Historical Events on February 20

  • 1472 Orkney and Shetland are left by Norway to Scotland, due to a dowry payment.
  • 1525 Swiss & German mercenaries desert Francois I's army
  • 1547 King Edward VI of England was enthroned following death of Henry VIII
  • 1613 Gerard Reynst appointed Dutch gov-gen of East-Indies
  • 1619 Trial against Johan van Oldenbarnevelt begins in The Hague for alleged crimes against the federal government
  • 1653 Defeat of Dutch fleet under Adm Van Tromp by Adm Blake off Portsmouth
  • 1673 1st recorded wine auction held (London)
  • 1710 Johan Willem Friso becomes viceroy of Groningen, Netherlands

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1724 George Frideric Handel's opera "Giulio Cesare in Egitto" premieres in London

  • 1725 10 sleeping Indians scalped by whites in New Hampshire for £100 a scalp bounty
  • 1732 Estates of Holland ratifies Treaty of Vienna
  • 1737 French minister of Finance, Chauvelin, resigns
  • 1745 Jacobite troops occupy Fort Augustus, Scotland
  • 1768 1st American chartered fire insurance company opens (Penn)
  • 1792 US postal service created, postage 6 cents - 12 cents depending on distance
  • 1798 Louis Alexandre Berthier removes Pope Pius VI from power.
  • 1809 US Supreme Court rules federal government power greater than any state


1810 Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon's forces, executed.

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1811 Austria declares bankruptcy
  • 1816 Rossini's opera "Barber of Seville" premieres in Rome
  • 1823 English Capt James Weddell reaches 74°15' S, 1520 km from S pole
  • 1831 Polish revolutionaries defeat Russians in battle of Growchow

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1832 Charles Darwin visits Fernando Noronha in Atlantic Ocean

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • 1835 Concepcion, Chile, destroyed by earthquake; 5,000 die
  • 1839 Congress prohibits dueling in District of Columbia
  • 1846 British occupy Sikh citadel of Lahore
  • 1856 The steam packet-ship John Rutledge, en route from Liverpool to New York, struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 120 passengers and 19 crew; only one survivor (Thomas Nye of New Bedford)
  • 1861 Department of Navy of Confederacy forms (US Civil War)
  • 1864 Civil War battle of Olustee, Florida
  • 1865 Massachusetts Institute of Technology forms 1st US collegiate architectural school
  • 1869 Tennessee Governor W C Brownlow declares martial law in Ku Klux Klan crisis
  • 1872 Hydraulic electric elevator patented by Cyrus Baldwin
  • 1872 Luther Crowell patents a machine that manufactures paper bags
  • 1872 New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art opens
  • 1872 Silas Noble & JP Cooley patents toothpick manufacturing machine
  • 1873 University of California gets its first Medical School (UC/SF)
  • 1873 British Naval Officer John Morseby discovers the site of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and claims for Britain
  • 1877 1st cantilever bridge in US completed, Harrodsburg, Kentucky
  • 1877 International Association (minor baseball league) organizes
  • 1887 1st minor league baseball association organizes (Pittsburgh)
  • 1887 Germany, Austria-Hungary & France end Triple Alliance
  • 1890 Amsterdam Theater destroyed by fire
  • 1895 Congress authorizes a US mint at Denver, Colorodo
  • 1899 Ill Tel & Tel granted franchise for Chicago freight tunnel system
  • 1901 1st territorial legislature of Hawaii convenes
  • 1902 Heavy surf breaks over Seal Rocks & damages Sutro Baths, SF
  • 1903 Nick Young remains as NL president as AG Spalding ends challenge
  • 1909 Publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro.
  • 1912 Argentina beat the MCC in their inaugural cricket 1st-class fixture
  • 1913 King O'Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra.
  • 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition opens in San Francisco
  • 1917 Ammunition ship explodes in Archangel harbour, about 1,500 die
  • 1917 Kern, Bolton & Wodehouse's musical "Oh, Boy!" premieres in NYC
  • 1919 French premier Clemenceau injured during assassination attempt
  • 1921 Riza Khan Pahlevi seizes control of Iran
  • 1922 Marc Connelly & George Kaufman's "To the Ladies" premieres in NYC
  • 1922 Vilinus, Lithuania, agrees to separate from Poland
  • 1922 WOR-AM in New York City begins radio transmissions
  • 1923 Christy Mathewson becomes President of Boston Braves
  • 1927 Golfers in SC arrested for violating Sabbath
  • 1929 American Samoa organizes as territory of US
  • 1929 Red Sox announce they will play Sunday games at Braves Field
  • 1930 Capelle soccer team forms
  • 1931 Congress allows California to build Oakland-Bay Bridge
  • 1932 Japanese troops occupy Tunhua China
  • 1933 Curom, Curacaose Broadcast System starts: Princess Juliana's speech
  • 1933 House of Reps completes congressional action to repeal Prohibition
  • 1933 Sidney Howard's "Alien Corn" premieres in NYC
  • 1934 Virgil Thomson's opera "4 Saints in 3 Acts" opens in NYC
  • 1935 Dane Caroline Mikkelson is 1st woman in land on Antarctica
  • 1937 1st automobile/airplane combination tested, Santa Monica, Ca

