April 20 – This day in history

It’s April 20th, somewhere in the past

There have been thousands of these days in the past and more to come.

Each day of the week we look in the rearview mirror for a look back in time. And now, let’s go back in time to all the things that have happened on April 20th’s in the past.

We’re here to help you remember everything you forgot so what could be better than a history of events that have happened on this day!

Each day of the week, The Beat Chicago takes you back through the years to see all the birthdays, heavenly birthdays and major events that have impacted life here on Earth.

Click here and we’ll take you for a detailed trip back in time in our Backspin section.  Our Backspin section takes you back in time highlighting all the biggest events of each year. We start Backspin in 1970 and go all the way to 1999. We’ve cataloged all the biggest news stories, top movies, TV shows, sporting events and more to help you remember everything you forgot or, help you learn something you didn’t know.

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1832 – For the first time, the U.S. Government set aside land to preserve for recreation, that land was Hot Springs National Park. The area was made a national park on March 4, 1921

1836 – U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.

1841 – In Philadelphia, PA, Edgar Allen Poe’s first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” was published in Graham’s Magazine

1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the first-ever pasteurization tests.

1898 – U.S. President William McKinley signed a joint resolution to Congress for declaration of war against Spain, beginning the Spanish–American war

1902 – Marie and Pierre Curie isolate the radioactive compound radium chloride

1908 – Jazz master, actor Lionel Hampton was born, passed in 2002


1912 – Detroit’s Tiger Stadium and Boston’s Fenway Park open

1916 – The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park, now known as Wrigley Field beat the Cincinnati Reds 7–6 in 11 innings

1918 – The Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen) shoots down two more planes giving him a total of 80. He’d die the next day

1920 – Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was born, passed in 2019

1923 – Producer/Musician Tito Puente was born, passed in 2000

1937 – Star Trek’s Mr. Zulu, George Takei is born

1940 – The First electron microscope was demonstrated by RCA

1941 – Actor Ryan O’Neal is born

1946 – The League of Nations officially dissolves, giving most of its power to the United Nations

1949 – Actress Jessia Lange is born

1951 – R&B superstar Luther Vandross was born, he passed in 2005

1953 – Operation Little Switch began in Korea. It was the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of war. Thirty Americans were freed

1961 – Baseball great Don Mattingly is born

1961 – FM stereo broadcasting was approved by the FCC

1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools

1972 – Actress/Model Carmen Electra is born

1972 – Apollo program: Apollo 16 lunar module, commanded by John Young and piloted by Charles Duke, lands on the moon

1977 – Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” is released. The movie would go on to win an Oscar for best picture in 1978

1984 – Britain announced that its administration of Hong Kong would cease in 1997

1988 – The U.S. Air Forces’ Stealth (B-2 bomber) was officially unveiled

1989 – Scientist announced the successful testing of high-definition TV

1999 – Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 and injure 24 before committing suicide at the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado

1999 – Jane Seymour received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

2007 – Johnson Space Center shooting: William Phillips with a handgun barricade himself in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas before killing a male hostage and himself.

2008 – Danica Patrick driving for Andretti Green Racing wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the female driver in history to win an Indy Car Series race

2010 The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes, killing 11 and causing the rig to sink and a major environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

2016 – The U.S. Treasury Department announced a plan for Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson as the portrait on the $20 bill

2017 – R&B singer Cuba Gooding Sr. (Main Ingredient) and father of actor Cuba Gooding Jr. passes. He was born in 1944