On This Date In 1775 The Gunpowder Incident was a conflict early in the American Revolutionary War between Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, and militia led by Patrick Henry. On April 20, 1775, one day after the Battles of Lexington and Concord (and well before news of that event reached Virginia), Lord Dunmore ordered the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg, Virginia to a Royal Navy ship. This action sparked local unrest, and militia companies began mustering throughout the colony. Patrick Henry led a small militia force toward Williamsburg to force return of the gunpowder to the colony's control. The matter was resolved without conflict when a payment of £330 was made to Henry. Dunmore, fearing for his personal safety, later retreated to a naval vessel, ending royal control of the colony.
On This Date In 1777 The first New York state constitution was formally adopted by the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York, meeting in the upstate town of Kingston. The constitution began by declaring the possibility of reconciliation between Britain and its former American colonies as remote and uncertain, thereby making the creation of a new New York government necessary for the preservation of internal peace, virtue, and good order.
On This Date In 1850 Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was born. An American sculptor, his best-known work is the sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln (1920) at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/apr20.html
On This Date In 1861 Colonel Robert E. Lee resigned from the United States army two days after he was offered command of the Union army and three days after his native state, Virginia, seceded from the Union.
On This Date In 1871 With passage of the Third Force Act, popularly known as the Ku Klux Act, the United States Congress authorized President Ulysses S. Grant to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations, and use military force to suppress the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), which was founded in 1865 by a group of Confederate veterans.
On This Date In 1889 Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945) was born in Austria. Hitler was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and dictator of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. Hitler is commonly associated with the rise of fascism in Europe, World War II, and the Holocaust, a program of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany, led by Hitler, throughout Nazi-occupied territory.
On This Date In 1898 United States President William McKinley signed a joint resolution supporting Cuban independence and demanding Spain's withdrawal, and the ultimatum was sent to Spain. In response, Spain broke off diplomatic relations with the United States on April 21. On the same day, the U.S. Navy began a blockade of Cuba. Spain declared war on April 23, and on April 25, Congress declared that a state of war between the U.S. and Spain had existed since April 21, the day the blockade of Cuba had begun.
On This Date In 1908 The Sunshine rail disaster happened at the Sunshine railway station, which is the junction for the Ballarat and Bendigo railway lines, near Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia. On the night of Easter Monday, April 20, 1908, 44 people were killed and over 400 injured when a Melbourne-bound train from Bendigo collided with the rear of a mail train from Ballarat, which was just leaving the station. Around 1,100 people were aboard the two trains. Almost all of the casualties were from the Ballarat train, as the Bendigo train was cushioned by its two locomotives.
On This Date In 1912 After two rain delays, Fenway Park, a baseball park near Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts, finally hosted its first professional baseball game (The first official game played in Fenway actually occurred on April 9 when the Sox beat Harvard University, 2-0.) The Red Sox defeated the New York Highlanders — later known as the Yankees — before 27,000 fans, 7-6 in 11 innings. The event would have made front page news had it not been for the sinking of the Titanic only a few days before. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/information/index.jsp?con...
On This Date In 1914 The Ludlow Massacre was an attack by the Colorado National Guard on a tent colony of 1200 striking coal miners and their families at Ludlow, Colorado. The massacre resulted in the violent deaths of between 19 and 25 people. The deaths occurred after a day-long fight between strikers and striking workers. Ludlow was the deadliest single incident in the southern Colorado Coal Strike, organized by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) against coal mining companies in Colorado, and lasted from September 1913 through December 1914.
On This Date In 1914 “Twenty Minutes of Love,” an American comedy silent film, was released by Keystone Studios. It was the first film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. Produced by Mack Sennett, this 7 minute at 14 frames per second work starred Chaplin, Minta Durfee, Edgar Kennedy, Gordon Griffith, Chester Conklin, Josef Swickard, and Hank Mann.
On This Date In 1920 Through September 12, 1920, the 1920 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in Antwerp, Belgium. The 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honor the people of that city after the suffering they endured during World War I. The initial choice for the site of the Games had been Budapest, Hungary.
On This Date In 1926 Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T), and the Warner Brothers film studio officially introduced Vitaphone, a new process that would enable the addition of sound to film.
On This Date In 1934 Ambitious Nazi SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler set his sights on the Gestapo, the official secret police of Nazi Germany. A fierce rivalry developed between Himmler and Hermann Göring, the Interior Minister of Prussia at that time, with both men working against each other to curry favor with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler as to who would actually run the Gestapo. On April 20, 1934, after much infighting, Göring decided to cede the Gestapo to Himmler and his associate, Reinhard Heydrich, who took over as Gestapo chief two days later. http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/triumph/tr-gestapo.htm
On This Date In 1935 “Les Misérables,” an American drama film based upon the famous Victor Hugo novel of the same name, was released. It was adapted by W. P. Lipscomb and directed by Richard Boleslawski. This was the last film for 20th Century Pictures before it merged with Fox Film Corporation to form 20th Century Fox. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award for Film Editing. The National Board of Review named the film the sixth best of 1935.
