On This Day in History for April 20

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 127

  • 295 8th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
  • 850 Guntherus becomes bishop of Cologne
  • 1139 2nd Lateran Council (10th ecumenical council) opens in Rome
  • 1505 Jews are expelled from Orange Burgandy by Philibert of Luxembourg
  • 1551 John Dudley becomes Earl Marshal of England

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1611 First known performance of Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth at the Globe Theatre, London recorded by Simon Forman

  • 1650 Dutch East India Company (VOC) management sets new guidelines

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1653 Oliver Cromwell routes English parliament to house

English Military and Political Leader Oliver Cromwell
English Military and Political Leader
Oliver Cromwell
  • 1657 Battle in Santa Cruz Bay, Tenerife: English fleet under Robert Blake sinks Spanish silver fleet
  • 1689 The former King James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.
  • 1702 Comet C/1702 H1 approaches within 0.0437 AUs of Earth
  • 1715 Nicholas Rowe's play "The Tragedy of Lady Jane Grey" premieres in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1736 French mathematician Pierre Louis Maupertuis begins Lapland expedition to measure latitude and shape of the earth, joined by fellow scientists Anders Celsius, Charles Etienne Louis Camus, Alexis Clairaut, and Pierre-Charles Le Monnier

Astronomer Anders Celsius
Astronomer
Anders Celsius

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1770 Captain James Cook arrives in New South Wales

Captain/Explorer James Cook
Captain/Explorer
James Cook
  • 1777 New York adopts new constitution as an independent state
  • 1785 Thomas Warton appointed British Poet Laureate by King George III
  • 1792 France declares war on Austria, Prussia & Sardinia
  • 1799 Friedrich von Schiller's "Wallensteins Tod" premieres in Weimar

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1809 Napoleon I and French forces defeat Austria at Battle of Abensberg, Bavaria

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1810 The Governors of Caracas declares the national sovereignty from Spain.
  • 1828 Frenchman René Caillié is the first non-Muslim to enter Timbuktu, returns to win 10,000 franc prize from Société de Géographie
  • 1836 Territory of Wisconsin created

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862 First pasteurization test completed by Frenchmen Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard

Bacteriologist Louis Pasteur
Bacteriologist
Louis Pasteur
  • 1871 3rd Enforcement Act (President can suspend writ of habeas corpus)
  • 1872 SF Bar Association organized
  • 1879 1st mobile home (horse drawn) used in a journey from London & Cyprus
  • 1884 Pope Leo XIII encyclical "On Freemasonry"
  • 1888 246 reported killed by hail in Moradabad, India
  • 1894 136,000 mine workers strike in Ohio for pay increase
  • 1898 US Assay Office in Deadwood, South Dakota opens
  • 1902 Marie and Pierre Curie isolate the radioactive element radium chloride

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1904 George Bernard Shaw's "Candida" premieres in London

  • 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition opens in St Louis
  • 1910 Halley's Comet passes 29th recorded perihelion at 87.9 million km
  • 1914 33 killed by soldiers during mine strike in Ludlow, Colo
  • 1914 US President W Wilson, having dispatched more naval ships to Mexico, asks a joint session of Congress to approve armed force if necessary; Congress approves
  • 1915 The Armenians rise and seize the Turkish town of Van, which they hold until Russians relieve them on 19 May; thousands of Armenians are killed
  • 1916 German-British sea battle off Belgian coast

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1918 Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

World War I Fighter Ace The Red Baron
World War I Fighter Ace
The Red Baron
  • 1919 Polish Army captures Vilno, Lithuania from Soviet Army
  • 1919 King Nicholas of Montenegro abdicates under duress

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1920 Balfour Declaration recognized, makes Palestine a British Mandate

British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour
British Prime Minister
Arthur Balfour
  • 1920 Tornadoes kill 219 in Alabama & Mississippi
  • 1926 1st check sent by radio facsimile transmission across Atlantic

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1934 Heinrich Himmler becomes inspector Prussian secret state police

Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler
Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS
Heinrich Himmler
  • 1935 "Your Hit Parade" begins broadcasting (becomes #1 quickly)
  • 1936 Jews repel an Arab attack in Petach Tikvah Palestine
  • 1940 1st electron microscope demonstrated (RCA), Philadelphia, Pa
  • 1941 100 German bombers attack Athens
  • 1942 German occupiers forbids Dutch access to their beach
  • 1944 Dutch Communist Party resistance fighter John Postma sentence to death
  • 1945 German occupiers flood Beemster & Fencer
  • 1945 Soviet artillery begins shelling Berlin
  • 1945 US 7th army captured German city of Nuremberg
  • 1945 US forces conquer Motobu peninsula on Okinawa
  • 1947 Frederik IX becomes king of Denmark
  • 1948 NYC hikes subway fare from 5 cents to 10 cents
  • 1948 Walter P Reuther UAW pres shot & wounded at his home in Detroit
  • 1951 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • 1951 Velsen city council demands investigation of police collaborators
  • 1957 Yankee Bill Skowron becomes 3rd player to hit a ball out of Fenway
  • 1958 Buses replace Key System trains at 3 AM
  • 1958 Morocco demands departure of Spanish troops
  • 1961 American Harold Graham makes 1st rocket belt flight

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1962 NASA civilian pilot Neil Armstrong takes X-15 to 63,250 m

Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon Neil Armstrong
Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon
Neil Armstrong
  • 1962 New Orleans Citizens Co gives free 1-way ride to blacks to move North
  • 1962 OAS-leader ex-general Salan arrested in Algiers
  • 1963 -30] All Africa Conferences of Churches opens in Kampala Uganda
  • 1964 86% of black students boycott Cleveland schools
  • 1965 People's Republic China offers North Vietnam military aid
  • 1967 French author Régis Debray caught in Bolivia
  • 1967 US Surveyor 3 lands on Moon
  • 1967 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1967 A Globe Air Bristol Britannia turboprop crashes at Nicosia, Cyprus, killing 126.
  • 1968 South African Airways Boeing 707 crashes at Windhoek, 122 killed
  • 1968 British politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial "Rivers of Blood" speech

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 Pierre Trudeau sworn in as Canada's 15th Prime Minister

Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Pierre Trudeau
  • 1969 23rd Tony Awards: Great White Hope & 1776 win
  • 1969 Bombs planted by Loyalists members of the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers explode at Silent Valley reservoir in County Down and at an electricity pylon at Kilmore, County Armagh
  • 1970 Bruno Kreisky becomes 1st socialist chancellor of Austria
  • 1970 Ron Hill's 2:10:30 at Boston, sets new US marathon record
  • 1971 US Supreme Court upholds use of busing to achieve racial desegregation
  • 1972 Apollo 16's Young & Duke land on Moon with Boeing Lunar Rover #2
  • 1973 Mass murderer Ed Kemper attempted to dispose of his mother's vocal chords in a domestic waste disposal unit.
  • 1973 Canadian ANIK A2 becomes 1st commercial satellite in orbit
  • 1974 Paul McCartney & Wings release single "Band on the Run"
  • 1974 'The Troubles', the Northern Ireland conflict between republican and loyalist paramilitaries, British security forces, and civil rights groups, claims its 1000th victim
  • 1975 29th Tony Awards: Equus & Wiz win
  • 1977 Supreme Court rules "Live Free or Die" may be covered on NH licenses
  • 1980 Cubans begin to arrive in US from Mariel boatlift
  • 1980 Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria sees hundreds of Berber political activists arrested
  • 1982 The Provisional Irish Republican Army explode bombs in Belfast, Derry, Armagh, Ballymena, Bessbrook and Magherafelt; 2 civilians are killed and 12 injured
  • 1983 Soyuz T-8 launched; mission aborted when capsule fails to dock
  • 1983 Soyuz T-8 is launched (lands 2 days later)
  • 1984 Russian offensive in Panshirvallei Afghanistan
  • 1985 Firestone World Bowling Tournament of Champions won by Mark Williams
  • 1985 Karyn Marshall of NYC lifted 303 lbs in a clean & jerk lift
  • 1985 ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.
  • 1986 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1986 Vladimir Horowitz performs in his Russian homeland

