On This Day in History for December 20

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 144

  • 69 General Vespasian's troops occupy Rome after defeating the Emperor Vitellius
  • 1046 Synod of Sutri: German King Henry III removes Popes Gregory VI
  • 1046 Benedictus IX & Silvester III & names Bishop Siutger, Pope Clemens II at the Council of Sutri

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1192 Richard the Lionhearted captured in Vienna

  • 1448 Pope Nicholas V appoints Rudolf of Diepholt, Bishop of Utrecht, as cardinal

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1522 Suleiman the Magnificent accepts surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. Eventually settle in Malta, become known as the Knights of Malta.

Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent
Ottoman Sultan
Suleiman the Magnificent
  • 1585 English fleet & Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, reach Vlissingen
  • 1606 Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown, Virginia
  • 1626 Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II and Prince of Transylvania Gabor Bethlen sign Peace of Pressburg (Bratislava)
  • 1661 Corporation Act enforced in England
  • 1669 1st jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection & sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery
  • 1688 Prince William of Orange's troops arrive in London
  • 1694 Frederik van Brandenburg flees Schweiben

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1699 Russian Tsar Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed from Sept 1 to Jan 1

Russian Tsar Peter the Great
Russian Tsar
Peter the Great
  • 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie's army reaches the river Esk
  • 1780 Britain declares war on Holland
  • 1790 1st successful US cotton mill to spin yarn in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • 1803 French flag lowered in New Orleans to mark formal transfer of Louisiana Purchase from France to US for $27M

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1812 "Grimm's Fairy Tales" by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is published

  • 1820 Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 & 50
  • 1830 Great Britain, France, Prussia, Austria and Russia recognize Belgium
  • 1850 Hawaiian post office established
  • 1860 South Carolina secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • 1861 Battle of Dranesville, VA
  • 1862 -Dec 20th] Battle of Kelly's Ford, VA
  • 1862 -Jan 3rd] Vicksburg campaign
  • 1862 Confederate raid on Union supplies at Holly Springs, Mississippi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862 Confederate Army Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest occupies Trenton, Kentucky (US Civil War)

Confederate General and KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest
Confederate General and KKK Grand Wizard
Nathan Bedford Forrest
  • 1864 -Dec 27th] Battle of Ft Fisher, NC
  • 1865 De Clear-Alkmaar railway opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1879 Thomas Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park

Inventor Thomas Edison
Inventor
Thomas Edison
  • 1880 Battle at Bronker's Spruit, Transvaal: Farmers beat Britten
  • 1880 NY's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"
  • 1883 Intl cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls
  • 1891 Strongman Louis Cyr withstands pull of 4 horses
  • 1892 Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse, NY
  • 1893 1st state anti-lynching statute approved, in Georgia
  • 1900 Giacobini discovers a comet (will be 1st comet visited by spacecraft)
  • 1906 Venezuela (under vice-pres Gomez) attacks Dutch fleet
  • 1907 Explosion at Yolande Alabama, coal mine kills 91
  • 1912 J Hartley Manners' "Peg O' My Heart" premieres in NYC
  • 1912 Paul Claudels "L'Annonce Faite à Marie" premieres in Paris
  • 1915 Russian troops overrun Qom, Persia
  • 1915 Final withdraw of all allied troops from Anzac Cove

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1917 Cheka formed - Soviet state security force and forerunner to the KGB, under Felix Dzerzhinsky after decree by Lenin

Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader Vladimir Lenin
Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader
Vladimir Lenin
  • 1917 A second nationwide referendum on military conscription is rejected by the Australian public
  • 1918 Eugene O'Neill's "Moon of the Caribees" premieres in NYC
  • 1918 The Allies turn their attention to Bolshevik expansion in the East, landing troops in Crimea and Latvia
  • 1919 Canadian National Railways established (N America's longest, 50,000 KM)
  • 1919 US House of Representatives restricts immigration

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1920 Bob Hope becomes an American citizen

Entertainer Bob Hope
Entertainer
Bob Hope
  • 1922 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR)
  • 1922 Polish parliament selects Stanislaw Wojcieckowski as president

