On This Day in History for January 20

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 146

  • 250 St Fabian ends his reign as Catholic Pope (236-50)
  • 820 Book of mother, published
  • 1045 Giovanni di Sabina elected Pope Sylvester III
  • 1156 According to legend, freeholder Lalli slays English crusader Bishop Henry with an axe on the ice of Lake Köyliönjärvi in Finland
  • 1265 The first Parliament of England summoned other than by royal command (in this instance by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester) met in Westminster Hall
  • 1320 Duke Wladyslaw Lokietek becomes king of Poland
  • 1356 Edward Balliol abdicates as King of Scots.
  • 1502 The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored.
  • 1503 Casa Contratacion (Board of Trade) found (Spain) to deal with American affairs
  • 1513 Christian II succeeds Johan I as Danish/Norwegian king
  • 1523 Christian II is forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway.
  • 1576 The Mexican city of León is founded by order of the viceroy Don Martín Enríquez de Almansa.
  • 1613 Peace of Knarod ends War of Kalmar between Denmark & Sweden
  • 1648 Cornerstone of Amsterdam townhall laid
  • 1667 Treaty of Andrussovo-ends 13 year war between Poland & Russia
  • 1778 1st American military court martial trial begins, Cambridge, Mass
  • 1781 1st edition of Pieter It Hoens "Post of Neder-Rhijn" published
  • 1785 Samuel Ellis advertises to sell Oyster Island (Ellis Is), no takers
  • 1788 Pioneer African Baptist church organizes in Savannah, Ga

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1801 John Marshall appointed US chief justice

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States John Marshall
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
John Marshall

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1807 Napoleon convenes great Sanhedrin, Paris

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1809 1st US geology book published by William Maclure
  • 1839 In the Battle of Yungay, Chile defeats a Peruvian and Bolivian alliance.
  • 1840 Dumont D'Urville discovers Adélie Land, Antarctica
  • 1840 Dutch King Willem II crowned
  • 1841 China cedes Hong Kong to the British during the 1st Opium War
  • 1850 Investigator, first ship to effect northwest passage, leaves England
  • 1860 Dutch troops conquer Watampone in Celebes
  • 1866 Prim's Insurrection in Spain ends
  • 1868 Florida constitutional convention meets in Tallahassee

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1869 Elizabeth Cady Stanton becomes 1st woman to testify before US Congress

Women's Rights Activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Women's Rights Activist
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • 1870 "City of Boston" vanishes at sea with all 177 aboard

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1870 Hiram R. Revels elected to fill unexpired term of Jefferson Davis as US Senator for Mississippi

Minister and US Senator Hiram R. Revels
Minister and US Senator
Hiram R. Revels
President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis
  • 1872 California Stock Exchange Board organized
  • 1879 British troops under Lord Chelmsford make camp at Isandlwana
  • 1883 Billy Barnes takes a hat-trick, England v Aust MCG
  • 1887 US Senate approves naval base lease of Pearl Harbor

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1905 US begins supervising the Dominican Republic's national and international debts, testing President Theodore Roosevelt's "Corollary" to the Monroe Doctrine

26th US President Theodore Roosevelt
26th US President
Theodore Roosevelt
  • 1914 The first group of Transvaal Indian women satyagrahis are released from Pietermaritzburg Prison in South Africa after three months imprisonment
  • 1920 Dutch 2nd Chamber passes school laws
  • 1920 The American Civil Liberties Union is founded.
  • 1921 British submarine HMS K5 (which was unusually equipped with steam turbines) sank with 57 crew during exercises in the Bay of Biscay
  • 1921 Dagestan ASSR forms in RSFSR
  • 1921 Mountain Autonomous Republic established in RSFSR
  • 1921 Republic of Turkey declared in remnants of Ottoman Empire
  • 1922 Arthur Honegger's ballet "Skating Rink" premieres, Paris
  • 1925 The Soviet and Japan sign a convention resuming relations: Russia agrees to limit revolutionary activity of the Third Communist International, while Japan agrees to leave the Sakhalin
  • 1926 2nd German government of Luther begins
  • 1929 1st feature talking motion picture taken outdoors, "In Old Arizona"
  • 1930 1st radio broadcast of "Lone Ranger" (WXYZ-Detroit)
  • 1934 Japan sends Henry Pu Yi as regent to emperor of Manchuria

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1936 Edward VIII succeeds British king George V

