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April 20, 2013

Today in History

Today is Saturday, April 20, the 110th day of 2013. There are 255 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On April 20, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation admitting West Virginia to the Union, effective in 60 days (June 20, 1863).

On this date:

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, 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 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 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 1993, Mexican comedian Cantinflas (Mario Moreno) died in Mexico City at age 81.

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.

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