2005: Catherine Ndereba, of Kenya, won the 109th Boston Marathon for an unprecedented fourth time in the women's division
2009: Aaron Caissie set a world record by balancing 17 spoons on his face
Died 2012: Dick Clark (entertainer)