King of Great Britain Edward VIII
King of Great Britain
Edward VIII
  • 1937 -45°F (-43°C), Boca, California (state record)
  • 1937 1st US Presidential Inauguration day held on Jan 20th, (previously March 4th)
  • 1939 Charles Ives' 1st Sonata "Concord" premieres
  • 1941 Bela Bartok's 6th string quartet, premieres in NYC
  • 1942 Japanese invade Burma
  • 1942 Nazi officials hold notorious Wannsee conference in Berlin to organise the "final solution", the extermination of Europe's Jews
  • 1943 Lead, South Dakota, temp is 52°F, while 1.5 miles away Deadwood, SD, records -16°F
  • 1943 Operation Weiss: German, Italian, Bulgarian & Croatian troops attempt to retake land liberated by Tito's partisans
  • 1944 RAF drops 2,300 ton of bombs on Berlin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn-in for an unprecedented (and never to be repeated) 4th term as US President

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1945 The Hungarian Provisional Government concludes an armistice with the USSR, US, and Britain, agree to pay reparations and to join the war against Germany
  • 1946 F Gouin follows De Gaulle as temporary leader of French government
  • 1947 Brigadier General Edwin K Wright, USA, becomes deputy director of CIA

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1949 US President Harry Truman announces his four point program

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1950 Suriname becomes independent part in Realm of Netherlands
  • 1952 British army occupies Ismailiya, Suez Canal Zone
  • 1953 1st US telecast transmitted to Canada from Buffalo, NY

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1953 1st live US coast-to-coast inauguration address (Eisenhower)

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1954 -70°F (-57°C), Rogers Pass, Montana (US 48 state record)
  • 1954 Dmitri Shostakovitch's' "Concertino opus 94" premieres
  • 1954 The National Negro Network is established with 40 charter member radio stations.
  • 1955 The first nuclear powered submarine, USS Nautilus, launched at Groton, Connecticut
  • 1957 Gomulka wins Poland's parliamentary election
  • 1957 Morton Gould's "Declaration" premieres in Washington, D.C.
  • 1958 A group attempting the 1st surface crossing of Antarctic join up at the South Pole
  • 1959 Dmitri Shostakovitch's Moscow-Tsjerjomoesjki premieres in Moscow
  • 1960 Patrice Lumumba sentenced to 6 months in Belgian Congo
  • 1961 Francis Poulenc's "Gloria" premieres in Boston

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1961 Robert Frost recites "Gift Outright" at JFK's inauguration

Poet Robert Frost
Poet
Robert Frost
35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • 1961 Yugoslav ex-vice-president Milovan Djilas flees
  • 1961 The Democrat J.F. Kennedy is inaugurated as President of the United States, the youngest ever sworn in
  • 1965 The Byrds record "Mr Tambourine Man"
  • 1965 The US Jet Propulsion Laboratory proposes modified Apollo flight to fly around Mars & return

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1965 Generalissimo Francisco Franco meets with Jewish representatives to discuss legitimizing Jewish communities in Spain

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • 1968 US female Figure Skating championship won by Peggy Fleming
  • 1968 US male Figure Skating championship won by Tim Wood
  • 1969 Richard M Nixon inaugurated as US president
  • 1969 U of Az reports 1st optical id of pulsar (in Crab Nebula)
  • 1970 Super Fight, computer mock championship between Ali & Marciano; Marciano won.
  • 1971 Ard Schenk skates world record 1000m (1:18.8)
  • 1972 Six oil exporting countries conclude meetings with Western oil companies; an agreement is reached to raise the price of crude
  • 1972 Number of people out of work and claiming unemployment benefit in UK rises to over 1 million
  • 1973 A car bomb explodes in Sackville Place, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, killing 1 person and injuring 17 (no organisation claimed responsibility)
  • 1974 7th ABA All-Star Game: East 128 beats West 112 at Virginia
  • 1975 Terrence McNally's "Ritz" premieres in NYC
  • 1977 George H. W. Bush ends term as 11th director of CIA
  • 1977 Mr Knoche, serves as acting director of CIA

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1979 1 million Iranians march in Tehran in a show of support for the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, fundamentalist Muslim leader

Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini
Supreme Leader of Iran
Ayatollah Khomeini

