On This Day

Historical Events on July 20

  • 514 St Hormisdas elected as Pope succeeding Pope Sympowerus
  • 1031 Henry I succeeds father Robert II as King of the Franks (1031-60)
  • 1054 Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Caerularius, as head of a Synod held in Constantinople excommunicates Cardinal Humbert of the Western church (Rome)

Historic Event

1304 Wars of Scottish Independence: Fall of Stirling Castle - King Edward I of England takes the last rebel stronghold of the war

  • 1402 Battle at Ancyra/Angora/Ankara: Timur' beats Sultan Bajezid I's Ottoman forces
  • 1402 Timur, his army and 32 elephants win the Battle of Ankara, during his invasion of Anatolia, capturing the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I
  • 1495 French viceroy of Naples Montpensier surrenders
  • 1498 Emperor Maximilian names Albrecht governor of Netherlands
  • 1553 John Dudley, Lord President of the Council under Edward VI, captured in Cambridge
  • 1609 Emperor Rudolf II grants Silezische protestants freedom of religion
  • 1619 Gerardus Vossius resigns as Dutch regent States college leader
  • 1654 Anglo-Portuguese treaty, Portugal comes under English control
  • 1712 The Riot Act takes effect in Great Britain.
  • 1738 North America: French explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye reaches the western shore of Lake Michigan
  • 1749 Earl of Chesterfield says "Idleness is only refuge of weak minds"
  • 1773 Scottish settlers arrive at Pictou, Nova Scotia (Canada)
  • 1793 Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie completes the first European east-to-west crossing of America north of Mexico
  • 1801 Elisha Brown Jr presses a 1,235 pound cheese ball at his farm

Historic Event

1808 Napoleon decrees all French Jews adopt family names

  • 1810 Citizens of Bogotá, New Granada (now Colombia), declare independence from Spain

Opening of Euston Station

1837 Euston railway station opens in London as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR), the city's 1st intercity railway station

  • 1847 German astronomer Theodor discovers Comet Brorsen-Metcalf
  • 1849 Start of 1st Lancashire-Yorkshire clash at Hyde Park, Sheffield
  • 1855 1st train from Rotterdam to Utrecht in Netherlands
  • 1858 Fee 1st charged to see a baseball game (50 cents) (NY beats Bkln 22-18)

Meeting of Interest

1858 Gathering of Plombieres - Napoleon III meets Cavour

  • 1861 Confederate states' congress began holding sessions in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1862 Guerrilla campaign in Georgia (Porter's & Poindexter's) [->SEP 20]
  • 1864 Battle at Stephenson's Depot, Virginia: 200 killed or injured
  • 1864 Battle of Peachtree Creek-Atlanta Campaign
  • 1866 Sea battle of Lissa-Austria vs Italy
  • 1868 1st use of tax stamps on cigarettes
  • 1871 British Columbia joins the confederation of Canada.
  • 1876 1st US intercollegiate track meet held, Saratoga, NY; Princeton wins
  • 1877 Military shoots on stopped railroad workers in Baltimore, kills 9
  • 1878 1st telephone introduced in Hawaii

Victory in Battle

1881 Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull, surrenders to US federal troops

  • 1890 "Gibbons Stamp Monthly" begins publishing
  • 1890 Snow and hail in Calais, Maine
  • 1894 2000 fed troops recalled from Chicago, having ended Pullman strike
  • 1896 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Harold Mahony beats 3-time champion Wilfred Baddeley 6-2, 6-8, 5-7, 8-6, 6-3
  • 1901 Morocco signs an agreement with France fixing Morocco's frontier with Algeria, a French colony
  • 1906 Brooklyn Superbas pitcher Mal Eason no-hits St Louis Cardinals, 2-0 at Robison Field, St. Louis
  • 1907 A train wreck on the Pere Marquette Railroad near Salem, Michigan kills thirty and injures seventy more
  • 1910 Former Dutch premier Abraham Kuyper acquitted of corruption
  • 1911 Boston Red Sox Smokey Joe Wood no-hits St Louis Browns, 5-0
  • 1911 Generals Henry Wilson/Auguste Dubail sign plan for British Expeditionary army in case of war with Germany
  • 1912 Phillies Sherry Magee steals home twice in 1 game
  • 1913 Turkish troops take Adrianopel & Erdine from Bulgaria
  • 1914 Armed resistance against British rule begins in Ulster
  • 1916 NY Giants trade future Baseball HOF pitcher Christy Mathewson to Cincinnati Reds
  • 1917 Pact of Corfu signed: Serbs, Croats & Slovenes form Yugoslavia
  • 1917 WW I draft lottery held; #258 is 1st drawn
  • 1920 Dutch soccer club Sportclub Heerenveen is formed; initially known as Athleta; KNVB Cup Champions 2008–09

