April 16: Apollo 16 Launch 1972; Virginia Tech Massacre 2007

VIDEO: Apollo 16 Launch

1947 Texas City Explosion A small industrial port city in Texas City, Texas, was devastated and 600 people were killed when the freight ship Grandcamp caught fire.  Ammonium nitrate in the ship created a blast large enough to destroy nearby houses and start new fires at the chemical plant.  The fire was too hot to extinguish at first, and burning lasted for days.  Nitrates aboard a second freighter, the High Flyer, ignited on April 17, causing more explosions.

1972 Apollo 16 Launch

NASA's Apollo 16 launched from Cape Canaveral on April 16, 1972, bound for the moon.   During the lunar mission, astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke collected moon rock samples using the Lunar Rover.

2007 Virginia Tech Massacre 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, killing 32 people on campus.  The school was later criticized for its response and warning system after Cho had shot the first two victims on the morning of April 16, 2007.  More than two hours passed between Cho's first shots fired and his classroom rampage. Virginia Tech scheduled many events for the 2012 Day of Remembrance, five years after the attack.

Famous Birthdays

1889 Charlie Chaplin

1927 Pope Benedict XVI

1947 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1952 Bill Belichick

1965 Jon Cryer

1965 Martin Lawrence

1971 Peter Billingsley

1971 Selena

1973 Akon

1976 Lukas Haas

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