Today In History - Monday, April 20th

2010


A BP drilling rig near Louisiana exploded. It was the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.
2008


Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.
2007


Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricades himself in NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas before killing a male hostage and himself.
2004


In Iraq, 12 mortars are fired on Abu Ghraib Prison by insurgents, killing 22 detainees and wounding 92.
2001


China removes homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
1999


Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School located in Jefferson County, Colorado.
1998


TAME Boeing 727-200 chartered by Air France crashes into Cerro El Cable mountain after takeoff from Bogotá, Colombia, killing 53.
German terrorist group Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years.
1986


Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.
Professional basketball player Michael Jordan sets all-time record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.
1985


ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.
1980


Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists are arrested.
1978


Korean Air Flight 902 shot down by Soviets.
1972


Apollo 16 lands on the Moon.
1968


A South African Airways Boeing 707 crashes during takeoff at Windhoek, Namibia, killing 122.
English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.
1967


A Globe Air Bristol Britannia turboprop crashes at Nicosia, Cyprus, killing 126.
1964


BBC Two launches with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.
1961


Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US troops against Cuba.
1945


World War II: US troops capture Leipzig, Germany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union.
World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler makes his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.
1939


Billie Holiday records the first Civil Rights song "Strange Fruit"
1926


Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.
1918


Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.
1916


Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park (currently Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings
1914


Forty-five men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner's strike.
1912


Opening day for baseball stadiums Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
1908


Opening day of competition of the New South Wales Rugby League.
1905


Explosion killed 6 coal miners in the Cabin Creek mine near Kayford in Kanawha County, West Virginia. This was the first recorded coal mine disaster in the Kanawha valley.
1902


Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.
1884


Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical, ''Humanum Genus''.
1871


Civil Rights Act of 1871
1862


The first pasteurization test completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard.
1861


American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.
1836


U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.
1828


René Caillié is first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.
1810


The Governors of Caracas declares the national sovereignty from Spain.
1792


France declares war on Austria, the beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.
1775


American Revolutionary War: the siege of Boston begins, which followed the first battles at Lexington and Concord.
1689


The former King James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.
1657


Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).
1653


Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.
1534


Jacques Cartier begins his voyage, in which he will discover Canada and Labrador.
1453


The last naval battle in Byzantine history occurs, as three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fight their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.
1303


The University of Rome La Sapienza is instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.