Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Today in History: April 20, 2 students kill 12 at Columbine High School

Today is Saturday, April 20, the 111th day of 2024. There are 255 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 20, 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.

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 in the Civil War, and eventually became general-in-chief of the Confederate forces.)

In 1912, Boston's Fenway Park hosted its first professional baseball game while Navin Field (later 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 spent in the West, 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 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 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.)

In 2012, 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 2013, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake struck the steep hills of China's southwestern Sichuan province, leaving nearly 200 people dead.

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.

In 2022, Russian forces tightened the noose around die-hard Ukrainian defenders holed up at a Mariupol steel plant amid desperate new efforts to open an evacuation corridor for trapped civilians in the ruined city.

In 2023, The giant new rocket from Elon Musk's SpaceX exploded minutes after blasting off on its first test flight and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is 88. Actor George Takei is 87. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 86. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 80. Actor Judith O'Dea is 79. Rock keyboardist Craig Frost (Grand Funk Railroad, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band) is 76. Actor Jessica Lange is 75. Actor Veronica Cartwright is 75. Actor Clint Howard is 65. Actor Crispin Glover is 60. Actor Andy Serkis is 60. Olympic silver medal figure skater Rosalynn Sumners is 60. Actor William deVry is 56. Country singer Wade Hayes is 55. Actor Shemar Moore is 54. Actor Carmen Electra is 52. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 52. Rock musician Marty Crandall (The Shins) is 49. Actor Joey Lawrence is 48. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 46. Actor Clayne Crawford is 46. Actor Tim Jo is 40. Actor Carlos Valdes (TV: "The Flash") is 35.