Birthdays in History

  • 702 Jafar Sadiq, Muslim scholar (d. 765)
  • 1494 John Agricola, [Schneider], German theologist/prime minister
  • 1586 Saint Rose of Lima, Peruvian saint (d. 1617)
  • 1592 John Eliot, St Germans Cornwall, English MP/author
  • 1633 Emperor Go-Komyo of Japan (d. 1654)
  • 1646 Charles Plumier, French botanist (d. 1704)
  • 1650 William Bedloe, English informer (d. 1680)
  • 1668 Yuri Troubetzkoy, Governor of Belgorod (d. 1739)
  • 1718 David Brainerd, American missionary (d. 1747)
  • 1723 Cornelius Harnett, American delegate to the Continental Congress (d. 1781)
  • 1726 Jozef de Ferraris, French/Austrian earl/general/cartographer
  • 1745 Philippe Pinel, physician, founder of psychiatry
  • 1808 Louis-Napoleon (Napoleon III), emperor of France (1852-71)
  • 1809 John Smith Preston, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1881)
  • 1818 Heinrich Göbel, German-born inventor (d. 1893)
  • 1824 Alfred Holt Colquitt, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1894)
  • 1826 Dinah Craik, English writer (John Halifax, Gentleman), born in Stoke-on-Trent (d. 1887)
  • 1827 John Gibbon, Major General (Union volunteers), (d. 1896)
  • 1839 Carol I, King of Romania (1881-1914)
  • 1840 Odilon Redon [Bertrand-Jean Redon], French symbolist painter, born in Bordeaux (d. 1916)
  • 1850 Daniel Chester, French/American sculptor (Minute Man)
  • 1857 Charles LP "Philip" Zilcken, painter/author (HW Knife Day)
  • 1857 Hermann Bang, Danish writer, born in Asserballe (d. 1912)
  • 1860 Charles Gordon Curtis, US attorney/inventor (Curtis Turbine)
  • 1860 Pieter Jelles Troelstra, Dutch MP (SDAP)
  • 1870 Maulvi Abdul Haq, Father of Urdu, Pakistani scholar (d. 1961)
  • 1871 William Henry Davies, Wales, poet (Autobiography of a Super Tramp)
  • 1879 Robert Lynd, Irish writer/critic (Pleasures of Ignorance)
  • 1879 Paul Poiret, French couturier (d. 1944)
  • 1882 Holland Smith, U.S. General (d. 1967)
  • 1884 Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (d. 1966)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1889 Adolf Hitler, Austrian-born German dictator and Führer of Nazi Germany (1936-45), born in Gasthof zum Pommer, Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary (d. 1945)