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1938 UK Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigns, says PM Chamberlain appeased Germany

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
British Prime Minister
Neville Chamberlain
  • 1940 Larry Clinton & his Orchestra record "Limehouse Blues"
  • 1941 1st transport of Jews to concentration camps leave Plotsk Poland
  • 1941 Nazis order Polish Jews barred from using public transportation
  • 1941 Romania breaks relations with Netherlands
  • 1942 Lt E H O'Hare single-handedly shoots down 5 Japanese heavy bombers, becomes America's first World War II flying ace
  • 1943 Allied troops occupy Kasserine pass in Tunisia
  • 1943 New volcano Paracutin erupts in farmer's corn field (Mexico)
  • 1943 Phil Wrigley & B Rickey charter All-American Girls Softball League
  • 1943 American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.
  • 1944 Batman & Robin comic strip premieres in newspapers
  • 1944 US takes Eniwetok Island
  • 1944 World War II: The "Big Week" began with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.
  • 1947 Chemical mixing error causes explosion that destroys 42 blocks in LA
  • 1947 Earl Mountbatten of Burma appointed as last viceroy of India to oversee the move to independence.
  • 1947 State of Prussia ceases to exist.
  • 1948 Czechoslovakia's non-communist minister resigns
  • 1949 1st International Pancake Race held (Liberal Ks)
  • 1950 Dylan Thomas arrives in NYC for his 1st US poetry reading tour
  • 1950 WOL-AM in Washington, D.C. swaps calls with WWDC
  • 1952 "African Queen" opens at Capitol Theater in NYC
  • 1952 1st black umpire in organized baseball certified (Emmett Ashford)
  • 1953 August A Busch buys the Cards for $3.75 million
  • 1953 US Court of Appeals rules that Organized Baseball is a sport & not a business, affirming the 25-year-old Supreme Court ruling
  • 1954 Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins LPGA Serbin Golf Open
  • 1954 General Zahedi wins election in Persia
  • 1955 Fay Crocker wins LPGA Serbin Golf Open
  • 1956 WOSU TV channel 34 in Columbus, OH (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1957 Hughie Tayfield takes 9-113 v England, 13 wkts for match
  • 1958 Jockey Eddie Arcaro rides his 4,000th winner
  • 1958 LA Coliseum Comm approves 2-yr pact allows Dodgers to use facility

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959 The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.

13th Prime Minister of Canada John Diefenbaker
13th Prime Minister of Canada
John Diefenbaker

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 Jimi Hendrix, rock and roll guitarist, plays his first gig.

