Today In History - Wednesday, April 16th
Start of Papal Journey of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States
Virginia Tech massacre: The deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, shoots 32 people to death and injures 23 others before committing suicide.
The super liner Queen Mary 2 embarks on her first Trans-Atlantic crossing, linking the golden age of ocean travel to the modern age of ocean travel.
The Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union.
The Katina P. runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique. 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean.
The "Doctor of Death", Jack Kevorkian, goes through with his first assisted suicide.
In Forlì, Italy, Red Brigades kill Italian Senator Roberto Ruffilli, an advisor to Prime Minister Ciriaco de Mita.
British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor appears at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London charged with gross indecency.
Apollo program: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive - prompted by the North Vietnamese offensive, the United States resumes the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong.
Great Train Robbery - 12 men are sentenced to a total of 307 years.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.
The Burma-Japanese peace treaty signed in Rangoon on November 5, 1954 comes into force, formally ending the state of war.
Queen Elizabeth II launches the Royal Yacht ''Britannia''.
Texas City Disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port causes the city of Texas City, Texas, to catch fire, killing almost 600.
Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Syria gains independence.
The Red Army begins the final assault on German forces around Berlin.
The United States Army liberates Nazi ''Sonderlager'' (high security) Prisoner of War camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz Castle).
More than 7,000 die when the German refugee ship ''Goya'' is sunk by a Soviet submarine torpedo.
Dr. Albert Hofmann discovers the psychedelic effects of LSD.
World War II: The Italian convoy ''Duisburg'', directed to Tunisia, is attacked and destroyed by British ships.
Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians throws the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.
During the Communist St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia, 150 are killed and 500 are wounded.
The Treaty of Rapallo, in which Germany and the Soviet Union re-establish diplomatic relations between Berlin and Moscow, is signed.
Mohandas Gandhi organizes a day of "prayer and fasting" in response to the British slaughter of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre.
Vladimir Lenin returns to Petrograd from exile in Finland.
Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel.
In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.
American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg - ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter move through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
American Civil War: The Battle at Lee's Mills in Virginia.
American Civil War: A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia becomes law.
The Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is wound up.
The first passenger rail opens in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.
Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor - Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.
The University of Münster in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany is founded.
The Battle of Culloden takes place.
Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.
Martin Luther's first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.
Azzo X d'Este is defeated at the Battle of Portomaggiore by Venetian-Ferrarese troops.
The Serbian Empire is proclaimed in Skopje by Dusan Silni, occupying much of the Balkans.
Bari falls to Robert Guiscard, ending Byzantine rule in Italy.
Masada, a Jewish fortress, falls to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Jewish Revolt.