On This Date In 1939 The Battle of Suixian–Zaoyang, also known as the Battle of Suizao, was one of the 22 major engagements between the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) and Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Fought from April 20 through May 24, 1939, the Chinese army was constantly hit by air strikes and poison gas, and suffered 28,000 casualties. On the other hand, the Japanese army suffered 21,000 casualties. The casualty margin was getting smaller and smaller. Although the Chinese initially lost many cities and towns, they were able to retake all of them in the end. The NRA now had the ability to utilize mobilized warfare, and could launch counterattacks into Japanese positions, with the battle ending in Chinese victory.
On This Date In 1942 Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006), 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974, reported for active duty to the V-5 instructor school at Annapolis, Maryland, after receiving a commission as ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on April 13, 1942.
On This Date In 1944 The Dutch steam trawler Voorbode, a fishing vessel confiscated by the Germans during World War II and used for military transport, exploded at the quay in the center of Bergen, Norway, due to a self-ignited 124,000 kg explosive cargo. The force of the explosion caused a water column that was hundreds of meters high, spreading heavy debris. Several ships were thrown on land and the Voorbode's anchor was later found on the 417 meter high mountain Sandviksfjellet. The air pressure from the explosion and the tidal wave that followed flattened whole neighborhoods near the harbor; then fires broke out and further destroyed the wooden houses, leaving 5,000 people homeless; 160 people were killed and 5,000 wounded, mostly civilians.
On This Date In 1945 During the Battle of Berlin, the final major offensive of the European Theatre of World War II, and on Adolph Hitler's birthday, Soviet Union artillery of 1st Belorussian Front began to shell the center of Berlin and did not stop until the city surrendered (the weight of ordnance delivered by Soviet artillery during the battle was greater than the tonnage dropped by the Western Allied bombers on the city).
On This Date In 1945 During World War II, Allied bombers in Italy began a three-day attack on the bridges over the rivers Adige and Brenta to cut off German lines of retreat on the peninsula. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler celebrated his 56th birthday as a Gestapo reign of terror resulted in the hanging of 20 Russian prisoners of war and 20 Jewish children: Of these, at least nine are under the age of 12. All of the victims had been taken from Auschwitz to Neuengamme, the place of execution, for the purpose of medical experimentation.
On This Date In 1958 The 1958 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the defending champion Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins in a rematch of the 1957 Final. The Canadiens would win the series 4–2, for their third straight Cup victory, and tenth in the team's history.
On This Date In 1965 “The Pawnbroker,” the first American movie to deal with the Holocaust from the viewpoint of a survivor, was released. Directed by Sidney Lumet, it was adapted by Morton S. Fine and David Friedkin from the novel of the same name by Edward Lewis Wallant. The movie stars Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters and Jaime Sánchez. In 2008, The Pawnbroker was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
On This Date In 1970 During the Vietnam War, and in a televised speech, President Richard Nixon pledged to withdraw 150,000 more U.S. troops over the next year “based entirely on the progress” of the Vietnamization program. The first U.S. soldiers were withdrawn in the fall of 1969 and the withdrawals continued periodically through 1972. The remaining U.S. troops were withdrawn from South Vietnam in March 1973 as part of the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords.
On This Date In 1971 Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971) was an important United States Supreme Court case dealing with the busing of students to promote integration in public schools. After a first trial going to the Board of Education, the Court held and decided on April 20, 1971 that busing was an appropriate and constitutional remedy for the problem of racial imbalance among schools, even where the imbalance resulted from the selection of students based on geographic proximity to the school rather than from deliberate assignment based on race. This was done to ensure the schools would be “properly” integrated and that all students would receive equal educational opportunities regardless of their race.
On This Date In 1972 Stephen Robert Nesta “Raggamuffin” Marley, a Jamaican American musician and the son of reggae legend Bob Marley and his wife Rita Marley, was born. He is a five-time Grammy award winner as an artist, producer, and member of Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers.
On This Date In 1977 “Annie Hall,” an American romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen from a screenplay co-written with Marshall Brickman and co-starring Diane Keaton. Allen described the film as “a major turning point”, as it introduced a level of seriousness to his films that was not found in the farces and comedies that were his work to that point. Annie Hall went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
On This Date In 1978 Soviet aircraft force a Korean Air Lines passenger jet to land in the Soviet Union after the jet veers into Russian airspace. Two people were killed and several others injured when the jet made a rough landing on a frozen lake about 300 miles south of Murmansk.
On This Date In 1980 The Fidel Castro regime announced that all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the U.S. are free to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana, launching the Mariel Boatlift. The first of 125,000 Cuban refugees from Mariel reached Florida the next day.
