THIS DAY: April 20, 1999

Teen gunmen kill 13 at Columbine High School

On April 20, 1999, two teenage gunmen kill 13 people in a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, south of Denver. At approximately 11:19 a.m., Dylan Klebold, 18, and Eric Harris, 17, dressed in trench coats, began shooting students outside the school before moving inside to continue their rampage. By 11:35 a.m., Klebold and Harris had killed 12 fellow students and a teacher and wounded another 23 people. Shortly after noon, the two teens turned their guns on themselves and committed suicide.

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Other Events From This Day In History

2010 – US Supreme Court allows animal cruelty videos
The Supreme Court has ruled that a law which makes it illegal to sell videos of animals being tortured violates the right to free speech. Chief Justice John Roberts said that the law was too broad and invalid to be used under the First Amendment. The ruling is a victory for Robert Stevens, who was sentenced in 2005 to three years for making and selling videos of dog fights. The 1999 law that was used to convict him was intended to prevent depictions of animal cruelty. It was adopted by Congress and originally aimed at limiting internet sales of “crush” videos which show women crushing small animals with high-heeled shoes. Stevens has argued that the videos were intended to educate people about the pit bull breed and that he was not trying to promote illegal dog-fighting

2010 – US Deepwater Horizon explodes
The Transocean / BP Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible offshore oil drilling rig explodes and is followed by a fire that engulfed the platform, the platform is located 40 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injured 17 others. Following the explosion a sea-floor oil gusher began pumping oil directly into the water, by the time the gusher was capped in mid July more than 200 million gallons of crude oil were released into the environment, causing an environmental disaster including extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats as well as the Gulf’s fishing and tourism industries. Investigations are still ongoing to define who is exactly to blame with the guilty parties including Transocean, BP, Halliburton Energy Service. Questions are also asked over the cozy relationship between Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. BOEMRE and the oil and gas industry.

2008 – The Pope visits Ground Zero
Pope Benedict XVI visited Ground Zero in New York, the scene of the September 11, 2001 attacks on Twin Towers, at the end of his six-day tour of the United States. He has greeted survivors, fire and police workers, and relatives of some of the 2,749 people who died there. The Pope prayed for the rescuers and victims, as well as “those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred”. He then celebrated Mass at New York’s Yankee stadium.

1971 – US Supreme Court Upholds Busing for Schools
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of busing (This is the practice of attempting to integrate schools by assigning students to schools based primarily on race ), to achieve racial desegregation in schools.

1916 – First game at Wrigley Field
First game at Weeghman Park ( renamed Wrigley Field 1926 after William Wrigley bought controlling interest in the Cubs ) home of the Chicago Cubs between Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds.

1912 – The first game at Fenway Park
The first game at Fenway Park played between Boston Red Sox the New York Highlanders (renamed the Yankees the next year) with mayor (John F. Fitzgerald the maternal grandfather of President Kennedy) throwing out the first pitch.

1871 – Third Force Act also known as the “Ku Klux Act” Passed
Congress authorizes President Ulysses S. Grant to declare martial law, impose heavy penalties against terrorist organizations, and use military force to suppress the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).