Historic Event

1921 Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson becomes the first woman to preside over the floor of US House of Representatives

  • 1922 French and British Togoland make separate mandates within the League of Nations
  • 1923 Yanks hit into a triple-play but beat A's 9-2
  • 1924 Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) forms in Paris
  • 1924 Tehran, Persia comes under martial law after the American vice consul, Robert Imbrie, is killed by a religious mob enraged by rumors he had poisoned a fountain and killed several people
  • 1924 18th Tour de France won by Ottavio Bottecchia of Italy
  • 1925 Beirut sultan Pasja al-Atrasj calls Druzen for holy war against France
  • 1925 Italian-Serbian/Croatian/Slav treaty about Dalmatie
  • 1926 A convention of the Methodist Church votes to allow women to become priests.
  • 1928 The government of Hungary issues a decree ordering Gypsies to end their nomadic ways, settle permanently in one place, subject themselves to the same laws and taxes as other Hungarians
  • 1930 106°F (41°C), Washington, D.C. (district record)
  • 1932 In Washington, D.C., police fire tear gas on World War I veterans part of the Bonus Expeditionary Force who attempt to march to the White House

Coup d'état

1932 Franz von Papen launches a coup against the Prussian government

Meeting of Interest

1932 An injured Babe Ruth entertains the touring Australian cricketers in his private box at Yankee Stadium as his NY Yankees beat Chicago WS, 7-2; 'The Babe' meets 'The Don' (Don Bradman)

Historic Event

1933 Vatican state secretary Pacelli (Pius XII) signs accord with Adolf Hitler

  • 1933 In London, 500,000 march against anti-Semitism
  • 1933 Germany: Two-hundred Jewish merchants are arrested in Nuremberg and paraded through the streets
  • 1934 118°F (48°C), Keokuk, Iowa (state record)
  • 1935 1st broadcast of "Gang Busters" on NBC-radio
  • 1935 Switzerland: A Royal Dutch Airlines plane en route from Milan to Frankfurt crashes into a Swiss mountain, killing thirteen
  • 1938 IOC awards Helsinki, Finland 1940 Summer Olympic Games after Tokyo, Japan withdraws (Second Sino-Japanese War)
  • 1940 Germany occupiers forbid Dutch Communist Party (CPN) in Netherlands
  • 1940 Nazi collaborator Rost of Tonningen appointed director of Marxist

#1 in the Charts

1940 Billboard publishes its 1st singles record chart (#1 is "I'll Never Smile Again" by Tommy Dorsey)

  • 1941 Yanks beat Tigers 12-6 in 17

Historic Event

1941 The Guinea Pig Club forms, made of severely injured airmen treated by Archibald McIndoe at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, England [1]

  • 1942 1st detachment of Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, begin basic training
  • 1942 Barbados dismiss Trinidad for 16 in 69 minutes, Derek Sealy taking 8-8; West Indian cricket domestic first class record
  • 1942 Legion of Merit Medal authorized by US congress

Music History

1942 Time puts Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich on its cover

Historic Event

1943 US Joint Chiefs of Staff question Admiral Chester Nimitz over the landing on Gilbert Island

  • 1944 British and Canadian troops occupy Hill 67/Ifs/Bras/Frenouville, Normandy
  • 1944 Browns Nelson Potter is 1st pitcher suspended for throwing spitballs
  • 1944 Canadian Cameron Highlanders conquer St Andre
  • 1944 Death March of 1,200 Jews from Lipcani Moldavia begins
  • 1944 Fieldmarshal von Kluge consults with German commandant at Caen
  • 1944 Flying Fortresses of US 8th Air Force attack Leipzig/Dessau

Historic Event

1944 General Eisenhower visits Montgomery's headquarter in Normandy

  • 1944 Heavy storm hampers British offensive at Caen
  • 1944 Japanese aircraft carrier Hijo sunk by US air attack
  • 1944 Liberators of US 8th Air Force attack Gotha Russelsheim/Eisenach

Presidential Convention

1944 US President FDR nominated for an unprecedented 4th term at Democratic convention

  • 1944 US 15th Air Force attacks Friedrichshaven Memmingen
  • 1944 US 9th Air Force bombs railroad at Chaulnes Sable-sur-Sarthe/Dreux
  • 1944 US invades Japanese-occupied Guam
  • 1944 Violent battles in Verrieres-hill (Normandy)
  • 1944 Fifty are hurt in rioting in front of the presidential palace in Mexico City
  • 1944 Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt led by German army officer Claus Von Stauffenberg
  • 1947 1st political action of Netherlands Army on Java and Sumatra
  • 1947 34th Tour de France won by Jean Robic of France