Rock Guitarist Jimi Hendrix
Rock Guitarist
Jimi Hendrix
  • 1962 John Glenn is 1st American to orbit Earth (Friendship 7)
  • 1963 End of the Test Cricket careers of Neil Harvey & Alan Davidson

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1963 Willie Mays (SF Giants) signs a record $100,000 per year contract

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • 1965 Beatles record "That Means a Lot"
  • 1965 Ranger 8 makes hard landing on the Moon, returns photos, other data
  • 1965 Turkish government of Uerguplu forms
  • 1966 Author Valery Tarsis banished in USSR
  • 1968 State troopers used tear gas to stop demonstration at Alcorn A & M

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971 Bruin Phil Esposito is NHL's quickest to score 50 goals in a season

NHL Star Phil Esposito
NHL Star
Phil Esposito
  • 1971 Major General Idi Amin Dada appoints himself president of Uganda
  • 1971 National Emergency Center erroneously orders US radio & TV stations to go off the air. Mistake wasn't resolved for 30 minutes
  • 1972 1st time Cleveland Cavaliers beat NY Knicks (111-109)
  • 1972 Ard Schenk wins world championship for speed skating
  • 1972 Sicco Mansholt becomes chairman of European Committee
  • 1972 14th Daytona 500: A.J. Foyt wins (161.55 MPH)
  • 1973 10th time Islanders shut-out-4-0 vs Penguins
  • 1974 Cher files for separation from husband Sonny Bono

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1974 Gordie Howe comes out of retirement for $1M from Houston Aeros, WHA

Ice Hockey Legend Gordie Howe
Ice Hockey Legend
Gordie Howe
  • 1975 Leonard Baichan scores 105* on Test Cricket debut, v Pakistan Lahore

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1975 Margaret Thatcher elected leader of British Conservative Party

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
British Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher
  • 1975 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1975 A feud begains between the Official Irish Republican Army and the Irish National Liberation Army; the two groups assassinate a number of each other's volunteers until the feud ends in June 1975

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1976 Muhammad Ali KOs Jan Pierre Coopman in 5 for heavyweight boxing title

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • 1976 The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization disbands.
  • 1977 "My Fair Lady" closes at St James Theater NYC after 384 performances
  • 1977 Judy Rankin wins LPGA Orange Blossom Golf Classic
  • 1977 19th Daytona 500: Cale Yarborough wins (153.218 MPH)

Film tv awardsFilm and TV Awards

1978 4th People's Choice Awards: John Wayne & Barbra Streisand win (Motion Picture) and James Garner & Mary Tyler Moore win (TV)

Actor John Wayne
John Wayne
Singer-songwriter & Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-songwriter & Actress
Barbra Streisand
Actress Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore
  • 1978 Bob Backland beats Billy Graham in NY, to become WWF wrestling champ
  • 1978 Egypt announces it is pulling its diplomats out of Cyprus
  • 1978 Jane Blalock wins LPGA Orange Blossom Golf Classic
  • 1979 "Comin' Uptown" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 45 performances
  • 1979 11 'loyalists' known as the "Shankill Butchers" are sentenced to life in prison for 19 murders; the gang was named for its late-night kidnapping, torture and murder (by throat slashing) of random Catholic civilians in Belfast
  • 1979 29th Berlin International Film Festival: "David" wins the Golden Bear
  • 1981 Flight readiness firing of Columbia's main engines; 20 seconds
  • 1981 James Sanford equals 50m indoor world record (5.61 sec)
  • 1982 NY Islanders wins then NHL record 15th straight game
  • 1983 Japan launches Tenma satellite to study x-rays (450/570 km)
  • 1983 Roland Liboton becomes world champ cross-country cycling
  • 1983 25th Daytona 500: Cale Yarborough wins (155.979 MPH)
  • 1985 After defending his WBC flyweight championship, Sot Chitalada's check for $104,000 is stolen by a ringside pickpocket
  • 1986 LA Dodger Orel Hershiser is 1st to win a $1M salary by arbitration

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 Mike Tyson sexually harasses a woman in Albany, NY

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Mike Tyson
  • 1987 Bomb blamed on Unabomber explodes by computer store in Salt Lake City
  • 1987 David Hartman quits ABC's "Good Morning America" after 11 years
  • 1987 37th Berlin International Film Festival: "The Theme" wins the Golden Bear
  • 1988 500 die in heavy rains in Rio de Janeiro Brazil
  • 1988 Andre Hoffmann skates world record 1500m (1:52.06)
  • 1988 Brian Boitano wins Olympic gold medal in figure skating
  • 1988 Cornelia Oschkenat hurdles indoor world record 50m (6.58 sec)
  • 1988 Kelly Hrudy's 5th Islander shut-out win-Hartford 3-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1988 Peter Kalikow purchases NY Post from Rupert Murdoch for $37.6 million

Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch
Media Mogul
Rupert Murdoch
  • 1988 Rob Druppers runs world record indoor 1000m (2:16.2)
  • 1988 Stefka Kostadinova high jumps indoor world record (2.06 m)
  • 1989 Members of 1949 Oklahoma football team cancelled an April reunion because of deplorable conduct of Oklahoma players
  • 1989 An IRA bomb destroys a section of a British Army barracks in Ternhill, England
  • 1991 "Taking Steps" opens at Circle in Sq Theater NYC for 78 performances

Music awardsMusic Awards

1991 33rd Grammy Awards: Another Day in Paradise, Mariah Carey

Singer Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
  • 1991 A gigantic statue of Albania's long-time dictator, Enver Hoxha, is brought down in the Albanian capital, Tirana, by mobs of angry protesters.
  • 1992 "Private Lives" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 37 performances
  • 1992 Orthodox patriarch Shenouda III visits Netherlands
  • 1992 Ross Perot says he'll run for President on Larry King Show
  • 1993 Florida Marlins open their 1st spring training camp
  • 1993 Lisa Walters wins LPGA Itoki Hawaiian Ladies' Golf Open
  • 1993 NY Islanders retire Billy Smith's number 31
  • 1994 3 Afghans take 70 Pakistani children hostage
  • 1994 Johann Olav Koss skates world record 10 km (13:30.55)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Pope John Paul II demands juristic discrimination of homosexuals

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1994 36th Daytona 500: Sterling Marlin wins (156.931 MPH)
  • 1997 "Stanley" opens at Circle in Sq Theater NYC

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1997 SF Giants Barry Bonds signs record $22.9M 2 year contract

MLB Legend Barry Bonds
MLB Legend
Barry Bonds
  • 1998 Tara Lipinski wins Olympic figure skating gold medal
  • 1998 UN Sec-Gen Kofi Annan lands in Baghdad, for peace negotiations
  • 1998 US movie box office hits quickest $1 billion for year (51 days)
  • 2000 42nd Daytona 500: Dale Jarrett wins (155.669 MPH)
  • 2001 The United States Supreme Court declines to consider an appeal by five major oil companies against Unocal's patent on production of cleaner "reformulated" gasoline sold in California
  • 2002 In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injures over 65 and kills at least 370.
  • 2003 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 300 others.
  • 2005 Spain becomes the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.
  • 2005 54th NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 125-115 at Denver
  • 2005 47th Daytona 500: Jeff Gordon wins (135.173 MPH)
  • 2010 On the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira heavy rain causes floods and mudslides, leaving at least 32 deaths in the worst disaster on the history of the archipelago.
  • 2011 60th NBA All-Star Game: West beats East 148-143 at Los Angeles
  • 2011 53rd Daytona 500: Trevor Bayne wins (130.326 MPH)
  • 2012 South Korea angers North Korea as it proceeds with live fire drills in disputed Korean sea borders
  • 2012 Scientists successfully regenerate Silene stenophylla from a 31,800 year old piece of fruit, greatly surpassing the previous record of 2,000 years
  • 2013 Estonia becomes the first country to establish a national system of fast chargers for electric cars
  • 2013 Kepler-37b, the smallest known exoplanet, is discovered

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016 Jeb Bush suspends his presidential campaign

US Governor Jeb Bush
US Governor
Jeb Bush

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2016 US primary elections: South Carolina Republican Primary - Donald Trump wins with 32.5%

Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2016 US primary elections: Nevada Democratic Primary - Hillary Clinton wins with 52.6%

Politician and US First Lady Hillary Clinton
Politician and US First Lady
Hillary Clinton
  • 2016 Gunman goes on random killing spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan, killing 6
  • 2016 Tropical Cyclone Winston hits Fiji, killing at least 29 - most powerful storm on record in Southern Hemisphere winds 296 kilometers per hour (184 mph)