APRiL 20 ~ ON THiS DAY in History

1303 ~ The UNiVERSiTY of ROME La Sapienza was instituted by Pope Boniface VIII on the 20th April in 1303. It was formerly known as Università degli studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, and is the largest European university by enrollment, and the oldest of Rome’s 4 state-funded universities. In Italian, sapienza means wisdom or knowledge.

1535 ~ The SUN DOG phenomenon was first observed over Stockholm on this 20th day of April in 1535, and depicted in the famous Vädersolstavlan painting. A Sundog is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.

Sundogs in Fargo North Dakota ~ Photo 18th February 2009 by Gopherboy6956
Sundogs in Fargo North Dakota ~ Photo 18th February 2009 by Gopherboy6956
Vädersoltavlan "The Sun Dog Painting" by Urban Målare & Jacob Elbfas at Storkyrkan, Stockholm in 1535
Vädersoltavlan “The Sun Dog Painting” by Urban Målare & Jacob Elbfas at Storkyrkan, Stockholm in 1535

1818 ~ HEiNRiCH GöBEL the German mechanic and inventor was born on the 20th April 1818 (died 1893 aged 75). In 1893 the public in the USA and in Europe took notice of Henry Goebel, when magazines and newspapers reported that he had developed incandescent light bulbs comparable to those invented by Thomas Edison 25 years earlier, in the year 1879, but Henry didn’t apply for a patent. In 1893 the Edison Electric Light Co. brought suit against three manufacturers of incandescent lamps for infringing Edison´s patent, but the defense of these companies claimed the Edison patent was void because of the same invention of Henry Goebel 25 years earlier (Goebel-Defense).

1840 ~ ODiLON REDON the French Artist was born on the 20th April 1840 (died 1916). Odilon Redon was a symbolist painter, printmakerdraughtsman and pastellist.

1850 ~ DANiEL CHESTER FRENCH the American sculptor was born on the 20th April 1850 (died 1931). He was best known for his sculpture of a seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. See the statue sculpted by Daniel Chester French of President Abraham Lincoln in the photo below. The 170 ton statue sits at the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall in Washington, D.C, USA. The colossal seated figure is 9.1metres (30 feet) of carved white Georgia marble (craving by the Piccirilli Brothers) in the Beaux Arts & American Renaissance traditions.

President Abraham Lincoln statue Daniel Chester French sculpture Memorial Washington USA carved white marble Beaux American Renaissance
The statue sculpted by Daniel Chester French of President Abraham Lincoln, at the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall in Washington, D.C, USA. (photo by Mark, Wikipedia editor Raul654)

1893 ~ HAROLD LIOYD the American actor and producer was born on the 20th April 1893 (died 1971). Harold Lloyd was most famous for his silent comedies. He ranked alongside Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent film era. Harold made almost 200 comedy films (silent & talkies) between 1914 and 1947, which were not as commercially successful individually as Charlie Chaplin’s on average, but he as far more prolific with the release of 12 feature films in the 1920s compred to Charlie’s 3 films, making more money overall ($15.7 million compared to Chaplin’s $10.5 million). Harold is well known for one of the most enduring images of cinema, where he is hanging from the hands of a clock high above the street in the 1923 movie Safety Last!. He did most of the dangerous stunts himself, despite the loss of his thumb and index finger on his right hand in 1919, while doing publicity pictures with a bomb mistaken as a prop.

Harold Lloyd Safety Last 1923 comedy movie hanging clock skyscraper stunts  Broadway Los Angeles city black&white
Harold Lloyd in one of the most famous iconic movie images, during the 1923 comedy movie Safety Last!, doing his own stunts, as seen here clinging on to a large clock on a skyscraper over Broadway in Los Angeles

1893JOAN MiRó the Spanish painter was born on the 20th April 1893 (died 1983).

1889ADOLF HiTLER the dictator of Nazi Germany was born on the 20th April 1889 (died in 1945 aged 56). Hitler originally wanted to be an artist, but was rejected twice by the The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna artist. Millions of lives could’ve been saved if only Adolf Hitler got over his rejection, and continued with his artistic side…

'The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich' ~ watercolour by Adolf Hitler 1914
‘The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich’ ~ watercolour by Adolf Hitler 1914

1908 ~ The NSWRL: New South Wales Rugby League opening day of competition was on the 20th April in 1908. The official website: www.nswrl.com.au 

1912 ~ BRAM STOKER the Irish author best known for his 1897 Dracula novel, died on the 20th April 1912, at the age of 64. See Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992 official movie trailer starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves and Tom Waits. This is director Francis Ford Coppola’s visually stunning, passionately seductive version of Bram Stoker’s classic legend. 

Bram Stokers Dracula The Greatest Vampire haunted castle Full Moon horse carriage blood sucking fangs scary book cover artwork
Bram Stokers Dracula ~ The Greatest Vampire

1919 ~ RiCHARD HiLLARY the Australian pilot and author was born in Sydney on the 20th April 1919 (died 1943). Richard Hillary is best known for his book The Last Enemy, which is based upon his experiences as a Battle of Britain pilot during World War II.

1926 ~ ViTAPHONE was announced by Western Electric & Warner Bros. on the 20th April in 1926. Vitaphone was a process to add sound to film.

1939 ~ PETER S. BEAGLE the American author was born on this 20th day of April in 1939. His best known work is the 1968 fantasy novel The Last Unicorn.  Peter S. Beagle won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 2011.