Pro Wrestling

1948 Lou Thesz beats Bill Longson, to become NWA wrestling champion

Election of Interest

1948 Syngman Rhee elected the 1st President of South Korea

  • 1948 US Communist Party chairman William Forster arrested
  • 1949 Israel's 19 month war of independence ends
  • 1949 Vasil Kolarov elected Premier of Bulgaria
  • 1950 "Arthur Murray Party" premieres on ABC TV (later DuMont, CBS, NBC)
  • 1951 King Abdullah I of Jordan is assassinated by a Palestinian while attending Friday prayers in Jerusalem
  • 1952 Emile Zatopek runs Olympic Record 10K (29:17.0)
  • 1953 USSR/Israel recover diplomatic relations
  • 1953 The United Nations Economic and Social Council votes to make UNICEF a permanent agency

Sports History

1954 American tennis champion Maureen Connolly's right leg is crushed in a horse riding accident ending a brilliant career at just 19

  • 1954 West German secret service head Otto John defects to East Germany (DDR)
  • 1956 France recognizes Tunisian independence
  • 1956 Great Britain refuses to lend Egypt money to build Aswan Dam
  • 1956 US performs atmospheric nuclear Test at Bikini Island

Baseball Record

1956 Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford ties AL record of 6 straight strike-outs

  • 1956 Confirmation of the first detection of the neutrino by Clyde Cowan, Frederick Reines, F. B. Harrison, H. W. Kruse, and A. D. McGuire published in "Science" (Cowan–Reines neutrino experiment)

Sports History

1957 44th Tour de France: French cyclist Jacques Anquetil wins first of 5 general classification titles

  • 1958 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Llanerch CC: Dow Finsterwald wins 1st PGA C'ship held in current stroke play format; wins by 2 from Billy Casper
  • 1958 King Hussein of Jordan breaks off diplomatic relations with UAR

Sports History

1958 Detroit Tigers future Baseball HOF pitcher Jim Bunning no-hits Boston Red Sox, 3-0

  • 1960 1st submerged submarine to fire Polaris missile (George Washington)
  • 1960 USSR recovers 2 dogs; 1st living organisms to return from space
  • 1960 The head of the Physics Department at the Israel Institute of Technology, Kurt Sitte, is arrested for espionage
  • 1961 Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley's musical "Stop The World - I Want To Get Off" premieres at Queen's Theater in London's West End
  • 1961 French military forces break the Tunisian siege of Bizerte
  • 1962 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 13th Symphony
  • 1962 France and Tunisia recover diplomatic relations
  • 1963 17 African states & Madagascar sign peace treaty with EC

US Women's Golf Open

1963 US Open Women's Golf, Kenwood CC: Mary Mills wins her first of 3 major titles by 3 strokes ahead of runners-up Louise Suggs and Sandra Haynie

  • 1963 Verne Gagne beats Crusher Lisowski in Minneapolis, to become NWA champ
  • 1963 Riots break out at Mt Eden Prison, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1964 1st surfin' record to go #1-Jan & Dean's "Surf City"
  • 1964 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 10th String quartet
  • 1965 18.18" (46.18 cm) of rainfall, Edgarton, Missouri (state 24-hr record)
  • 1965 NY Yankee pitcher Mel Stottlemyre hits an inside-the-park grand slam

Historic Event

1967 Chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda receives 1st Viareggio-Versilia Prize, recognizing “world personalities who work for culture and understanding between peoples”

  • 1967 Race riots in Memphis, Tennessee

Engagement of Interest

1968 Jane Asher breaks her engagement with Beatle bassist, singer, and songwriter Paul McCartney on live TV

  • 1968 Iron Butterfly's "In-a-gadda-da-vida" becomes 1st heavy metal song to hit charts, it comes in at #117

Apollo 11 Bootprint

1969 Apollo 11 lunar module carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin lands on the surface of the Moon; Aldrin and Armstrong walk on the moon seven hours later; Michael Collins remains in orbit in the lunar module

Sports History

1969 56th Tour de France: Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx wins general, points, mountains, team classification titles

