Today in History
Today is Thursday, April 20, the 110th day of 2023. 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 magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck the steep hills of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, leaving nearly 200 people dead. Five snowboarders were killed in a backcountry avalanche on Colorado’s Loveland Pass. Search and rescue crews recovered the bodies several hours after the slide, which was about 600 feet wide and eight feet deep. It was among the deadliest U.S. avalanches in decades. Deanna Durbin, an actor who was among the biggest box office draws of Hollywood’s Golden Age, died on or around this date in a village outside Paris where she had lived out of public view for more than six decades. She was 91.
Five years ago: U.S. health officials told consumers to throw away any store-bought romaine lettuce and warned restaurants not to serve it amid an E. coli outbreak that had sickened more than 50 people in several states. Wells Fargo agreed to pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges stemming from misconduct at its mortgage and auto lending businesses; it was the latest punishment levied against the banking giant for widespread customer abuses. The Democratic Party filed a lawsuit accusing the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks and Trump’s son and son-in-law of conspiring to undercut Democrats in the 2016 election by stealing tens of thousands of emails and documents.
One year ago: Russian forces tightened the noose around die-hard Ukrainian defenders holed up at a Mariupol steel plant amid desperate new efforts to open an evacuation corridor for trapped civilians in the ruined city, a key battleground in Moscow’s drive to seize the country’s industrial east. An unexpected drop in subscribers sent Netflix shares into freefall, forcing the company to consider experimenting with ads and cracking down on millions of freeloaders who use passwords shared by friends or family. New Mexico workplace safety regulators imposed the maximum possible fine against a film production company for firearms safety failures on the set where actor Alec Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 87. Actor George Takei is 86. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 85. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 82. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 79. Actor Judith O’Dea is 78. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk Railroad, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band) is 75. Actor Jessica Lange is 74. Actor Veronica Cartwright is 74. Actor Clint Howard is 64. Actor Crispin Glover is 59. Actor Andy Serkis is 59. Olympic silver medal figure skater Rosalynn Sumners is 59. Actor William deVry is 55. Country singer Wade Hayes is 54. Actor Shemar Moore is 53. Actor Carmen Electra is 51. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 51. Rock musician Marty Crandall (The Shins) is 48. Actor Joey Lawrence is 47. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 45. Actor Clayne Crawford is 45. Actor Tim Jo is 39. Actor Carlos Valdes (TV: “The Flash”) is 34.
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