Today in History
Today is Wednesday, April 20, the 110th day of 2022. There are 255 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 20, 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.)
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 1861, Col. Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army. (Lee went on to command the Army of Northern Virginia, and eventually became general-in-chief of the Confederate forces.)
In 1912, Boston’s Fenway Park hosted its first professional baseball game while Navin (NAY’-vihn) Field (Tiger Stadium) opened in Detroit. (The Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders 7-6 in 11 innings; the Tigers beat the Cleveland Naps 6-5 in 11 innings.)
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 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 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.
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 2008, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final Mass in the United States before a full house in Yankee Stadium, blessing his enormous U.S. flock and telling Americans to use their freedoms wisely.
In 2016, 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.
In 2020, 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.
Ten years ago: A judge ruled that George Zimmerman could be released on $150,000 bail while he awaited trial on a charge of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a February 2012 confrontation in a Sanford, Florida gated community. (Zimmerman was acquitted.) In Pakistan, a Bhoja Air Boeing 737-200 crashed while on approach to the main airport in Islamabad, killing all 127 people on board.
Five years ago: Arkansas overcame a flurry of court challenges that derailed three other executions, putting to death an inmate for the first time in nearly a dozen years. Cuba Gooding Sr., who sang the 1972 hit “Everybody Plays the Fool,” died in Los Angeles; he was 72.
One year ago: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with a knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that triggered worldwide protests and a reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S. (Chauvin would be sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison.) President Joe Biden said the conviction of Derek Chauvin could be “a giant step forward” for the nation in the fight against systemic racism, but he declared that “it’s not enough.” A 16-year-old Black girl, Ma’khia Bryant, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Columbus, Ohio, as she swung a knife at a young woman. The military in the central African nation of Chad announced that President Idriss Deby Into, who had governed for more than three decades, had been mortally wounded during a visit to troops battling a rebel group north of the capital.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Leslie Phillips is 98. Former Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 86. Actor George Takei is 85. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 84. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 81. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 78. Actor Judith O’Dea is 77. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band) is 74. Actor Gregory Itzin (iht-zihn) is 74. Actor Jessica Lange is 73. Actor Veronica Cartwright is 73. Actor Clint Howard is 63. Actor Crispin Glover is 58. Actor Andy Serkis is 58. Olympic silver medal figure skater Rosalynn Sumners is 58. Actor William deVry is 54. Country singer Wade Hayes is 53. Actor Shemar Moore is 52. Actor Carmen Electra is 50. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 50. Rock musician Marty Crandall is 47. Actor Joey Lawrence is 46. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 44. Actor Clayne Crawford is 44. Actor Tim Jo is 38. Actor Carlos Valdes (TV: “The Flash”) is 33.
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