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1924 Adolf Hitler freed from jail early

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1926 Cards trade Rogers Hornsby to Giants for Frankie Frisch & Jimmy Ring
  • 1926 Pope Pius XI convicts fascist pursuit in Italy
  • 1926 Sidney Howard's "Silver Cord" premieres in NYC
  • 1928 1st international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Quebec
  • 1928 Ethel Barrymore Theater opens at 243 W 47th St NYC
  • 1929 Mount Davidson dedicated as a San Francisco city park
  • 1932 Queensland all out 74 v Victoria, Ironmonger (age 50) 7-13
  • 1933 Bolivia & Paraguay sign cease fire
  • 1935 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii
  • 1937 Bill O'Reilly takes 9-41 for NSW against South Australia
  • 1939 Radio Australia begins overseas shortwave service
  • 1941 Free France under adm Muselier occupies St-Pierre et Miquelon
  • 1941 Japanese troops land on Mindanao, Philippines
  • 1941 World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" in Kunming, China.
  • 1942 1st Japanese bombing of Calcutta
  • 1943 "Internationale" is no longer USSR National Anthem
  • 1944 Archbishop De Young & bishop Huibers condemn black market
  • 1944 Battle of Bastogne: Nazis surround 101st Airborne (NUTS!)
  • 1944 Bishop forbids membership of non Catholic unions
  • 1944 Terence Rattigan's "O Mistress Mine" premieres in London
  • 1945 Rationing of auto tires ends in US
  • 1948 Second Chamber accept 2nd Police Action in Indonesia
  • 1949 Maurice Ravel and John Cranko's ballet "Beauty & the Beast" premieres
  • 1951 Walter Zinn's Experimental Breeder Reactor I, the first nuclear reactor to produce electric power, goes live at the Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  • 1955 Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales
  • 1956 Military coup under colonel Simbolon in Sumatra
  • 1956 Montgomery, Alabama removes race-based seat assignments on its buses
  • 1959 Jasu Patel takes 9-69, India v Australia at Kanpur
  • 1960 Auschwitz commandant Richard Bar arrested in German FR
  • 1960 The National Liberation Front, better known as the Viet Cong, is officially formed in South Vietnam
  • 1962 Osmond brothers debut on Andy Williams Show
  • 1963 Berlin Wall opens for 1st time to West Berliners
  • 1963 Massemba-Debate elected President of Congo-Brazzaville
  • 1963 Trial against 21 camp guards of Auschwitz begins
  • 1964 Levi Eshkol forms 12th Israeli government
  • 1966 Nuclear Planning Group forms in Brussels
  • 1966 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1967 474,300 US soldiers in Vietnam
  • 1968 The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
  • 1968 The People's Democracy (PD) announce that its members will undertake a protest march from Belfast to Derry beginning 1 January 1969
  • 1970 Edward Gierek succeeds Wladyslaw Gomulka as Poland's communist party leader
  • 1971 Pakistan president Yahya Khan resigns

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971 First preview issue of "Ms" magazine is published in the US launched by Gloria Steinem

Journalist Gloria Steinem
Journalist
Gloria Steinem

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972 Neil Simons "Sunshine Boys" premieres in NYC

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon
Playwright and screenwriter
Neil Simon
  • 1972 Five civilians (four Catholics, one Protestant) killed in gun attack on the Top of the Hill Bar in Derry, North Ireland
  • 1973 AL pres Joe Cronin refuses to allow Dick Williams to manage Yankees

