Events in History 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 1929 American Samoa organizes as territory of US
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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 1st black umpire in organized baseball certified (Emmett Ashford)
  • 1953 August A Busch buys the Cards for $3.75 million
  • 1954 General Zahedi wins election in Persia
  • 1957 Hughie Tayfield takes 9-113 v England, 13 wkts for match

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
  • 1962 John Glenn is 1st American to orbit Earth (Friendship 7)
  • 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
  • 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 Sicco Mansholt becomes chairman of European Committee
  • 1972 14th Daytona 500: A.J. Foyt wins (161.55 MPH)
  • 1974 Cher files for separation from husband Sonny Bono

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
  • 1976 The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization disbands.
  • 1977 19th Daytona 500: Cale Yarborough wins (153.218 MPH)
  • 1978 Egypt announces it is pulling its diplomats out of Cyprus
  • 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)
  • 1983 Japan launches Tenma satellite to study x-rays (450/570 km)
  • 1983 25th Daytona 500: Cale Yarborough wins (155.979 MPH)
  • 1986 LA Dodger Orel Hershiser is 1st to win a $1M salary by arbitration
  • 1987 Bomb blamed on Unabomber explodes by computer store in Salt Lake City
  • 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 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)
  • 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 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 Orthodox patriarch Shenouda III visits Netherlands
  • 1992 Ross Perot says he'll run for President on Larry King Show
  • 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)
  • 1998 UN Sec-Gen Kofi Annan lands in Baghdad, for peace negotiations
  • 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 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 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: 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)