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1889 Albert Jean Amateau, Turkish-born businessman and social activist (d. 1996)
  • 1890 Maurice Duplessis, premier of Québec, known as "Le Chef" (d. 1959)
  • 1893 Harold Lloyd, Burchard Neb, silent comic (Why Worry, Safety Last)
  • 1893 Hermann Ungar, Moravian writer, born in Boskovice (d. 1929)
  • 1893 Edna Parker, American supercentenarian
  • 1893 Joan Miró, Spanish painter and sculptor (d. 1983)
  • 1894 Martinus Nijhoff, poet/interpreter/linguistic (spelling)
  • 1896 Wop May, Canadian aviator (d. 1952)
  • 1897 Bernard Verhoeven, poet/literature (About the Laugh)
  • 1900 Kees Verwey, painter/water colors painter/cartoonist
  • 1901 Michel Leiris, French cultural anthropologist
  • 1903 Dagmar Edqvist, Swedish author (Kamrathustru-Wife & Comrade)
  • 1904 George Stibitz, American scientist (d. 1995)
  • 1908 Wilhelmus M Bekkers, bishop of Hertogenbosch
  • 1909 Guido Alberti, literary patron/businessman
  • 1909 Richard Stubbs, publicity adviser
  • 1910 Robert F. Wagner Jr., Mayor of New York City (Democrat: 1954-65), born in NYC, New York (d. 1991)
  • 1911 Kukrit Pramoj, politician
  • 1912 Ed Jones, (Rep-D-TN, 1969- )
  • 1912 Frederick Craig Riddle, violist
  • 1912 Soewarsil Djojopoespito, Indonesia, writer (Toe the Line)
  • 1915 Joseph Wolpe, South African-born psychotherapist (d. 1997)
  • 1919 Richard Hillary, Australian Spitfire pilot and author (d. 1943)
  • 1920 John Paul Stevens, Illinois, 103rd Supreme Court Justice (1975- )
  • 1920 Ronald Speirs, WWII Veteran (d. 2007)
  • 1921 Donald Gunn MacRae, sociologist
  • 1924 Paul M Van Buren, US theologist (Theological Explorations)
  • 1926 Harriett Elizabeth Byrd, politician (Wyoming house of Reps)
  • 1927 Karl Muller, Switzerland, superconductivity physicist (Nobel 1987)
  • 1928 Gerald S. Hawkins, English astronomer (d. 2003)
  • 1931 Lee H Hamilton, Daytona Beach Fla, (Rep-D-Ind, 1965- )
  • 1934 Lindsay Oliver John Boynton, furniture historian
  • 1936 Pat Roberts, Topeka, Kansas, US Senator (Rep-R-KS, 1981-1997)
  • 1936 Pauli Ellefsen, Miðvágur, Vágar, Faroe Islands, Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands
  • 1939 Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norwegian Prime Minister (1981-82, 1986-89, 1990-96) and Director-General of the World Health Organisation, born in Bærum, Norway
  • 1939 Peter S. Beagle, American author
  • 1940 Jan Cremer, Dutch writer/sculptor (I, John Cremer)
  • 1940 Pilar Miro, director (Wether, Beltenebros)
  • 1941 Joni Evans, American publisher (Simon & Schuster, Random House), born in NYC, New York
  • 1943 Ian Watson, British sci-fi author (Book of Being, Whores of Babylon)
  • 1947 Andrew Tobias, American journalist and author
  • 1948 Rémy Trudel, French Canadian politician
  • 1950 Itumeleng J Mosala, South African president (Azanian People's Org)
  • 1950 Steve Erickson, American novelist
  • 1950 Chandra Babu Naidu, Indian politician
  • 1952 Tamara Sergeyevna Zakharova, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1952 Toine van Benthem, dentist/playwright/cabaret performer (Purper)
  • 1953 Sebastian Faulks, British novelist
  • 1955 Donald R Pettit, Silverton Oregon, PhD/astronaut
  • 1956 Beatrice Ask, Swedish politician
  • 1963 Aubrey de Grey, British biomedical gerontologist
  • 1965 Kostas Hatzidakis, Greek politician
  • 1965 Adrian Fernández, Mexican racing driver
  • 1966 David Chalmers, Australian philosopher
  • 1970 Adriano Moraes, Brazilian rodeo performer
  • 1973 Geoff Lloyd, British radio presenter
  • 1978 Mirei Kuroda, Japanese gravure idol
  • 1984 Tyson Griffin, American mixed martial artist
  • 1986 Cameron Duncan, New Zealand director (d. 2003)

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

1914 Poet and critic Ezra Pound (28) weds Dorothy Shakespear

  • 1968 The Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein (24) weds fellow reporter Carol Honsa
  • 2013 "Hart of Dixie" actor Scott Porter (33) weds Kelsey Mayfield in Austin, Texas

Deaths in History

  • 1164 Victor IV, [Ottaviano Montecello], Italian antipope (1159-64), dies
  • 1176 Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, English soldier (b. 1130)
  • 1314 Clement V, [Bertrand Got], pope (1305-14) move papacy to Avignon, dies
  • 1317 Agnes van Montepulciano, Italian mystic/saint, dies
  • 1521 Zhengde, Emperor of China (b. 1491)
  • 1534 Elizabeth Barton, [St Magd van Kent], English nun and prophet (only women whose head was on a spike on London Bridge), hung for treason
  • 1558 Johannes Bugenhagen, German reformer (b. 1485)
  • 1632 Nicolas Antione, converted to Judiasm, burned at the stake
  • 1662 Gerard Terborch, the elder, painter, dies
  • 1703 Lancelot Addison, English royal chaplain (b. 1632)
  • 1765 Abigail Williams, American accuser in the Salem witch trials (b. 1674)
  • 1769 Pontiac, indian chief to Ottawa, murdered
  • 1786 John Goodricke, English deaf & dumb astronomer, dies at 21
  • 1812 George Clinton, 4th US VP, dies at 73 1st VP to, die in office
  • 1820 Arthur Young, author (Annals of Agriculture), dies
  • 1821 Franz K Achard, German physicist/chemist, dies at 67
  • 1831 John Abernethy, English surgeon (b. 1764)
  • 1836 Johan I Jozef, monarch of Liechtenstein/fieldmarshal, dies at 75
  • 1872 Ljudwit Gaj, Croatian writer/poet (Pjesma iz Zagorja), dies at 62
  • 1873 William Tite, English architect (b. 1798)
  • 1874 Alexander H. Bailey, American politician (b. 1817)
  • 1887 Muhammad Sharif Pasha, Egyptian statesman (b. 1826)
  • 1899 Joseph Wolf, German artist (b. 1820)
  • 1906 Australian wombat; oldest known marsupial, dies in London Zoo at 26

