Today in history: April 20

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, April 20, the 110th day of 2006. There are 255 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School massacre took place in Littleton, Colo., as two students shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.

On this date:
In 1812, the fourth vice president of the United States, George Clinton, died in Washington at age 73, becoming the first vice president to die while in office.

In 1836, the Territory of Wisconsin was established by Congress.

In 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau, Austria.

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 1971, the Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.

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 entering Soviet airspace and being fired on by a Soviet interceptor. Two passengers were killed.

In 1980, the first Cubans sailing to the United States as part of the massive Mariel boatlift reached Florida.

In 1986, following an absence of six decades, Russian-born pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in the Soviet Union to a packed audience at the Grand Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

Ten years ago: Russia and the leaders of the world’s seven richest democracies agreed in Moscow to end nuclear tests by the fall and pledged new steps to keep nuclear materials out of the wrong hands.

Five years ago: A Peruvian air force jet shot down a small plane carrying American missionaries in Peru’s Amazon jungle region, killing Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter, Charity. President Bush attended his first international summit as leaders of the Western Hemisphere’s 34 democracies met in Quebec to advance plans to create the world’s largest free-trade zone; police in riot gear clashed with protesters. Two therapists were convicted in Golden, Colo., of reckless child abuse in a young girl’s suffocation death during a “rebirthing” therapy session. (Connell Watkins and Julie Ponder were later sentenced to 16 years in prison.)

One year ago: President Bush signed a bill making it harder for debt-ridden people to wipe clean their financial slates by declaring bankruptcy. In his first Mass as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI pledged to work for unity among Christians and to seek “an open and sincere dialogue” with other faiths. Ecuador’s Congress voted to remove embattled President Lucio Gutierrez from office and swear in Vice President Alfredo Palacio to replace him.

Today’s Birthdays: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 86. Actress Nina Foch is 82. Actor Leslie Phillips is 82. Actor George Takei is 69. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 67. Actor Ryan O’Neal is 65. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 62. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band) is 58. Actress Jessica Lange is 57. Actor Clint Howard is 47. Actor Crispin Glover is 42. Country singer Wade Hayes is 37. Actor Shemar Moore is 36. Rock musician Mikey Welsh is 35. Actress Carmen Electra is 34. Actor Joseph Lawrence is 30.

Thought for Today: “Taste. You cannot buy such a rare and wonderful thing. You can’t send away for it in a catalogue. And I’m afraid it’s becoming obsolete.” — Rosalind Russell, American actress (1911-1976).