Birthdays in History

  • 1494 Oronce Finé, French mathematician (d. 1555)
  • 1537 John III, King of Sweden (1568-92), born in Östergötland, Sweden (d. 1592)
  • 1566 Edward Wightman, English Baptist preacher (d. 1612)
  • 1579 John Fletcher, Elizabethan dramatist (Phylaster) (baptized)
  • 1626 Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman (d. 1692)
  • 1629 Pieter de Hoogh, Dutch painter
  • 1659 Francois Fagel, Dutch lawyer/statesman
  • 1717 Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, French statesman and diplomat (d. 1787)
  • 1792 Nicolas Charlet, French painter (d. 1845)
  • 1807 Richard Lucian Page, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1901)
  • 1808 Thomas Tinsley Craven, Commander (Union Navy), (d. 1887)
  • 1813 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, (Gov-Iowa)/US Sect of Interior (1881-82)
  • 1819 John Geary, 1st SF postmaster, 1st mayor (May 1, 1850)
  • 1825 Romeyn Beck Ayres, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Manheim, New York (d. 1888)
  • 1833 Samuel A Mudd, doctor, convicted of giving medical aid to JW Booth
  • 1838 Edwin Abbott Abbott, English schoolmaster, theologian, and author (d. 1926)
  • 1841 Ferdinand Buisson, French pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1932)
  • 1858 Jean/Johannes T "Jan" Toorop, Dutch painter/graphic artist (3 Brides)
  • 1859 Antonius J Derkinderen, Dutch painter/etcher
  • 1860 Dan Leno, English entertainer (d. 1904)
  • 1861 Ivana Kobilca, Slovenian painter (d. 1926)
  • 1865 Maude Gonne, Irish nationalist (Irish Joan of Arc)
  • 1865 Elsie De Wolfe, American socialite and interior decorator (d. 1950)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1868 Harvey Firestone, American industrialist and founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company ("where the rubber meets the road"), born in Columbiana, Ohio (d. 1938)

Tire Industrialist Harvey Firestone
Tire Industrialist
Harvey Firestone
  • 1870 Pieter C Boutens, Dutch poet (Voices, Carmina)
  • 1873 Kwan-Ichi Asakawa, Japanese historian(d. 1948)
  • 1875 T F Powys, Wales, writer (Captain Patch, Goat Green)
  • 1876 Jan Van Oudshoorn, [Jan K Feylbrief], Dutch writer (Maze of Senses)
  • 1876 Walter S Adams, US astronomer/director of Mount Wilson (1923-46)
  • 1884 Marius HLW "Max" Blokzijl, Dutch nazi collaborator/traitor

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1894 Robert Menzies, 12th Prime Minister of Australia (United Australia Party: 1939-41, Liberal: 1949-66) and its longest-serving, born in Jeparit, Victoria (d. 1978)

12th Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies
12th Australian Prime Minister
Robert Menzies
  • 1895 Susanne Langer, US, philosopher/educator (Philosophy in a New Key)
  • 1900 Gabby Harnett, (NL MVP 1935)
  • 1901 Louis I Kahn, US architect [or Feb 20]
  • 1901 Robert Van de Graaff, Alabama, physicist (Mobility of Gaseous Ions)
  • 1902 George EAE, English prince/earl of St Andrews
  • 1902 Max Lerner, US, columnist (NY Post)
  • 1902 Sidney Hook, anticommunist philosopher (Paradoxes of Freedom)
  • 1902 George Edward Alexander Windsor, Duke of Kent (d. 1942)
  • 1904 [Schmidt] Hans Burkhardt, artist
  • 1906 Dick White, head of British secret service (MI-5/MI-6)
  • 1906 Irving Krick, meteorologist
  • 1908 Francis Turner, American civil engineer (oversaw the Interstate Highway System), born in Dallas, Texas (d. 1999)
  • 1909 Vakkom Majeed, Indian politician (d. 2000)
  • 1911 Hortense Calisher, American novelist (Arts & Letters 1967), born in NYC, New York
  • 1915 Aziz Nesin, Turkish writer, born on Heybeliada, Ottoman Empire (d. 1995)
  • 1916 Michel Chartrand, Quebec union leader
  • 1917 David Bohm, American-born physicist, philosopher, and neuropsychologist (d. 1992)
  • 1922 George Roy Hill, dir (Slap Shot, Little Drummer Girl, Little Romance)
  • 1925 Bob de Moor, Flemish comic strip artist (Kuifje, Lion of Flanders)
  • 1925 Datuk Seri Mahathir bin Mahamad, premier of Malaysia (1981- )
  • 1925 Frederick Edward Nicklin, architect
  • 1926 David Levine, US painter
  • 1926 Otto Graf Lambsdorff, German politician
  • 1927 Kim Young-sam, politician and activist - President of South Korea (1993-98), born in Geoje (d. 2015)
  • 1929 Milan Panic, premier of little Yugoslavia
  • 1933 Gordon Getty, son and heir of J. Paul Getty, born in Los Angeles
  • 1933 Jean Carnahan, U.S. Senator
  • 1939 Dianne Arndt, artist/photographer
  • 1941 Frank Creton, Suriname/Neth painter
  • 1944 Gernot Wolfgruber, Austrian writer, born in Gmünd