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1912 Bram Stoker, Irish theater manager/writer (Dracula), dies at 64

Novelist Bram Stoker
Novelist
Bram Stoker
  • 1932 Giuseppe Peano, mathematician, dies
  • 1935 Juliaan de Vriendt, Flemish painter, dies at 92
  • 1941 Barend ter Haar, Dutch lawyer, dies in Buchenwald at 49
  • 1947 Christian X, king of Denmark (1912-47), dies at 76
  • 1951 Ivanoe Bonomi, Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1873)
  • 1953 Erich Weinert, German communist writer, dies at 62
  • 1962 Jesse G Vincent, engineer designed 1st V-12 engine, dies at 82
  • 1965 Dick Wessel, dies of heart attack on 52nd birthday
  • 1974 Mohammed Ayub Khan, premier/president (Pakistan), dies
  • 1974 Richard Huelsenbeck, German Dada writer, dies at 81
  • 1977 Sepp Herberger, German football coach (b. 1897)
  • 1979 Peter Donald, host (Masquerade Party), dies at 60
  • 1982 Archibald MacLeish, US, lawyer/writer (Conquistador), dies at 89
  • 1983 Jerzy Andrezjewski, writer, dies
  • 1984 Hristo Prodanov, Bulgarian mountaineer (b. 1943)
  • 1986 Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist and writer (b. 1916)
  • 1990 Horst Sinderman, RDA 1st minister (1973-76), dies
  • 1991 Don[ald] Siegel, US director (Coogan's Bluff/Dirty Harry), dies at 78
  • 1991 Jumjaagiyn Tsedenbal, Mongolian politician, dies
  • 1991 Sean O'Faolain, [J Whelan], Irish writer (Nest of Simple), dies at 91
  • 1991 Yumzhagin Tsendenbal, PM of Mongolia (1952-74), dies
  • 1995 Milovan Djilas, Yugoslavian politician (1945-54), dies
  • 1995 Sunil Jayasinghe, Sri Lankan wicketkeeper (1979 World Cup), suicide
  • 1995 Tessie O'Shea, Welsh stage and screen entertainer, dies at 81
  • 1996 Christopher Robin Milne, bookseller, dies at 75
  • 1996 Tran Van Tra, soldier, dies at 77
  • 1999 Victims and shooters of the Columbine High School massacre
  • 2003 Bernard Katz, German-born biophysicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1911)
  • 2005 Fumio Niwa, Japanese novelist (b. 1904)
  • 2006 Anna Svidersky (b. 1988)
  • 2007 Michael Fu Tieshan, Chinese bishop (b. 1931).
  • 2008 Monica Lovinescu, Romanian essayist, literary critic and journalist (b. 1923)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2010 Dorothy Height, American civil rights activist, dies at 98

Women's and Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Height
Women's and Civil Rights Activist
Dorothy Height
  • 2011 Tim Hetherington, British-American photojournalist (b. 1970)
  • 2011 Chris Hondros, American photographer (b. 1970)
  • 2013 Howard Phillips, American politician, dies from dementia and Alzheimer's disease at 72
  • 2015 Sir Raymond Carr, English historian and warden (St Antony's College Oxford), dies at 96
  • 2016 Guy Hamilton, British director (Goldfinger), dies at 93