Today in history

Today in history. April 20.

  1. 1534: Jacques Cartier sets sail on his first voyage to what is now Canada, with the goal of claiming the land for France.
  2. 1653: Oliver Cromwell dissolves the English Parliament and becomes Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
  3. 1657: English Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
  4. 1770: Captain James Cook first sights Australia.
  5. 1775: The Siege of Boston begins during the American Revolutionary War.
  6. 1792: France declares war on Austria, marking the start of the French Revolutionary Wars.
  7. 1809: Napoleon I of France defeats Austria at the Battle of Eckmühl, during the War of the Fifth Coalition.
  8. 1836: The U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.
  9. 1861: Robert E. Lee resigns from the United States Army two days after he was offered command of the Union Army and three days after Virginia seceded from the Union.
  10. 1862: Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard successfully test a rabies vaccine on a boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog, marking a breakthrough in medical science.
  11. 1889: Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Nazi Germany, was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria.
  12. 1902: Pierre and Marie Curie isolated radium.
  13. 1940: The British War Cabinet approves the Gallipoli Campaign, aimed at capturing Constantinople and knocking the Ottoman Empire out of World War I.
  14. 1945: During World War II, U.S. troops capture Leipzig, Germany, near the end of the war in Europe.
  15. 1971: The Soviet Union launches the world's first space station, Salyut 1, into orbit.
  16. 1972: Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explore the Moon's Descartes Highlands.
  17. 1999: The Columbine High School massacre occurs in Colorado, USA, resulting in the deaths of 13 victims and the perpetrators.
  18. 2010: An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico leads to one of the largest oil spills in history.
  19. 2013: A series of bombings in Iraq, including a car bomb attack in Baghdad, kills dozens of people and injures many more.
  20. 2018: Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is hospitalized a day after his wife Barbara Bush's funeral, suffering from a blood infection.
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