Today in History
Today is Tuesday, April 20, the 110th day of 2021. There are 255 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School massacre took place in Colorado as two students shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.
On this date:
In 1812, the fourth vice president of the United States, George Clinton, died in Washington at age 72, becoming the first vice president to die while in office.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation admitting West Virginia to the Union, effective in 60 days (on June 20, 1863).
In 1914, the Ludlow Massacre took place when the Colorado National Guard opened fire on a tent colony of striking miners; about 20 (accounts vary) strikers, women and children died.
In 1916, the Chicago Cubs played their first game at Wrigley Field (then known as Weeghman Park); the Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-6.
In 1938, “Olympia,” Leni Riefenstahl’s documentary about the 1936 Berlin Olympic games, was first shown in Nazi Germany.
In 1945, during World War II, allied forces took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart.
In 1971, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.
In 1972, Apollo 16′s lunar module, carrying astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke Jr., landed on the moon.
In 1986, following an absence of six decades, Russian-born pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in the Soviet Union to a packed audience at the Grand Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.
In 1988, gunmen who had hijacked a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet were allowed safe passage out of Algeria under an agreement that freed the remaining 31 hostages and ended a 15-day siege in which two passengers were slain.
In 2003, U.S. Army forces took control of Baghdad from the Marines in a changing of the guard that thinned the military presence in the capital.
In 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, leased by BP, killed 11 workers and caused a blow-out that began spewing an estimated 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. (The well was finally capped nearly three months later.)
Ten years ago: Two Western photojournalists, including Oscar-nominated film director Tim Hetherington, were killed in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata while covering battles between rebels and government forces. The U.S. government announced new protections for air travelers when airlines lose their bags, bump them off flights or hold them on the runway for hours.
Five years ago: Five former New Orleans police officers pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the deadly shootings on a bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced that Harriet Tubman, an African-American abolitionist born into slavery, would be the new face on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson. (The redesign of the bill was delayed during the administration of President Donald Trump, who had called the move “pure political correctness”; the effort was resumed by the Biden administration.) Pro wrestler Chyna (Joan Marie Laurer) was found dead in her Redondo Beach, California, apartment; she was 46.
One year ago: Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp announced plans to restart the state’s economy by lifting some coronavirus restrictions before the end of the week; the plan would allow gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors to reopen as long as owners follow strict requirements. Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s top authority on infectious diseases, warned again that resuming business too soon risked a fresh spike in virus infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said reports of accidental poisonings from cleaners and disinfectants were up about 20 percent in the first three months of the year; researchers believed it was related to the coronavirus epidemic.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Leslie Phillips is 97. Former Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 85. Actor George Takei is 84. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 83. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 80. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 77. Actor Judith O’Dea is 76. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band) is 73. Actor Gregory Itzin (iht-zihn) is 73. Actor Jessica Lange is 72. Actor Veronica Cartwright is 72. Actor Clint Howard is 62. Actor Crispin Glover is 57. Actor Andy Serkis is 57. Olympic silver medal figure skater Rosalynn Sumners is 57. Actor William deVry is 53. Country singer Wade Hayes is 52. Actor Shemar Moore is 51. Actor Carmen Electra is 49. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 49. Rock musician Marty Crandall is 46. Actor Joey Lawrence is 45. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 43. Actor Clayne Crawford is 43. Actor Tim Jo is 37. Actor Carlos Valdes (TV: “The Flash”) is 32.