Birthdays in History

  • 225 Gordian III, Roman Emperor (d. 244)
  • 1292 Elisabeth I of Bohemia (d. 1330)
  • 1358 Eleanor of Aragon, wife of John I of Castile (d. 1382)
  • 1435 Ashikaga Yoshimasa, Japanese shogun (d. 1490)
  • 1554 King Sebastian of Portugal (d. 1578)
  • 1622 Susanna van Baerle, Dutch poet/wife of Geeraert Burns
  • 1651 Edward Tyson, British Physician and father of comparative anatomy (The Anatomy of a Pygmy, 1698)
  • 1654 Michiel de Swaen, South Netherland physician/poet
  • 1664 Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, Italian writer and jurist (d. 1718)
  • 1716 Carlos III, king of Naples/Spain (1759-88) Pompei/Jesuits
  • 1716 King Charles III of Spain (d. 1788)
  • 1716 Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer and numismatist (d. 1795)
  • 1732 Richard H Lee, US farmer (signed Declaration of Independence)
  • 1763 Theobald Wolfe Tone, Irish patriot
  • 1775 André-Marie Ampère, French physicist (d. 1836)
  • 1781 Joseph Hormayr Freiherr zu Hortenburg, Austrian politician (d. 1848)
  • 1782 Johan B J F S, archduke of Austria
  • 1798 Anson Jones, 5th and last President of Texas (d. 1858)
  • 1804 Eugène Sue, French novelist (d. 1857)
  • 1806 Nathaniel Willis, writer/editor/founder (American Monthly Mag)
  • 1812 Ralph Pomeroy Buckland, Bvt Mjr Gen (Union volunteers), (d. 1892)
  • 1812 Thomas Meik, Scottish engineer (d. 1896)
  • 1813 Jacon Gartner Lauman, Bvt Mjr General (Union volunteers), (d. 1867)
  • 1820 Anne Jemima Clough, England, promoted higher education for women
  • 1831 Pieter J Joubert, general (South Africa)
  • 1834 George D. Robinson, 34th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1896)
  • 1837 David Josiah Brewer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (d. 1910)
  • 1843 Pierre-Paul Cambon, French diplomat (Madrid, Constantinople, London)
  • 1847 W R Pettiford, Founder (Alabama Penny Savings Bank)
  • 1865 Friedrich A H von Waldeck, brother of queen Emma/last ruler of Waldeck
  • 1866 Richard Le Gallienne, English writer (Maker of Gainborg)
  • 1873 Charles A Ellwood, US, sociologist/psychologist
  • 1873 Johannes V Jensen, Denmark, novelist/poet (Energy Storage, Nobel 1944)
  • 1880 Walter W. Bacon, American politician (d. 1962)
  • 1883 Betram Home Ramsay, English admiral/Commander Allied Naval Forces
  • 1884 A[braham P] Merritt, US, sci-fi author (Moon Pool, Creep Shadow!)
  • 1889 Allan Haines Loughead, American aviation executive (d. 1969)
  • 1893 Kaj Birket-Smith, Danish etnologist/anthropologist (Eskimos)
  • 1894 Harold L Gray, creator (Little Orphan Annie)
  • 1898 U Razak, Burmese politician (d. 1947)
  • 1899 Kenjiro Takayanagi, VP (JVC)
  • 1900 Doris Deane, WI, entertainer
  • 1903 Sybil Marion Rosenfeld, theatre historian
  • 1904 Alexandra Danilova, Peterhof Russia, ballerina (Turning Point)
  • 1904 Renato Caccioppoli, Italian mathematician/grandson of Bakunin
  • 1904 Theodore Brameld, author/educator (Use of Explosive Ideas)
  • 1907 Roy Welensky, Premier (Rhodesia/Nyasaland 1956-63)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1910 Joy Adamson [Friederike Viktoria Gessner], Austrian naturalist and author (Born Free), born in Troppau, Austria-Hungary (d. 1980)

Naturalist and Author Joy Adamson
Naturalist and Author
Joy Adamson
  • 1910 Lauritz Lauritzen, German politician
  • 1915 C W Ceram, [Kurt W Marek], German/US writer (March of Archaeology)
  • 1915 Joe Hitchcock, darts player (leader of St Dunstan's Four)
  • 1915 Ghulam Ishaq Khan, President of Pakistan (d. 2006)
  • 1916 Jopie [Johan A] Pengel, premier of Suriname (1963-69)
  • 1916 Walter Bartley, biochemist
  • 1920 Peter Clemoes, anglo-Saxon scholar
  • 1920 Richard John Copeland Atkinson, archaeologist
  • 1920 Sam M Gibbons, (Rep-D-FL, 1963- )
  • 1921 Bernt Engelmann, Germany, writer
  • 1922 Lord James Hanson, English industrialist/House of Lords (Conservative)
  • 1925 Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan Catholic priest, politician and writer, born in Granada, Nicaragua
  • 1925 Edwin Gordon, VOA correspondant, born in NYC, New York
  • 1925 Eugen Gomringer, writer
  • 1926 Robert L Van Citters, cardiology/advisory panelist/UW dean
  • 1926 Jamiluddin Aali, Pakistani poet, essayist and columnist
  • 1926 Qurratulain Hyder, Pakistani novelist (d. 2007)
  • 1927 Geoffrey WT Atkins, British World Champion racket player (1954-72)
  • 1927 Olivier Strebelle, Belgian sculptor/ceramist
  • 1928 Peter Donat, Kentville Nova Scotia, (Flamingo Road, Different Story)
  • 1929 Bob Denard, French mercenary

