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 crucial 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. The 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
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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