April 20, 1534 – Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, set sail from St. Malo, beginning his first voyage to what is today the east coast of Canada, the island of Newfoundland and Labrador.
April 20, 1775 – During the Revolutionary War, the Siege of Boston began, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.
April 20, 1775 - Virginia's Royal Governor Lord Dunmore attempted to take the gunpowder from the Williamsburg magazine. Patrick Henry led Patriots in standoff with Dunmore's troops until a settlement was negotiated by Carter Braxton.
April 20, 1777 - In Kingston, the first New York state constitution was formally adopted by the Convention of Representatives of the State of New York.
April 20, 1789 – George Washington arrived at Grays Ferry, Philadelphia while en route to Manhattan for his inauguration.
April 20, 1801 – John Sampey Sr., one of Conecuh County, Alabama’s original settlers, cattle farmers and Methodists, was born in Belfast, Ireland.
April 20, 1818 – Burnt Corn was first mentioned on this day in the Acts of the Post Roads, an act that established a postal road “from Fort Mitchell, by Fort Bainbridge, Fort Jackson, Burnt Corn Springs, Fort Claiborne and the Town of Jackson to St. Stephens.”
April 20, 1832 - Hot Springs National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress. It was the first national park in the U.S.
April 20, 1836 – U.S. Congress passed an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.
April 20, 1841 - In Philadelphia, Pa., Edgar Allen Poe's first detective story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," was published in Graham's Magazine. His story has been credited with launching the detective genre or the 'whodunit' into popular culture.
April 20, 1850 – Sculptor Daniel Chester French 1850 was born in Exeter, N.H. He created the Minute Man statue in Concord, Mass. and the Abraham Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
April 20, 1861 – During the Civil War, Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia. Two days earlier he had been offered command of the Union army.
April 20, 1864 - The Battle of Plymouth, N.C., ended with the rebels capturing Plymouth. Confederates had attacked four days before in an attempt to recapture forts that had been lost to the Union two years before.
April 20, 1889 - Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary.
April 20, 1907 – A large “Memorial Day” celebration was held at Tunnel Springs, Ala. and the featured speaker was the Hon. W.R. Sawyer of Montgomery.
April 20, 1912 – Opening day for baseball's Tiger Stadium in Detroit, and Fenway Park in Boston.
April 20, 1914 – The Ludlow Massacre occurred in Ludlow, Colo. after the National Guard opened fire on a group of striking coal miners.
April 20, 1916 – The Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park (currently Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 7–6, in 11 innings.
April 20, 1920 - In Starkville, Miss. and Waco, Ala., 88 people were killed by a tornado.
April 20, 1921 – The Evergreen Courant reported that more than six inches of rain had fallen during the past week, including 3.5 inches on April 11 and nearly three inches on April 15.
April 20, 1921 – In Butler County, Ala. Circuit Court, Jake Crenshaw, who was charged with the murder of Mrs. Foster Gafford, was convicted the second time and sentenced by Judge Gamble to hang on May 30.
April 20, 1930 – Lambert C. Mims, who would serve four terms as Mayor of Mobile, was born in Uriah, Ala.
April 20, 1937 – Ralph Clyde “Shorty” Propst, former Alabama football star, visited Evergreen High School in Evergreen, Ala. during a recruiting trip for Memphis College (now Rhodes College).
April 20, 1939 – Fantasy writer Peter S. Beagle was born in New York City. He is best known for his 1968 book, “The Last Unicorn.”
April 20, 1945 – Heisman Trophy winning football player and coach Steve Spurrier was born in Miami Beach, Fla.
April 20, 1951 – The first organizational meeting of what would become Monroeville Little League was held at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville, Ala.
April 20, 1953 – British novelist Sebastian Faulks was born in Newbury, England.
April 20, 1959 – Astronomer Morris K. Jessup, the author of “The Case for the UFO,” was found dead in Dade County, Fla., and his death was ruled a suicide. He was heavily involved in earlier research of the “Philadelphia Experiment.”
April 20, 1961 - FM stereo broadcasting was approved by the FCC.
April 20, 1979 - Millie Steans Cunningham, a native of Evergreen, Ala. who died on Nov. 18, 1978 in the infamous massacre and mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, was buried at First Zion Church Cemetery in Conecuh County.
April 20, 1981 – The 36th Annual Conecuh County 4H and FFA Steer Show was scheduled to be held at the Evergreen, Ala. Cooperative Stockyard Livestock Arena.
April 20, 1986 – Pitcher Roger Clemens, then just 23 years old, had broken Steve Carlton’s modern (post-1900) record of 19 strikeouts in a single game during an outing against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass.
April 20, 1998 – According to the “USA Snapshots” feature in this day’s issue of USA Today, 52 percent of all adult Americans believe that encounters with the dead (ghosts) are possible.
April 20, 2010 - In the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded. Eleven workers were killed.