On This Date In 1985 “7800° Fahrenheit,” the second album by American rock band Bon Jovi, was released. The album charted at #37 on The Billboard 200. It introduced the band's classic '80s logo that would later on be used on the covers of Slippery When Wet and New Jersey. Approximate sales were in excess of one million copies. The singles “In and Out of Love” and “Only Lonely” both charted in the Billboard Hot 100.
On This Date In 1986 Michael Jordan was able to play in only 18 regular-season games in his second year in the NBA, after breaking a small bone in his foot in the Chicago Bull's third game of the year. Although he was encouraged to sit out the end of the season in order to make sure he was fully healed for the next, he insisted on coming back late in the season and led the Bulls to the 1986 NBA Playoffs. It was in Game 2 of Chicago's first round matchup against the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics that Jordan showed just how thoroughly he had recovered. In the hallowed halls of the Boston Garden, he set a playoff record by scoring an amazing 63 points against what many considered to be one of the greatest NBA teams ever. The Celtics won the game, 135-131 in double-overtime, and went on to sweep the Bulls, but Jordan's playoff record still stands. http://www.nba.com/history/jordan63_moments.html
On This Date In 1993 “Get a Grip,” the 11th studio album by American rock band Aerosmith, was released by Geffen Records. This was the band's last studio album to be released by Geffen before they returned to Columbia Records. Get a Grip became Aerosmith's best-selling studio album worldwide, achieving sales of over 20 million copies, and is tied with Pump for their second best-selling album in the United States, selling over 7 million copies as of 1995. This also made it their third consecutive album with US sales of at least five million. Two songs from the album won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, in 1993 and 1994.
On This Date In 1998 Faith No More, an American rock band from San Francisco, California, hailed as one of the most influential metal/rock bands of the late 80s and early 90s, and credited for inventing alternative metal and as an influence on nu metal, canceled their planned support tour for American rock band Aerosmith and broke up as a group after 15 years.
On This Date In 1999 Two teenage gunmen kill 13 people in a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. At about 11:20 a.m., Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, dressed in long trench coats, began shooting students outside the school before moving inside to continue their rampage. By the time SWAT team officers finally entered the school at about 3:00 p.m., Klebold and Harris had killed 12 fellow students and a teacher, and had wounded another 23 people. Then, around noon, they turned their guns on themselves and committed suicide.
On This Date In 2008 26-year-old Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Montegi in Montegi, Japan, making her the first female winner in IndyCar racing history. She finished the 200-lap race 5.8594 seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves, then a two-time Indy 500 champ. At the 2009 Indy 500, Patrick came in third behind winner Castroneves and second-place finisher Dan Wheldon.
On This Date In 2010 While drilling at the Macondo Prospect, an oil and gas prospect in the United States Exclusive Economic Zone of the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana, Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore oil drilling rig owned by Transocean, suffered an explosion on the rig caused by a blowout. The resulting catastrophe killed 11 crewmen and ignited a fireball visible from 35 miles (56 km) away. The fire could not be extinguished and, on April 22, 2010, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the seabed, and causing the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/21/deepwater-horizon-oil-r...
On This Date In 2011 Tim Hetherington, an award-winning news photographer and co-director of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Restrepo,” and Chris Hondros, a veteran war photographer for Getty Images, were killed in an explosion in the Libyan city of Misurata. At least two other photojournalists were injured in the blast, which was believed to have been caused by a mortar round. The rebel-held city in western Libya had been under attack for several weeks by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/20/world/la-fg-libya-photograp...
Happy Birthday Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation (1923), Leslie Phillips (1924), Elena Verdugo (1926), Lisa Davis (1936), George Takei (1937), Betty Cuthbert (1938), Michael Brandon (1945), Steve Spurrier (1945), Jessica Lange (1949), Veronica Cartwright (1949), Clint Howard (1959), Andy Serkis (1964), Crispin Glover (1964), Paula White (1966), David Filo (1966), Shemar Moore (1970), Carmen Electra (1972), Joey Lawrence (1976),
Teaching is more than imparting knowledge, it is inspiring change.
Learning is more than absorbing facts, it is acquiring understanding. William Arthur Ward
Necessity is the mother of invention, it is true, but its father is creativity, and knowledge is the midwife. Jonathan Schattke
Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask, “Why me?”, then a voice answers “Nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.” Charlie Brown
Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow. Dwight David Eisenhower
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham
Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence. Og Mandino
Video of orbiter Discovery being detached from NASA 905, the agency's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), at Apron W of Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. during the early morning hours of April 19, 2012.
On April 20, an ISS Progress 47 cargo craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, loaded with 2.5 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the six crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory. Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and his five crewmates will monitor events as the Progress 47 automatically docks to the Pirs docking compartment at 9:40 a.m. Sunday, April 22.
Starring: Jodi Miller, Production: Dialog New Media
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” Theodore H. White