Does any other day carry as heavy a load as April 20? The day's fate was sealed in 1889, when Adolf Hitler was born in a small village in Austria. In the early '70s, April 20 also became an underground stoner holiday, now so aboveground that it's celebrated across the country, with a huge 4/20 bash planned for Civic Center Park today. And that's just the beginning.
Twelve years ago, Colorado put its own stamp on April 20, when two Columbine High School students killed twelve other students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves. And last year on April 20? The Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed eleven workers.
States along the Gulf Coast are still mopping up British Petroleum's mess, with former Colorado senator Ken Salazar, now head of the Department of the Interior, responsible for much of the cleanup -- both of the environment, and federal oversight of drilling operations.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
A dozen years later, the Columbine community is still mourning, and there will be no classes at the school today.
But down at Civic Center, quite a party is shaping up, with tens of thousands of people expected to show up and celebrate.
Happy April 20... whatever you choose to remember today.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Best Mountain Smoke Shack winner Topher's Hut does a smoking business in April snow."