OK, seriously, here’s a pin-up of Ishtar, the Sumerian Goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. Not bad for a 6000 year old.
One of the most famous myths about Ishtar describes her descent to the underworld. In this myth, Ishtar approaches the gates of the underworld and demands that the gatekeeper open them (Wiki):
If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living.
Things that happened on April 20. From Wiki:
- 1303 – The Sapienza University of Rome is instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.
- 1453 – The last naval battle in Byzantine history occurs, as three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fight their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.
- 1534 – Jacques Cartier begins the voyage during which he discovers Canada and Labrador.
- 1535 – The Sun dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting Vädersolstavlan.
- 1653 – Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.
- 1657 – Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
- 1657 – Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).
- 1689 – The former king, James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.
- 1752 – Start of Konbaung–Hanthawaddy War, a new phase in the Burmese Civil War (1740–57)
- 1770 – The Georgian king, Erekle II, abandoned by his Russian ally Count Totleben, wins a victory over Ottoman forces at Aspindza.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston begins, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.
- 1789 – President George Washington arrives in Philadelphia after his inauguration to elaborate welcome at Gray’s Ferry just after noon first inauguration of George Washington
- 1792 – France declares war against the “King of Hungary and Bohemia“, the beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.
- 1809 – Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four-day campaign that ended in a French victory.
- 1810 – The Governor of Caracas declares independence from Spain.
- 1818 – The case of Ashford v Thornton ends, with Abraham Thornton allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle is upheld.
- 1828 – René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.
- 1836 – U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.
- 1861 – American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.
- 1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the experiment falsifying the theory of spontaneous generation.
- 1865 – Astronomer Pietro Angelo Secchi demonstrates the Secchi disk, which measures water clarity, aboard Pope Pius IX‘s yacht, the L’Immaculata Concezion.
- 1871 – The Civil Rights Act of 1871 becomes law.
- 1876 – The April Uprising, a key point in modern Bulgarian history, leading to the Russo-Turkish War and the liberation of Bulgaria from domination as an independent part of the Ottoman Empire.
- 1884 – Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical Humanum Genus.
- 1902 – Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.
- 1908 – Opening day of competition in the New South Wales Rugby League.
- 1909 – City of Tel Aviv is founded.
- 1912 – Opening day for baseball‘s Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and Fenway Park in Boston.
- 1914 – 19 men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner’s strike.
- 1916 – The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park (currently Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings.
- 1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims, his final victories before his death the following day.
- 1922 – The Soviet government creates South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within Georgian SSR.
- 1926 – Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.
- 1939 – Adolf Hitler’s 50th birthday is celebrated as a national holiday in Nazi Germany.
- 1939 – Billie Holiday records the first civil rights song “Strange Fruit“.
- 1945 – World War II: US troops capture Leipzig, Germany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union.
- 1945 – World War II: Führerbunker: Adolf Hitler makes his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.
- 1945 – 20 Jewish children used in medical experiments at Neuengamme are killed in the basement of the Bullenhuser Damm school.
- 1946 – The League of Nations officially dissolves, giving most of its power to the United Nations.
- 1951 – Dan Gavriliu performs the first surgical replacement of a human organ.
- 1961 – Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed Cuban exiles against Cuba.
- 1964 – BBC Two launches with a power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.
- 1968 – English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.
- 1972 – Apollo 16, commanded by John Young, lands on the moon.
- 1978 – Korean Air Lines Flight 902 is shot down by the Soviet Union.
- 1980 – Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists are arrested.
- 1984 – The Good Friday Massacre, an extremely violent ice hockey playoff game, is played in Montreal, Canada.
- 1985 – The ATF raids The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.
- 1986 – Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.
- 1998 – German terrorist group the Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years.
- 1999 – Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.
- 2007 – Johnson Space Center shooting: William Phillips with a handgun barricades himself in NASA‘s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas before killing a male hostage and himself.
- 2008 – Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.
- 2010 – The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers and beginning an oil spill that would last six months.
- 2013 – Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Japan last reactor is shut down at midnight.
- 2013 – A 6.6-magnitude earthquake strikes Lushan County, Ya’an, in China’s Sichuan province, killing more than 150 people and injuring thousands.