On April 20, 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 the gunfire or were smothered by smoke from the burning tents.
On this date:
In 1314, Pope Clement V, the first of the Avignonese popes, died at Roquemaure, France.
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 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 1988, gunmen who’d hijacked a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet were allowed safe passage out of Algeria under an agreement that freed the remaining 31 hostages and ended a 15-day siege in which two passengers were slain.
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.
Today’s birthdays: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 94. Actor Leslie Phillips is 90. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 78. Actor George Takei is 77. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 76. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 73. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 70. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band) is 66. Actor Gregory Itzin is 66. Actress Jessica Lange is 65. Actress Veronica Cartwright is 65. Actor Clint Howard is 55. Actor Crispin Glover is 50. Actor Andy Serkis is 50. Olympic silver medal figure skater Rosalynn Sumners is 50. Country singer Wade Hayes is 45. Actor Shemar Moore is 44. Actress Carmen Electra is 42. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 42. Rock musician Marty Crandall is 39. Actor Joey Lawrence is 38. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 36. Actor Tim Jo is 30.
Thought for today: “History is the autobiography of a madman.” — Alexander Herzen, Russian author (1812-1870).
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