Today's History Trivia for April 20
1999 Columbine High School massacre Two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, go on a shooting rampage at their Colorado high school, killing twelve students and a teacher, wounding twenty-four others, and then commit suicide.
2004 President Bush on Wiretapping "Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."
1987 Billionaire Boys Club Joe Hunt is convicted of first degree murder. This crime was the basis for the 1987 movie.
1971 Busing The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the use of busing to end segregation in public schools is constitutional.
1959 First TV Man-to-Man Kiss A Sicilian Capo (Neville Brand) gives the "kiss of death" to Mafia soldier (Frank DeKova) in Untouchables: The Scarface Mob (pilot for the Untouchables).
1959 Dolly Parton The 13-year-old singer releases her first single: Puppy Love.
1940 Electron microscope is publicly demonstrated for the first time, by the Radio Corporation of America Laboratory in New Jersey. It had a magnification of 100,000 diameters.
1920 Grand Canyon is formally dedicated as a national park.
1887 First Automobile Race The race, organized by a French cycling magazine in Paris, is won by Georges Bouton, the only entrant.
1862 Pasteurization Louis Pasteur completes the first test of his method of preserving foods. He opened a jar of dog's blood and urine that had been sealed since March 3. It showed no signs of decay.
1861 Civil War Robert E. Lee resigns his command in the U.S. Army.
Today's Birthdays for April 20
1937 George Takei American actor. TV: Star Trek (1966-69, Mr. Sulu). He and his family were sent to U.S. interment camps during WWII. His aunt and an infant cousin were both killed during the WWII atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
1889 Adolf Hitler d. 1945 German Nazi leader. Started World War II by invading Poland (1939) and was Time magazine's 1938 "Man of the Year." It is reported he committed suicide with his mistress, whom he had married the day before, although their bodies were never found.
1972 Carmen Electra (Tara Leigh Patrick), American model, actress, singer.
1949 Jessica Lange American actress. Film: King Kong (1976, King Kong's main squeeze).
1941 Ryan O'Neal American actor. Film: Paper Moon (1973). TV: Peyton Place (Rodney Harrington).
1941 David Richmond d. 1990 American civil-rights protester. One of the initiators the Greensboro sit-In (1960). He and three other black college students (The Greensboro Four) refused to move from a North Carolina Woolworth's lunch counter after being denied service. The peaceful protest quickly spread; 70,000 people participated, resulting in 1,600 arrests.
1928 Gerald S. Hawkins d. 2003 English astronomer and mathematician. He showed that Stonehenge was an ancient astronomical observatory (1963).
1914 Robert Galambos d. 2010 American neuroscientist who coined the term "echolocation." He and Donald Griffin proved that bats use echolocation for night flight.
1908 Lionel Hampton d. 2002 American vibes player, bandleader. Music: On the Sunny Side of the Street (1937) and Twelfth Street Rag (1939)
1893 James Hiram Bedford d. 1967 American psychology professor. He was the first person cryogenically frozen. His remains currently reside at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation awaiting a time that they might be revived.
1893 Harold Lloyd d. 1971 American comic actor, known for his dangerous stunts. Film: Grandma's Boy (1922), Safety Last (1923), and The Kid Brother (1927).
1850 Daniel Chester French d. 1931 American artist. He built the statue of Abraham Lincoln which is in the Lincoln Memorial Building and the famous statue of The Minute Man (1794).
1839 Carol I d. 1914 the first King of Rumania (1881-1914).
1786 Robert Marc Séguin d. 1875 the Elder, French engineer. He and Guillaume Henry Dufour designed and built the first permanent wire-cable suspension bridge (1823) and the multiple-fire-tube boiler for locomotive steam engines.
1745 Philippe Pinel d. 1826 French physician, "father of modern psychiatry." He pioneered the humane treatment of the mentally ill and opposed the commonly-held belief that mental illness was caused by demonic possession.
Deaths for April 20
1996 Christopher Robin Milne b. 1920 British author. He and his stuffed animals were the inspiration of his father A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books. On his first birthday, he received an Alpha Farnell teddy bear, which became the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh character.
1935 Leonard Thompson b. 1908 Canadian diabetic. He was the first person to receive insulin to treat diabetes (1922 at 14 years old). Slipping in and out of a diabetic coma and about to die, he was given the first injection at Toronto General Hospital. His symptoms immediately improved. However, the insulin was so impure, he suffered a severe allergic reaction and treatment had to be cancelled. Doctors quickly improved the purity and resumed treatment. The insulin was from the pancreases of cattle.
1812 George Clinton b. 1739 American Revolutionary soldier. 4th U.S. Vice-President (1805-12), 1st and 3rd governor of New York (1777-1795, 1801-1804). As New York governor, he strongly opposed the creation of Vermont as new state, believing the land belonged to New York. Clinton was the first U.S. Vice President to die, and the first to die in office.
2013 Deanna Durbin b. 1921 (Edna Mae Durbin), Canadian Oscar-winning actress, singer. Movies: Three Smart Girls (1936, the success of which helped save Universal Studios from bankruptcy). In 1947, she was the highest-paid woman in the United States. Her fan club was the world's largest during her active years.
1993 Cantinflas b. 1911 (Mario Moreno), Mexican clown, superstar of Spanish-speaking films, called the "Charlie Chaplin of Mexico." Charlie Chaplin described him as "the world's greatest comedian." Film: Around the World in 80 Days (1956, as Passepartout).
1992 Benny Hill b. 1924 (Alfred Hawthorne Hill), English comedian, singer. His father and grandfather had both been circus clowns. Quote: "I'm not against half naked girls - not as often as I'd like to be." TV: The Benny Hill Show (1955-89). Music: Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) (1971, British #1).
1968 Rudolph Dirks b. 1877 American cartoonist, creator of Katzenjammer Kids (1897).
1964 Eddie Dyer b. 1900 American baseball player, manager. He was the first rookie manager to win the World Series (1946, St. Louis Cardinals).
1908 Henry Chadwick b. 1824 English-born American sports writer. Called "The Father of Baseball" for his early reporting on and contributions to the development of the game. Wrote the first baseball rule book (1858) and is credited with creating box scores, the abbreviation "K" for a strikeout, and the statistics of batting average and earned run average.
1856 Robert Livingston Stevens b. 1787 American inventor, steamboat and railroad engineer. He was the first to build railroad tracks using logs turned crosswise, with spikes to hold the rails on.
1769 Pontiac b. circa 1719 Ottawa Indian chief. He is credited with leading "Pontiac's Rebellion," against the British military occupation of the Great Lakes region.
1707 Johann Christoph Denner b. 1655 German woodwind instrument maker, credited with inventing the clarinet.
1676 John Clarke b. 1609 Baptist minister. Father of Rhode Island. He was a co-founder of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, author of its influential charter, and a leading advocate of religious freedom in the Americas. He was imprisoned in Boston for performing baptisms (1651); the Baptist religion was illegal in Boston.
1314 Clement V b. 1264 French-born religious leader, 195th Pope (1305-14).