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1930 Edwin Aldrin Jr, USAF/astro (Gem 12, Ap 11), born in Montclair, New Jersey

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
Astronaut
Buzz Aldrin
  • 1931 Sawako Ariyoshi, Japanese writer (Compound Pollution, Doctor's Wife)
  • 1931 Thomas Roy Garrett, museum curator
  • 1935 Joan Weston, Roller Derby Queen (d. 1997)
  • 1936 Eldred G Maduro, minister (Netherland Antilles)
  • 1939 Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, Indian astronomer
  • 1939 Paul Coverdell, American politician (d. 2000)
  • 1943 Roeland HG "Roel" van Duyn, Dutch Provo politician
  • 1944 Eddie Shah, English publisher (Today, Post)
  • 1944 Lieven Soete, Dutch publicist (Molotov-Ribbentrop-pact)
  • 1945 Peter Beckwith, English real estate developer/multi-millionaire
  • 1948 Jerry Ross, Ind, Lt Col USAF/astronaut (STS 61B, 27, 37, 55, 74, sk:88)
  • 1948 Natan Sharansky, Russian-born physicist and politician
  • 1948 Nancy Kress, American writer
  • 1949 Kieron Walsh, academic
  • 1950 Edward Hirsch. American poet
  • 1950 Mahamane Ousmane, President of Niger
  • 1951 Magomed Omarovich Tolboyev, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1955 Joe Doherty, Ireland, IRA activist (jailed in US)
  • 1956 John McNally, Naha Okinawa, US rapid fire pistol (Oly-84, 88, 92, 96)
  • 1956 Maria Larsson, Swedish politician
  • 1964 Kazushige Nojima, Japanese game scenario writer
  • 1969 Tia Marie Zorne, Miss Nevada-America (1991), born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 1969 Patrick K. Kroupa, American computer hacker
  • 1971 Karin Smith, Miss Minnesota USA (1996)
  • 1973 Princess Mathilde, Duchess of Brabant
  • 1979 Asaka Kubo, Japanese gravure idol of 20th Century
  • 1980 Philippe Cousteau Jr., Freanch oceanographer; grandson of Jacques Cousteau
  • 1980 Brigitte Olivier, Belgian judoka

Weddings in History

  • 1382 King Richard II of England marries Anne of Bohemia and daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor at Westminster Abbey. Anne died of plague in 1394.
  • 1800 Napoleon I's sister Carolina marries King Joachim Murat of Naples

Deaths in History

  • 250 Fabianus, Pope (236-50)/saint, dies
  • 288 St. Sebastian, early Christian martyr (commemorated as his feast day)
  • 820 Muslim jurist Abu Abdallah M ibn Idris al-Sjafi'i, dies
  • 842 Theophilus, Byzantine kaiser (829-42), dies
  • 882 Louis II/III the Younger, German king (876-82), dies
  • 1156 Bishop Henry, patron saint of Finland
  • 1191 Frederick VI, Duke of Swabia (b. 1167)
  • 1479 John II, king of Aragon/Navarra, dies at 81
  • 1569 Miles Coverdale, English bible translator Great bible, dies at 80
  • 1612 Rudolf II von Habsburg, emperor of Germany (1576-1612), dies at 59
  • 1639 Mustapha I, sultan of Turkey (1622-23), dies
  • 1666 Anna of Austria, queen of France/daughter of Philip III, dies at 64
  • 1707 Humphrey Hody, English theologian (b. 1659)
  • 1709 François de la Chaise, French confessor of Louis XIV of France (b. 1624)
  • 1713 Pavao Vitezovic, Croatian historian, dies
  • 1727 John van Bylevelt, Catholic apostole, dies
  • 1739 Francesco Galli-Bibiena, Italian architect/designer (b. 1659)
  • 1745 Charles VII Albert, German emperor (1742-45), dies at 47
  • 1751 John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol, English politician (b. 1665)
  • 1770 Charles Yorke, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain (b. 1722)
  • 1779 Johannes Burman, Dutch botanist, plant author and physician, dies at 71
  • 1810 Benjamin Chew, Chief Justice of colonial Pennsylvania (b. 1722)
  • 1813 C M Wieland, writer, dies at 79
  • 1819 Carlos IV, King of Spain (1788-1808), dies at 70
  • 1837 John Soane, English architect (Book of Designs), dies at 84
  • 1848 Christian VIII of Denmark (b. 1786)
  • 1850 Adam Oehlenschläger, Danish poet (b. 1779)
  • 1859 B v Arnim, writer, dies at 73
  • 1862 Felix Zollicoffer, Gen killed after mistakenly riding into Union lines
  • 1873 The Venerable Father Basil Anthony Marie Moreau, Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross (b. 1799)
  • 1875 Jean-François Millet, French painter (b. 1814)
  • 1882 John Linnell, British painter/minaturist/engraver, dies
  • 1891 David Kalakahua, emperor of Hawaii, dies
  • 1896 Heinrich M von Battenberg, German son-in-law of Victoria, dies at 37
  • 1900 John Ruskin, English writer (Dearest Mama Talbot), dies of flu at 81
  • 1900 Richard D Blackmore, English novelist (Lorna Doone), dies at 74
  • 1901 Zénobe Gramme, Belgian engineer (b. 1826)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1936 George V, King of Britain (1910-36), dies at 70

