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Today In History – April 20 – Columbine High School Massacre

1777: New York adopts state constitution: The first New York state constitution is formally adopted by the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York, meeting in the upstate town of Kingston, on this day in 1777. More here

1841: First detective story is published: Edgar Allen Poe’s story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first appears in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine. The tale is generally considered to be the first detective story. More here

1926: New sound process for films announced: On this day in 1926, Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T), and the Warner Brothers film studio officially introduce Vitaphone, a new process that will enable the addition of sound to film. More here

1978: Korean Air Lines jet forced down over Soviet Union: Soviet aircraft force a Korean Air Lines passenger jet to land in the Soviet Union after the jet veers into Russian airspace. Two people were killed and several others injured when the jet made a rough landing on a frozen lake about 300 miles south of Murmansk. More here

1984: The Good Friday Massacre, an extremely violent ice hockey playoff game, is played in Montreal, Canada: The Good Friday Massacre, was a second-round playoff match-up during the 1984 NHL Playoffs. The game occurred on Good Friday, April 20, 1984 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, between the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens. After a number of fights, a bench-clearing brawl broke out at the end of the second period. When the teams returned to ice for the third period, a second brawl broke out between the teams, including players who had already been ejected from the game but had not been notified prior to their return to the ice. The officials had to be summoned to the rink to restore order.

A total of 252 penalty minutes were incurred and 10 players were ejected. The altercations included the Canadiens’ Mario Tremblay smashing the nose of the Nordiques’ Peter Stastny, and Louis Sleigher knocking Jean Hamel unconscious by hitting him in the eye. Hamel managed to return for training camp in the autumn of 1984, but sustained another eye injury in Montreal’s last pre-season game, prompting him to retire.

Eventually, the Canadiens defeated the Nordiques that night by a score of 5 – 3, thereby winning the series 4 games to 2. More here

1999: Columbine High School massacre: Two teenage gunmen kill 13 people in a shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. At about 11:20 a.m., Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, dressed in long trench coats, began shooting students outside the school before moving inside to continue their rampage. By the time SWAT team officers finally entered the school at about 3:00 p.m., Klebold and Harris had killed 12 fellow students and a teacher, and had wounded another 23 people. Then, around noon, they turned their guns on themselves and committed suicide. More here

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