Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, April 20, the 111th day of 2016. There are 255 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 20, 1916, the Chicago Cubs played their first game at Wrigley Field (then known as Weeghman Park); the Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds 7-6.

On this date:

In 1792, France declared war on Austria, marking the start of the French Revolutionary Wars.

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 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation admitting West Virginia to the Union, effective in 60 days (on June 20, 1863).

In 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria.

In 1912, Boston’s Fenway Park hosted its first professional baseball game while Navin 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 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 1945, during World War II, allied forces took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart.

In 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister of Canada.

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, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.

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, on July 15.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao (hoo jin-tow) to the White House; the ceremony was interrupted by a protester who shouted to Bush to stop the Chinese leader from “persecuting the Falun Gong.” Bowing to intense pressure, Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari (EE’-brah-heem ahl JAH’-fah-ree) agreed to abandon his claim to another term.

Five 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.

One year ago: The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for an examination of the deadly toll of domestic violence, while The New York Times collected three awards and the Los Angeles Times two. Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia won the 119th Boston Marathon, finishing in 2:09:17; Caroline Rotich of Kenya won the women’s race in 2:24:55.

Today’s Birthdays: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 96. Actor Leslie Phillips is 92. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 80. Actor George Takei is 79. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 78. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 75. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 72. Actress Judith O’Dea (Film: “Night of the Living Dead”) is 71. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band) is 68. Actor Gregory Itzin (iht-zihn) is 68. Actress Jessica Lange is 67. Actress Veronica Cartwright is 67. Actor Clint Howard is 57. Actor Crispin Glover is 52. Actor Andy Serkis is 52. Olympic silver medal figure skater Rosalynn Sumners is 52. Actor William deVry is 48. Country singer Wade Hayes is 47. Actor Shemar Moore is 46. Actress Carmen Electra is 44. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 44. Rock musician Marty Crandall is 41. Actor Joey Lawrence is 40. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 38. Actor Tim Jo is 32.

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