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1946 Uri Geller, Israeli magician and psychic who is known for bending forks, born in Tel Aviv, Israel

Psychic, illusionist Uri Geller
Psychic, illusionist
Uri Geller

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1946 Dick Wolf, American television series creator (Miami Vice, Law & Order), born in NYC, New York

Crime Drama Producer Dick Wolf
Crime Drama Producer
Dick Wolf
  • 1949 Soumaïla Cissé, Malian politician
  • 1951 Peter May, Scottish novelist and scriptwriter
  • 1954 Sandra Cisneros, American writer
  • 1955 Sammy Mitchell, US programmer (Qedit/TSE/Semware)
  • 1958 Steve Sailer, American political commentator
  • 1959 Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Prime Minister of Poland
  • 1960 Carolyn Seaward, Devonshire England, Miss United Kingdom (1979)
  • 1960 Nalo Hopkinson, Canadian writer
  • 1963 Infanta Elena of Spain
  • 1966 Ed de Goey, Dutch soccer goalie (Feyenoord)
  • 1976 Adam Powell, Neopets creator
  • 1976 Ramon Stoppelenburg, world traveler and Dutch author
  • 1987 Tariel Zintiridis, Greek judoka
  • 1989 Virgilio Falco, Italian politician

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

1832 Inventor William Henry Fox Talbot (32) weds Constance Mundy

Photography Pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot
Photography Pioneer
William Henry Fox Talbot

HeartWedding of Interest

1964 Fashion designer Ralph Lauren (25) weds Ricky Anne Loew-Beer in NYC, New York

Fashion Designer Ralph Lauren
Fashion Designer
Ralph Lauren

HeartWedding of Interest

1989 Business magnate Richard Branson (39) weds Joan Templeman in British Virgin Islands

Business Magnate Richard Branson
Business Magnate
Richard Branson

Deaths in History

  • 217 Pope Zephyrinus, Bishop of Rome (199-217)
  • 860 King Ethelbald of Wessex
  • 910 Alfonso III the Great, King of Leon, Galicia and Asturias, dies
  • 1022 Elvira Mendes, wife of Alfonso V of Castile (b. 996)
  • 1073 Domingo, Spanish monastery founder/abbot/saint, dies
  • 1355 Stefanus IX Uros IV Dusan, king (1331-46)/Serbia (1346-55), dies
  • 1494 Matteo Maria Boiardo, Italian poet
  • 1524 Thomas Linacre, English scholar and physician
  • 1590 Ambroise Paré, French physician (b. 1510)
  • 1632 Nicolas Antoine, French cath pastor who converted to Judaism, executed
  • 1676 John Galle, Flemish engraver/printer, dies at 76
  • 1679 Johan Maurits, count of Nassau-Siegen, dies at 75
  • 1722 Kangxi Emperor of China (b. 1654)
  • 1723 Augustus Quirinus Rivinus (b. 1652)
  • 1740 Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon, English military officer and statesman (b. 1675)
  • 1749 Pakubuwono II, susuhunan of Mataram Java, dies
  • 1768 Carlo Innocenzio Maria Frugoni, Italian poet (b. 1692)
  • 1798 Cornelis Ploos van Amstel, Dutch engraver/art collector, dies at 72

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1812 Sacagawea, Shoshone interpreter for Lewis & Clark, dies at 24