King of the United Kingdom George V
King of the United Kingdom
George V
  • 1940 Omar Bundy, U.S. army general (b. 1861)
  • 1944 James McKeen Cattell, American psychologist (b. 1860)
  • 1947 Josh Gibson, Negro League slugger, dies of a brain tumor at age 35
  • 1949 Josephus T J Cuypers, architect (Amsterdam Stock Exchange), dies at 87
  • 1957 James Connolly, 1st Oly winner (1896) since Barasdates (369 CE), dies
  • 1962 Robinson Jeffers, poet/playwright (Dear Judas), dies at 75
  • 1965 Alan Freed, DJ (Big Beat), dies at 42
  • 1973 Amilcar L Cabral, fought for Guinea Bissau independence, murdered 51
  • 1973 Lorenz Böhler, Austrian physician (b. 1885)
  • 1974 Edmund Blunden, British poet/critic, dies at 77
  • 1988 Philippe de Rothschild, Bordeaux Vineyard manager, dies in Paris at 86
  • 1988 Dora Stratou, Greek choreographer and folklorist (b. 1903)
  • 1990 Naruhito Higashi-Kuni, Japanese PM (1945), dies
  • 1992 Muhammad Abd al-Khaliq Hassuna, sec-gen of Arab League (1952-72), dies
  • 1993 Mercer McCleod, entertainer, dies of heart failure at 86
  • 1994 Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenyan vice-pres (1963-66), dies at about 81
  • 1995 Mehdi Bazargan, director Iranian oil corp/premier (1979), dies at 86
  • 1995 Robert Shaw, town Planner, dies at 81
  • 1996 David Robin Francis Guy Greville, 8th Duke of Warwick, dies at 61
  • 1996 Ellis Hillman, politician, dies at 68
  • 1996 Liesbeth Askonas, concert agent, dies at 83
  • 1996 Sidney Korshak, lawyer, dies at 87
  • 1997 Curt Flood, centerfielder (Cards), dies of throat cancer at 59
  • 1997 Edith Haisman, the oldest survivor of Titanic, dies at 100
  • 1997 Vladimir Yamnikov, owner (Kristall vodka), dies of cirrhosis at 56
  • 1998 Zevulun Hammer, Vice PM of Israel, dies
  • 2003 Al Hirschfeld, American caricaturist (b. 1903)
  • 2003 Bill Werbeniuk, Canadian snooker player (b. 1947)
  • 2005 Per Borten, Prime Minister of Norway (b. 1913)
  • 2005 Roland Frye, American literary critic and theologian (b. 1921)
  • 2005 Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, Polish journalist, writer, and politician (b. 1913)
  • 2005 Miriam Louisa Rothschild, British zoologist, entomologist, and author (b. 1908)
  • 2008 Ali Sadikin, former Jakarta famous governor (b. 1927)
  • 2009 Stéphanos II Ghattas, Patriarch Emeritus of Alexandria for the Coptic Catholic Church (b. 1920)
  • 2009 Stan Hagen, Canadian politician (b. 1940)
  • 2009 Sheila O'Nions Walsh (aka Sheila Walsh, Sophie Leyton), English romance writer (b. 1928)
  • 2012 John F Baker Jnr, United States Army Master Sergeant and Medal of Honour recipient dies at 66
  • 2016 George Weidenfeld, British Publisher (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), dies at 96