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Today in History

Friday, April 20, 2012

Today is Friday, April 20, the 111th day of 2012. There are 255 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 20, 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.)

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 1836, Congress voted to establish the Wisconsin Territory.

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

In 1912, author Bram Stoker, the creator of Dracula, died in London at age 64.

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, the manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon.

In 1978, a Korean Air Lines Boeing 707 crash-landed in northwestern Russia after being fired on by a Soviet interceptor after entering Soviet airspace. Two passengers were killed.

In 1992, the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness took place at London's Wembley Stadium. Comedian Benny Hill died in his Greater London flat at age 68.

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 began spewing an estimated 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months.

Ten years ago: The world's top economic powers, meeting in Washington, agreed to intensify efforts to combat terrorist financing and also adopted a plan to better deal with international debt crises.

Five years ago: The family of Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho, who shot and killed 32 people and himself, told The Associated Press they felt "hopeless, helpless and lost," and "never could have envisioned that he was capable of so much violence." A disgruntled worker, William Phillips, shot and killed NASA employee David Beverly at the Johnson Space Center in Houston before barricading himself with a hostage and then killing himself. (The second hostage escaped with minor injuries.)

One year 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.

Today's Birthdays: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 92. Actor Leslie Phillips is 88. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 76. Actor George Takei is 75. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 73. Actor Ryan O'Neal is 71. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 68. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band) is 64. Actor Gregory Itzin is 64. Actress Jessica Lange is 63. Actress Veronica Cartwright is 63. Actor Clint Howard is 53. Actor Crispin Glover is 48. Actor Andy Serkis is 48. Country singer Wade Hayes is 43. Actor Shemar Moore is 42. Actress Carmen Electra is 40. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 40. Rock musician Marty Crandall is 37. Actor Joey Lawrence is 36. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 34.

Thought for Today: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." -- Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981).

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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