Today is Wednesday, April 20, the 110th day of 2022. 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 judge ruled that George Zimmerman could be released on $150,000 bail while he awaited trial on a charge of murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin during a February 2012 confrontation in a Sanford, Florida gated community. (Zimmerman was acquitted.) In Pakistan, a Bhoja Air Boeing 737-200 crashed while on approach to the main airport in Islamabad, killing all 127 people on board.
Five years ago: Arkansas overcame a flurry of court challenges that derailed three other executions, putting to death an inmate for the first time in nearly a dozen years. Cuba Gooding Sr., who sang the 1972 hit “Everybody Plays the Fool,” died in Los Angeles; he was 72.
One year ago: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with a knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that triggered worldwide protests and a reexamination of racism and policing in the U.S. (Chauvin would be sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison.) President Joe Biden said the conviction of Derek Chauvin could be “a giant step forward” for the nation in the fight against systemic racism, but he declared that “it’s not enough.” A 16-year-old Black girl, Ma’khia Bryant, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Columbus, Ohio, as she swung a knife at a young woman. The military in the central African nation of Chad announced that President Idriss Deby Into, who had governed for more than three decades, had been mortally wounded during a visit to troops battling a rebel group north of the capital.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Leslie Phillips is 98. Former Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 86. Actor George Takei is 85. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 84. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 81. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 78. Actor Judith O’Dea is 77. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band) is 74. Actor Gregory Itzin (iht-zihn) is 74. Actor Jessica Lange is 73. Actor Veronica Cartwright is 73. Actor Clint Howard is 63. Actor Crispin Glover is 58. Actor Andy Serkis is 58. Olympic silver medal figure skater Rosalynn Sumners is 58. Actor William deVry is 54. Country singer Wade Hayes is 53. Actor Shemar Moore is 52. Actor Carmen Electra is 50. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 50. Rock musician Marty Crandall is 47. Actor Joey Lawrence is 46. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 44. Actor Clayne Crawford is 44. Actor Tim Jo is 38. Actor Carlos Valdes (TV: “The Flash”) is 33.
Tuesday, April 19, the 109th day of 2022. There are 256 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 19, 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
On this date:
In 1865, a funeral was held at the White House for President Abraham Lincoln, assassinated five days earlier; his coffin was then taken to the U.S. Capitol for a private memorial service in the Rotunda.
In 1897, the first Boston Marathon was held; winner John J. McDermott ran the course in two hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
In 1912, a special subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee opened hearings in New York into the Titanic disaster.
In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.
In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Ingraham v. Wright, ruled 5-4 that even severe spanking of schoolchildren by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.)
In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; about 80 people, including two dozen children and sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors said had planned the attack as revenge for the Waco siege of two years earlier, was convicted of federal murder charges and executed in 2001.)
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium; he took the name Benedict XVI.
In 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, was taken into custody after a manhunt that had left the city virtually paralyzed; his older brother and alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), was killed earlier in a furious attempt to escape police.
In 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man, died a week after suffering a spinal cord injury in the back of a Baltimore police van while he was handcuffed and shackled. (Six police officers were charged; three were acquitted and the city’s top prosecutor eventually dropped the three remaining cases.)
In 2018, Raul Castro turned over Cuba’s presidency to Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, the first non-Castro to hold Cuba’s top government office since the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and his younger brother Raul.
Ten years ago: Republicans rammed an election-year, $46 billion tax cut for most of America’s employers through the House, ignoring a veto threat from President Barack Obama. (The measure went down to defeat in the Senate.) India announced the successful test launch of a new nuclear-capable missile. Levon Helm, drummer and singer for The Band, died in New York City at age 71.
Five years ago: Fox News Channel’s parent company fired Bill O’Reilly following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable news’ most popular program. Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, 27, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, hanged himself in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts five days after being acquitted of murder charges in the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012.
One year ago: Former Vice President Walter Mondale, a liberal icon who served as a Democratic senator from Minnesota and as Jimmy Carter’s vice president before losing one of the most lopsided presidential elections in the nation’s history to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1984, died at the age of 93. The D.C. medical examiner’s office ruled that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was injured during the Jan. 6 insurrection, suffered a stroke and died from natural causes. NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter named Ingenuity took flight on Mars, rising 10 feet into the thin air above the dusty red surface to achieve the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Elinor Donahue is 85. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 80. Actor Tim Curry is 76. Pop singer Mark “Flo” Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) is 75. Actor Tony Plana is 70. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 66. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser Jr. is 60. Actor Tom Wood is 59. Former recording executive Suge Knight is 57. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 55. Actor Kim Hawthorne (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 54. Actor Ashley Judd is 54. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 54. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 52. Actor Jennifer Esposito is 50. Actor Jennifer Taylor is 50. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux (PAY’-roo) is 48. Actor James Franco is 44. Actor Kate Hudson is 43. Actor Hayden Christensen is 41. Actor Catalina Sandino Moreno is 41. Actor-comedian Ali Wong is 40. Actor Victoria Yeates is 39. Actor Kelen Coleman is 38. Actor Zack Conroy is 37. Roots rock musician Steve Johnson (Alabama Shakes) is 37. Actor Courtland Mead is 35. Retired tennis player Maria Sharapova is 35. NHL forward Patrik Laine is 34.