On This Day

On This Day in History for May 20 (Part 2)

Events in History

  • 1980 710 families in Love Canal area (Niagara Falls NY) are evacuated
  • 1980 Fire in nursing home in Kingston Jamaica, kills 157
  • 1980 In a referendum, 59.5% of Quebec voters reject separatism
  • 1985 Dow Jones industrial avg closes above 1,300 for 1st time
  • 1985 FBI arrests John A Walker Jr, convicted of spying for USSR
  • 1985 US began broadcasts to Cuba on Radio Marti
  • 1988 Howard Stern fans disrupt WMMR's & John DeBella's "Louie Louie" parade
  • 1989 China declares martial law in Beijing
  • 1989 Walter McConnel, 57, is oldest to reach 27,000' Mt Everest top
  • 1990 Hubble Space Telescope sends its 1st photographs from space
  • 1991 Soviet parliament approves law allowing citizens to travel abroad
  • 1992 India launches its 1st satellite independently

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992 At height of "Black May' political crisis in Thailand TV interview broadcast of King Bhumibol Adulyadej demanding Generals Suchinda and Chamlong work together

King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej
King of Thailand
Bhumibol Adulyadej
  • 1993 10m meteor comes within 150,000 km of Earth (1993KA)
  • 1994 Bobcat Goldthwait charged with misdemeanors for fire on The Tonight Show
  • 1995 Twins Marty Cordova ties rookie record of HRs in 5 consecutive games

  • 1996 UN and Iraq agree to Resolution 986, which provides Iraq with the opportunity to sell $1 billion of oil for 90 days for a 180-day trial period; proceeds from the sale would be used for humanitarian purposes
  • 1997 Cosmos Zenit-2 Launch (Russia), Failed
  • 1997 Thor-2A Delta 2 Launch (Norway/USA), Successful

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 US President Clinton signs an executive order barring new US investment in Burma (also known as Myanmar), effective May 21 and renewable annually

42nd US President Bill Clinton
42nd US President
Bill Clinton
  • 2002 The independence of East Timor is recognized by Portugal, formally ending 23 years of Indonesian rule and 3 years of provisional UN administration (Portugal itself was the former colonizer of East Timor until 1976)
  • 2009 Mexico is the first Latin American country to officially enter recession
  • 2012 6.0 magnitude earthquake kills 6 and injures dozens in northern Italy
  • 2012 Tomislav Nikolić elected president of Serbia
  • 2013 133 people are killed and 283 are injured in a continued wave of insurgency in Iraq
  • 2013 2 people are killed and 20 are injured after a hot air balloon crashes in Cappadocia, Turkey
  • 2013 The Church of Scotland votes to allow openly gay men and women to be ministers
  • 2013 Yahoo purchases Tumbler for $1.1 Billion
  • 2015 Journal Nature publishes findings of the oldest human-made tools from Kenya’s Turkana basin - 3.3 million years, 1st found to pre-date the Homo genus
  • 2015 5 major world banks (JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup, RBS and UBS) fined US$5.7bn for manipulating currency markets - some of the largest ever fines

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2017 US President Donald Trump begins his 1st foreign trip arriving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2018 Two cyclists attacked by a cougar, 1 dies, in North Bend, Washington State

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2018 President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela wins a second term in an election marked by boycotts and accusations of vote rigging

President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro
President of Venezuela
Nicolás Maduro
  • 2019 Google stops support for Huawei's Android system in an escalation of the tech war between US and China
  • 2019 Bangladesh imposes a 65-day ban on coastal fishing to conserve fish stocks
  • 2020 WHO reports most new cases in a single day - 106,000 worldwide of COVID-19
  • 2020 Cyclone Amphan comes ashore in West Bengal, East India and Bangladesh, with winds of 185 km per hour (115 mph) killing at least 84 people
  • 2021 One of Sri Lanka's worst ecological disaster as cargo ship MS X-Press Pearl, carrying toxic chemicals, catches fire off the country's coast begins spilling debris

Birthdays in History

  • 1951 Michael D Crapo, (Rep-R-Idaho)
  • 1951 Thomas D Akers, American former astronaut (STS 41, 49, 61, 79), born in St. Louis, Missouri
  • 1953 Robert Doyle, Australian politician
  • 1954 Galina Vasilyevna Amelkina, Russian doctor/cosmonaut
  • 1954 David Paterson, American politician
  • 1954 Cindy Hensley McCain, American businesswoman, wife of politician John McCain, born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • 1955 Nigel Griffiths, MP (Labour)
  • 1955 Anton Corbijn, Dutch music video (Depeche Mode), and film director, born in Strijen, Netherlands,
  • 1956 Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Norwegian author (Elling tetralogy, Brødre i blodet), born in Tønsberg, Norway
  • 1956 William Michaelian, American novelist and poet
  • 1956 John Carney, American politician, Governor of Delaware (2017-), born in Willington, Delaware
  • 1959 Peter Greene, American producer (After Midnight), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1962 Lydia Cheng, American Ms Big Apple bodybuilder (1982) (Pumping Iron 2), born in NYC, New York
  • 1964 Earl Charles Spencer, English peer, brother of Princess Diana, born in London, England
  • 1964 Joseph Sinnott Edwards, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1964 Paul W Richards, astronaut, born in Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • 1967 Ramzi Yousef, Kuwaiti-born Pakistani terrorist
  • 2010 Lady Cosima Windsor, daughter of Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster
  • 2011 Doug the Pug, American internet celebrity dog, born in Ohio

Weddings in History


Deaths in History