  • 1970 Dodgers Bill Singer no-hits the Phillies 5-0, giving up no walks
  • 1972 US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1973 Jack Brisco beats Harley Race in Houston, to become NWA champ
  • 1973 Chic's Wilbur Wood starts and loses both games of a doubleheader with NY Yankees, 12-2, & 7-0
  • 1973 The US Senate passes the War Powers Act
  • 1974 Heng Yo and Heng Ju, completes 1,000 mile (SF-Seattle) pilgrimage
  • 1974 Turkey invades Cyprus
  • 1975 US Open Women's Golf, Atlantic City CC: Sandra Palmer wins her second major title by 4 strokes from JoAnne Carner, Sandra Post and Nancy Lopez
  • 1975 India expels three reporters from "The Times", "The Daily Telegraph", and "Newsweek" because they refuse to sign a pledge to abide by government censorship
  • 1975 62nd Tour de France won by Bernard Thevenet of France

Baseball Record

1976 Hank Aaron hits 755th and last home run off Angels Dick Drago

  • 1976 US Viking 1 lands on Mars at Chryse Planitia, 1st Martian landing
  • 1976 Vietnam War: The US military completes its troop withdrawal from Thailand.
  • 1977 Flash flood hits Johnstown, Pennsylvania, kills 80 and causes $350 million damage
  • 1977 The Central Intelligence Agency releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments
  • 1977 10th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at El Cortez Hotel
  • 1979 44-kg Newfoundland dog pulls 2293-kg load, Bothell, Washington

British Golf Open

1980 British Open Men's Golf, Muirfield: Tom Watson wins his 3rd of 5 Open titles, by 4 strokes from fellow American Lee Trevino

  • 1980 67th Tour de France won by Joop Zoetemelk of Netherlands
  • 1981 England set for innings loss v Aust, Botham hits 100 in 87 balls
  • 1981 Irene Sáez, of Venezuela, crowned 30th Miss Universe
  • 1982 T Macauly & D Vosburghs musical "Windy City," premieres in London
  • 1982 Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings: 11 British soldiers and 7 military horses killed in Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb attacks during military ceremonies in London
  • 1983 France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1984 Uwe Hohn of East Germany throws javelin a record 104.8 m

Famous Photo

1984 Vanessa Williams is asked to resign as Miss America due to publication of nude photos of her

  • 1985 Divers find wreck of Spanish galleon Atocha
  • 1985 The government of Aruba passes legislation to secede from the Netherlands Antilles
  • 1986 British Open Men's Golf, Turnberry: Australian Greg Norman wins his first major championship at even-par, 5 strokes clear of runner-up Gordon J. Brand

Historic Event

1987 Don Mattingly ties 1st base fielding record with 22 put-outs

  • 1988 Michael Dukakis selected Democratic presidential nominee
  • 1989 93°F, highest overnight low ever recorded in Phoenix Arizona

Historic Event

1989 Burma government puts author Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest

  • 1989 Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's show opens at Washington, D.C.'s Project for the Arts after the Smithsonian Institution's Corcoran Gallery cancels it
  • 1990 Justice William J. Brennan Jr. resigns from the Supreme Court after 36 years

Sports History

1991 Mike Tyson is accused of raping a Miss Black America contestant

  • 1992 Round World Air Race begins in Paris

Historic Event

1992 Václav Havel resigns as President of Czechoslovakia after Slovakia declares independence

  • 1993 Fire in the press box at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium
  • 1994 Major parts of Comet Shoemaker-Levy hit Jupiter (July 16th-22nd)

Sports History

1994 Former NFL running back, broadcaster and actor O.J. Simpson offers $500,000 reward for evidence of ex-wife's klller

Historic Event

1994 Supreme Leader of North-Korea, Kim Il-sung is placed in a public Mausoleum at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun

Historic Event

1994 Alexander Lukashenko is inaugurated as the first president of Belarus

  • 1995 The Regents of the University of California vote to end all affirmative action in the UC system by 1997.
  • 1996 In Spain an ETA bomb at an airport kills 35
  • 1997 British Open Men's Golf, Royal Troon: American Justin Leonard recovers from 5 strokes back after 3 rounds; wins by 3 from Darren Clarke and Jesper Parnevik
  • 1998 Two hundred aid workers from CARE International, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and other aid groups leave Afghanistan on orders of the Taliban
  • 1999 Falun Gong is banned in the People's Republic of China, and a large scale crackdown of the practice is launched
  • 2000 The leaders of Salt Lake City's bid to win the 2002 Winter Olympics are indicted by a federal grand jury for bribery, fraud, and racketeering
  • 2000 In Zimbabwe, Parliament opens its new session and seats opposition members for the first time in a decade
  • 2000 Terrorist Carlos the Jackal sues France in the European Court of Human Rights for allegedly torturing him
  • 2000 33rd San Diego Comic-Con International opens at San Diego Convention Center
  • 2001 The London Stock Exchange goes public.
  • 2001 Italy: The 27th Annual G8 summit opens in Genoa. An Italian protester in Genoa, Carlo Giuliani, is shot by police.