1939 ~ Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday was celebrated as a national holiday in Nazi Germany on the 20th April in 1939.

1939 ~ BiLLiE HOLiDAY recorded the 1st Civil Rights song Strange Fruit on the 20th April in 1939.

1947BJöRN SKiFS the Swedish singer from BLUE SWEDE was born on the 20th April 1947. Blue Swede originallly called Blåblus (blue blouse) formed in 1973, when Björn Skifs was a top vocalist in Sweden looking for a band for his concerts. The band had an international hit in 1974 with their cover of the 1969 B. J. Thomas song Hooked on a Feeling, which reached #1 in USA staying in the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 18 weeks, and also topped charts in Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.

1948 ~ CRAiG FROST the American keyboardist in GRAND FUNK RAiLROAD was born on the 20th April 1948.

1949 JESSiCA LANGE the American actress was born on the 20th April 1949. Jessica Lang has won 2 Oscars, 2 Emmys, 5 Golden Globes, and 1 SAG Award. She was discovered by producer Dino De Laurentiis while modeling part-time for the Wilhelmina modelling agency. Jessica made her professional film debut in Dino’s 1976 remake of the 1933 classic King Kong. In 1982 Jessica Lange became the 1st performer in 40 years to receive 2 Oscar nominations within the same year. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a soap opera star in Tootsie.

1951 ~ LUTHER VANDROSS the American singer songwriter who sold over 25 million albums, and won 8 Grammy Awards, was born on the 20th April 1951 (died in 2005 aged 54). The video below features the 1992 hit Luther Vandross had with Janet Jackson ~ “The Best Things in Life Are Free”… 

1953 ~ ROBERT CRAiS the American author of detective fiction was born on the 20th April 1953. Robert Crais began his career writing TV scripts for Hill Street BluesCagney & LaceyQuincyMiami Vice and L.A. Law.

1955 ~ DON PETTiT the American astronaut and engineer was born on the 20th April 1955.

1962 ~ HANK The ANGRY DRUNKEN DWARF American radio personality was born on the 20th April 1962 (died 2001).

1964 ~ CRiSPiN GLOVER the American actor, director and screenwriter, recording artist, publisher, and author was born on the 20th April 1964. Crispin Glover is known on screen as George McFly in Back to the Future, Layne in River’s Edge, Rubin Farr in Rubin and EdAndy Warhol in The Doors, The Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, and Phil in Hot Tub Time Machine,

1966 ~ DAViD CHALMERS the Australian philosopher was born on the 20th April 1966.

1966DAViD FiLO the American businessman and co-founder of Yahoo! was born on the 20th April 1966.

1967MiKE PORTNOY the American drummer from DREAM THEATER was born on the 20th April 1967

1968JULiA MORRiS the Australian comedian and television presenter was born on the 20th April 1968. Visit the official Julia Morris website: www.JuliaMorris.com.au Like her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LadyJuliaMorris & follow her on www.Twitter.com/Ladyjmo. See Julia Morris at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival on this 2012 YouTube video…

1969 ~ FELiX BAUMGARTNER the Austrian skydiver and BASE jumper was born on the 20th April 1969. Felix Baumgartner is best known for setting 3 world records while free falling and skydiving from the Red Bull Stratos helium balloon, at a height of 39 kilometres, reaching a speed of 1,342 kilometres per hour (834 mph / Mach 1.24) on the 14th October 2012.

Red Bull Stratos Felix Baumgartner smiling helmet Austrian skydiver Mission edge Space World record Roswell New Mexico USA October 2012
Felix Baumgartner ready for launch as he attempts a World record at Roswell, New Mexico, USA ~ 9th October 2012

1972 ~ APOLLO 16 commanded by John Young, landed on the moon on the 20th April 1972.

1972STEPHEN MARLEY the Jamaican American singer and musician was born on the 20th April 1972. Stephen Marley is a 5 time Grammy award winner as an artist, producer, and member of Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. He is the son of Bob Marley and Rita Marley. See Stephen Marley singing Mother and Child Reunion from Paul SImon and Friends Live Concert in 2007 on this YouTube video…

1972CARMEN ELECTRA the American model, actress and singer was born on this 20th day of April in 1972.

1974 ~ TiNA COUSiNS the English singer was born on this 20th day of April in 1974.

1983MiRANDA KERR the Australian supermodel was born on the 20th April 1983. Visit the Miranda Kerr Official Facebook page.

Miranda Kerr at the Louis Vuitton Red Carpet Launch 2011
Miranda Kerr at the Louis Vuitton Red Carpet Launch 2011

1992 ~ BENNY HiLL the British comedian died on the 20th April 1992 aged 68.

1996 ~ The DAY OF SiLENCE was first held on this 20th of April 1996, for the action to protest the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students and their supporters. Visit the official website: www.DayOfSilence.org

Day Of Silence .org website
Day Of Silence .org website

1999 ~ The COLUMBiNE HiGH SCHOOL MASSACRE was on the 20th April 1999, when Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injured 24 before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.

2008 ~ Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 on the 20th April 2008, becoming the 1st female driver in history to win an Indy car race.

2011 ~ The PlayStation Network sufferred an outage affecting 77 million users on the 20th April 2011, when users accounts were stolen, preventing them to play online.

2013 ~ 2013 Lushan earthquake of 6.6-magnitude hit Lushan CountyYa’an, in China’s Sichuan province, killing over 150 people and injuring thousands.

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