April 20


1139 - The Second Lateran Council opened in Rome.

1534 - Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, set sail from St. Malo to explore the North American coastline.

1653 - In England, Oliver Cromwell expelled the Long Parliament for trying to pass the Perpetuation Bill that would have kept Parliament in the hands of only a few members.

1657 - English Admiral Robert Blake fought his last battle when he destroyed the Spanish fleet in Santa Cruz Bay.

1689 - The siege of Londonderry began. Supporters of James II attacked the city.

1769 - Ottawa Chief Pontiac was murdered by an Illinois Indian in Cahokia.

1775 - American troops began the siege of British-held Boston.

1792 - France declared war on Austria, Prussia, and Sardinia. It was the start of the French Revolutionary wars.

1809 - Napoleon defeated Austria at Battle of Abensberg, Bavaria.

1832 - Hot Springs National Park was intially created by an act of the U.S. Congress. It was the first time a piece of land was set aside by the U.S. government to preserve the area for recreation. The area was made a national park on March 4, 1921.

1836 - The U.S. territory of Wisconsin was created by the U.S. Congress.

1837 - Erastus B. Bigelow was granted a patent for his power loom.

1841 - In Philadelphia, PA, Edgar Allen Poe's first detective story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," was published in Graham's Magazine.

1861 - Robert E. Lee resigned from U.S. Army.

1865 - Safety matches were first advertised.

1879 - First mobile home (horse drawn) was used in a journey from London to Cyprus.

1902 - Scientists Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium.

1912 - Fenway Park opened as the home of the Boston Red Sox.

1916 - Sir Roger Casement landed in Ireland to incite rebellion against the British. Casement, a British diplomat, was captured within hours and was hanged for high treason on August 3.

1916 - Chicago's Wrigley Field held its first Cubs game with the first National League game at the ballpark. The Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings.

1919 - The Polish Army captured Vilno, Lithuania from the Soviets.

1940 - The First electron microscope was demonstrated by RCA.

1942 - Pierre Laval, the premier of Vichy France, in a radio broadcast, establishes a policy of "true reconciliation with Germany."

1945 - Soviet troops began their attack on Berlin.

1945 - During World War II, Allied forces took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart.

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

1953 - The Boston marathon was won by Keizo Yamada with a record time of 2:18:51.

1959 - "Desilu Playhouse" on CBS-TV presented a two-part show titled "The Untouchables."

1961 - FM stereo broadcasting was approved by the FCC.

1962 - The New Orleans Citizens' Council offered a free one-way ride for blacks to move to northern states.

1967 - U.S. planes bombed Haiphong for first time during the Vietnam War.

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

1972 - The manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon.

1977 - Woody Allen's film "Annie Hall" premiered.

1981 - A spokesman for the U.S. Nave announced that the U.S. was accepting full responsibility for the sinking of the Nissho Maru on April 9.

1982 - The Activision game Pitfall! was released for the Atari 2600 game system.

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

1985 - In Madrid, Santiago Carillo was purged from the Communist Party. Carillo was a founder of Eurocommunism.

1987 - In Argentina, President Raul Alfonsin quelled a military revolt.

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

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

1991 - Mikhail Gorbachev became the first Soviet head of state to visit South Korea.

1992 - The worlds largest fair, Expo '92, opened in Seville, Spain.

1998 - Kenyan runner Moses Tanui, 32, won the Boston Marathon for the second time. He also registered the third fastest time with 2 hours 7 minutes and 34 seconds.

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

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

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