Today is Tuesday, April 16, the 106th day of 2019. There are 259 days left in the year.
On April 16, 2007, in one of America's worst school attacks, a college senior killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.
In 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Virginia, for his inauguration in New York.
In 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. The Confederacy conscripted all white men between the ages of 18 to 35.
In 1889, comedian and movie director Charles Chaplin was born in London.
In 1945, during World War II, a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea torpedoed and sank the MV Goya, which Germany was using to transport civilian refugees and wounded soldiers; it's estimated that up to 7,000 people died.
In 1947, the cargo ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate, blew up in the harbor in Texas City, Texas; a nearby ship, the High Flyer, which was carrying ammonium nitrate and sulfur, caught fire and exploded the following day; the blasts and fires killed nearly 600 people. At the South Carolina statehouse, financier Bernard M. Baruch declared: "Let us not be deceived — we are today in the midst of a cold war."
In 1962, New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel excommunicated three local Roman Catholics for fighting racial integration of parochial schools.
In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in which the civil rights activist responded to a group of local clergymen who had criticized him for leading street protests; King defended his tactics, writing, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon with astronauts John W. Young, Charles M. Duke Jr. and Ken Mattingly on board.
In 1986, dispelling rumors he was dead, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appeared on television to condemn the U.S. raid on his country and to say that Libyans were "ready to die" defending their nation.
In 1996, Britain's Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of divorcing.
In 2003, the Bush administration lowered the terror alert level from orange to yellow, saying the end of heavy fighting in Iraq had diminished the threat of terrorism in the United States.
In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld, 7-2, the most widely used method of lethal injection, allowing states to resume executions after a seven-month halt. Pope Benedict XVI was welcomed by President George W. Bush as only the second pontiff to visit the White House (after John Paul II) and the first in 29 years.