On This Day in History: April 20

On April 20, there was an attempt to suppress groups like the Klu Klux Klan. What else happened today in history?

1777: State Constitution Adopted By New York

On this day in history, the state constitution of New York was officially adopted by the state’s Convention of Representatives. The aim was to reconcile Britain and the former colonies, making the New York government crucialEdgar Allen Poe for peace and good order. The constitution led to the creation of the executive, legislative and judicial branches, and also meant a governor and 24 senators would be elected. The guarantee of a right to a trial by jury was re-introduced, something that the British has removed.

1841: First Detective Story Published

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe was published on this day, becoming the first ever published detective story. It appeared in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s magazine and would lead the way for more detective stories, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes anthology. Sherlock became the greatest fictional detective, but was only published for the first time in 1887.

1871: Congress Passes the Ku Klux Act

The Ku Klux Act, more formally known as the Third Force Act, was passed by Congress in history today. President Ulysses S. Grant was now allowed to impose penalties against terrorist organizations and was an attempt to suppress the Ku Klux Klan. The group had formed in 1865, and focused on white racial superiority.  KKK leaderThe Act led to arrests of thousands in South Carolina, but the Act only lasted until 1882, when it was deemed unconstitutional. By that time, the KKK had faded away, although revivals have happened over the years.

1902: Marie and Pierre Curie Isolate Radium

Today in history, the start of a cancer cure was born. Marie Curie and her husband successfully isolated the radium salts from the mineral, four years after discovering the existence. Radium doesn’t exist freely in nature and it was a difficult task, but not one that the scientists were going to give up on. They and Henri Becquerel would jointly win the Nobel Physics Prize the next year and Marie Curie went to work on using radium for curing diseases and ailments.

1974: Death Toll In the ‘Troubles’ Reaches 1,000

By this day in history, 1,000 people had died in the “Troubles,” the name given to the Northern Ireland conflict. The people included in the death toll were a mixture of Protestant and Catholic, although the latest ones had been Catholic, including petrol station owner James Murphy, who had been shot at close range and dumped on a roadside verge. More than 3,000 had died by the time of the Good Friday agreement in 1998, and that had not completely stopped the killings.

Famous Birthdays on April 20

16th Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius—121

King Edward IV of England–1442

Emperor Go-Komyo of Japan–1633

Botonist Charles Plumier–1646

Gaspard de la Nuit writer Aloysius Bertrand—1807

Napoleon III of France—1808

Sculptor Daniel Chester French—1850

Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler—1889

Comedian Harold Lloyd—1893

Physicist Alex Muller—1927

Star Trek actor George Takai—1937

Cupcake Wars judge Florian Bellanger—1968

Criminal Minds actor Shemar Moore—1970

Model Miranda Kerr—1983

Sources:

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com, OnThisDay.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Edgar Allen Poe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Allan_Poe#/media/File:Edgar_Allan_Poe_daguerreotype_crop.png

Image of Nathan Bedford Forrest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan#/media/File:NathanBedfordForrest.jpg


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