Interpreter and Guide Sacagawea
Interpreter and Guide
Sacagawea
  • 1815 Giovanni Meli, Sicilian poet (Buccolica), dies at 75
  • 1856 Francesco Bentivegna, Italian revolutionary (b. 1820)
  • 1862 Robert Knox Scottish surgeon, anatomist and zoologist
  • 1875 Michail P Pogodin, Russian historian/writer (Povesti), dies at 75
  • 1876 Hannah Omish, at 12 is youngest ever hanged in US
  • 1921 Hans Hartwig von Beseler, German general (b. 1850)
  • 1929 Emile Loubet, French premier (1892)/president (1899-1906), dies at 90
  • 1935 Martin O'Meara, Australian soldier (b. 1882)
  • 1936 Baron De Borchgrave, Belgian ambassador, murdered in Madrid
  • 1937 Erich Ludendorff, German general (WW I), dies at 72
  • 1938 Annie Armstrong, American missionary leader (b. 1850)
  • 1939 Hans Langsdorff, German capt (Graaf Spee), commits suicide
  • 1941 Igor Severyanin, Russian poet (b. 1887)
  • 1944 Abbas Hilmi II, viceroy of Egypt (1892-1914), dies at 70
  • 1953 Henry Horatio Dixon, Irish Biologist (cohesion-tension theory in plants), dies at 84
  • 1954 James Hilton, English author (Lost Horizon), dies at 54
  • 1956 Ramon Carrillo, Argentine neuroscientist and Public Health minister (b. 1906)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1961 Moss Hart, American dramatist (You can't take it with you), dies at 57

Playwright Moss Hart
Playwright
Moss Hart
  • 1961 Earle Page, eleventh Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1880)
  • 1965 Egon Freiherr von Eickstedt, German anthropologist, dies at 73

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1968 John Steinbeck, American author (Grapes of Wrath, Nobel Prize 1940, 1962), dies at 66

  • 1971 Roy O Disney, brother of Walt, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 78
  • 1973 Luis Carrero Blanco, PM of Spain (1973), assassinated by ETA
  • 1976 Richard J Daley, (Mayor-D-Chicago), dies at 74
  • 1988 Alphonse Ouimet, Canadian television pioneer (b. 1908)
  • 1991 Andries D Copier, Dutch glass designer (Guild glass), dies
  • 1991 Fop[pe] I Brouwer, biologist (Everything That Lives & Grows), dies
  • 1991 Sam Rabin, speaker of house, dies at 88
  • 1991 Stephen Birnbaum, US tourism writer, dies at 54
  • 1991 Simone Beck, French chef (b. 1904)
  • 1993 W Edwards Deming, US economist (helped Japan after WW II), dies at 93
  • 1994 Dean Rusk, US Sect of State (1961-69), dies at 85
  • 1994 J C "Jody" Bateman, fiddler, dies at 75
  • 1995 John Henry Jacques, co-operative retailer, dies at 90
  • 1996 Amata Kabua, President of Marshall Islands (1979-96), dies
  • 1996 Carl Sagan, American scientist, astronomer, author, (Contact), dies at 62
  • 1996 Roger Peacock, English writer (Thursday is missing, dies at 76
  • 1997 Denise Levertov, poet, dies at 74
  • 1997 Vincent Ciccone, inventor (Blow-Pops candy), dies at 81
  • 1998 Chester P. Lyons, Canadian naturalist and author (b. 1915)
  • 1998 Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, British biophysicist (Nobel 1963), dies at 84
  • 2000 Mirza Ghulam Hafiz, Bangladesh statesman, politician, and philanthropist (b. 1920)
  • 2001 Léopold Sédar Senghor, first President of Senegal (b. 1906)
  • 2005 Maniam Moorthy, Malaysian climber
  • 2006 Shi Yuejun, Chinese serial killer
  • 2007 Nataline Sarkisyan, American medical patient (b. 1990)
  • 2009 Jack Hixon, English football talent scout (b. 1921)
  • 2010 Brian Hanrahan, British journalist (b. 1949)
  • 2010 James R. Mann, American attorney and politician (b. 1920)