On This Day

What Happened on December 20

Important Events

  • 1522 Suleiman the Magnificent accepts surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle in Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta.
  • 1606 Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown, Virginia
  • 1803 French flag lowered in New Orleans to mark the formal transfer of the Louisiana Purchase from France to USA for $27M
  • 1812 "Grimm's Fairy Tales" or "Children's and Household Tales" by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm is first published
  • 1917 Cheka formed - Soviet state security force and forerunner to the KGB, under Felix Dzerzhinsky after decree by Lenin
  • 1960 The National Liberation Front, better known as the Viet Cong, is officially formed in South Vietnam
More Historical Events

December 20 in Film & TV

December 20 in Music

  • 1823 Play "Rosamunde, Princess of Cyprus" by Helmina von Ch├ęzy with incidental music by Franz Schubert premieres in Vienna

December 20 in Sport

  • 1894 England beat Australia by 10 runs in the 1st six-day Test Cricket, Australia needed 177 to win, all out at 166 on 6th day

Did You Know?

Elvis Presley receives his draft notice to join the US Army for National Service

On December 20, 1957

Would You Believe?

Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men aged between 21 & 50

On December 20, 1820

Famous Weddings

Famous Divorces

  • 1984 Actress Kate Jackson (36) divorces business executive David Greenwald after 2 years of marriage
  • 2005 Actress Renee Zellweger (36) annuls her marriage to country-music singer Kenny Chesney (37) citing fraud, after 4 months of marriage
  • 2007 "Hot in Cleveland" actress Valerie Bertinelli (47) divorces guitarist Eddie Van Halen (52) due to irreconcilable differences after 25 years of marriage
More Weddings & Divorces