On This Day in History for September 20

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 156

  • 368 Emperor Valentinianus visits Nijmegen

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

451 Roman General Flavius Aetius defeats Attila the Hun at The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains (Chalons-sur-Marne), halting Hun invasion of Roman Gaul

Roman General Flavius Aetius
Roman General
Flavius Aetius
  • 622 Islamic Prophet Muhammed/Abu Bakr arrives in Jathrib (Medina)
  • 1066 Battle of Fulford, Yorkshire: Harald III Hardrada of Norway defeats Northern Saxon Earls Edwin and Morcar

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1187 Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem.

1st Sultan of Egypt and Syria Saladin
1st Sultan of Egypt and Syria
  • 1258 Salisbury Cathedral inaugurated
  • 1378 Robert de Geneve, "butcher of Cesena" crowned anti-pope Clemens VII

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1519 Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets off on the 1st successful circumnavigation of the globe (Magellan killed on route)

  • 1530 Luther advises protestant monarch compromise
  • 1565 Spaniards capture Fort Caroline Florida & massacre the French
  • 1596 Diego de Montemayor founded the city of Monterrey in New Spain.
  • 1602 Spanish held city of Grave surrenders to Maurice of Orange during Eighty Years' War
  • 1604 Spanish army under Spinola recaptures Oostende

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1620 Battle at Jassy: Turks beat king Sigismund III of Poland

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1643 First Battle of Newbury (English civil war): King Charles I's forces beaten by a parliamentary army led by the Earl of Essex and Philip Stapleton

King of England Charles I
King of England
Charles I
  • 1664 Maryland passes 1st anti-amalgamation law to stop intermarriage of English women & black men
  • 1674 2nd West Indies Company forms
  • 1688 French troops occupies Palts
  • 1697 Peace of Saki (ends 9 years war)
  • 1737 Runner Edward Marshall completes his journey in the Walking Purchase forcing the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony
  • 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie flees to France from Scotland

BattleBattle of Interest

1777 Battle of Paoli; British forces under Major General Charles Grey attacks Brigadier General Anthony Wayne's encampment. Claims the British gave no quarter leads to engagement becoming known as the "Paoli Massacre"

Military Leader Anthony Wayne
Military Leader
Anthony Wayne
  • 1787 Prince Willem V returns to Hague
  • 1792 French defeat Prussians at Valmy
  • 1793 British troops under Major-general Williamson lands on (French) Haiti
  • 1797 US frigate Constitution (Old Ironsides) launched in Boston
  • 1814 "Star Spangled Banner" published as a song, lyrics by Francis Scott Key, tune by John Stafford Smith
  • 1830 1st Negro Convention of Free Men agree to boycott slave-produced goods

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1833 Charles Darwin rides horse to Buenos Aires

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • 1835 Farroupilha's Revolution begins in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • 1839 1st railroad in Netherland opens (Amsterdam-Haarlem)
  • 1848 The American Association for the Advancement of Science is created.
  • 1850 Slave trade abolished in DC, but slavery allowed to continue
  • 1854 Battle of the Alma: first major battle of Crimean War. British and French alliance defeat the Russians
  • 1859 George Simpson patents electric range
  • 1860 First British royalty to visit US, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII)
  • 1861 Battle of Lexington, MI-captured by Union
  • 1863 Battle of Shepardstown VA
  • 1863 Civil War Battle of Chickamauga, near Chattanooga Tenn, ends

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1870 Capture of Rome by Italian army, Pope Pius IX surrenders to King Victor Emmanuel which unifies Italy and ends 1,116 year reign of Papal States

King of Sardinia and Italy Victor Emmanuel II
King of Sardinia and Italy
Victor Emmanuel II

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1870 Mayor William Tweed accused of robbing NY treasury

Politician Boss Tweed
Boss Tweed
  • 1871 Bishop John Coleridge Patteson martyred on the island of Nukapu, a Polynesian outlier island now in the Temotu province of the Solomon Islands. He was the first bishop of Melanesia.
  • 1873 Panic sweeps NY Stock Exchange (railroad bond default/bank failure) NY shut banks for 10 days due to a bank scandal
  • 1876 Ottawa Football Club forms
  • 1877 Chase National Bank opens in NYC (later merges into Chase Manhattan)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1879 Ulysses S. Grant and family go to SF for elaborate extended visit

Union General and US President Ulysses S. Grant
Union General and US President
Ulysses S. Grant

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1881 Chester A. Arthur sworn in as 21st president

21st US President Chester A. Arthur
21st US President
Chester A. Arthur
  • 1884 6.2 mile Arlberg railroad tunnel completed in Austria
  • 1884 Equal Rights Party nominates female candidates for US President and Vice President
  • 1891 The first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States.
  • 1904 George Ade's "College Widow," premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1904 Orville & Wilbur Wright fly a circle in their Flyer II

Aviator Wilbur Wright
Wilbur Wright
  • 1905 Cleveland makes AL record 7 errors in an inning
  • 1906 Cunard Line's RMS Mauretania is launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle, England.
  • 1909 The British Parliament passes the South Africa Act; it calls for union of Cape Colony, Natal, Orange River Colony, and Transvaal; and both English and Dutch as official languages
  • 1911 Yanks set team record 12 errors in a double header
  • 1914 John Redmond urges Irish Volunteers to enlist in the British Army
  • 1917 British assault on Polygon Forest, France
  • 1917 Paraguay becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1918 Royal Dutch Blast furnace & Steel factory opens in Hague
  • 1919 Booth Tarkington's "Clarence," premieres in NYC
  • 1920 Foundation of the Spanish Legion.
  • 1922 Rogers Hornsby ends hitting streak of 33 games

MurderAssassination Attempt

1926 Bugs Moran attempts to assassinate Al Capone in a drive-by shooting but fails

Gangster Bugs Moran
Bugs Moran
Gangster Al Capone
Al Capone
  • 1930 Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is formed by Archbishop Mar Ivanios.
  • 1932 Dutch South Seas rebaptized in IJsselmeer

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1932 Gandhi begins hunger strike against treatment of untouchables

Pacifist and Spiritual Leader Mahatma Gandhi
Pacifist and Spiritual Leader
Mahatma Gandhi
  • 1935 Pitts Crawfords beat NY Cubans to win Negro NL Championship, 3-0
  • 1938 Emlyn Williams' "Corn is Green," premieres in London
  • 1939 British navy captures German U-27 boat
  • 1942 Gunther Hagg becomes world champ of all records from 1500m to 5000m
  • 1943 Liberator bomber sinks U-338
  • 1944 Nijmegen is liberated from German occupation
  • 1944 Polish forces free Terneuzen Neth
  • 1945 German rocket engineers begin work in US
  • 1946 Churchill argues for a 'United States of Europe'
  • 1949 Dutch Guilder devalued 30.3%
  • 1951 1st North Pole jet crossing
  • 1951 NL President Ford Frick elected 3rd commissioner of baseball
  • 1951 Swiss males votes against female suffrage
  • 1954 1st FORTRAN computer program run
  • 1954 1st National People's Congress adopts Chinese constitution
  • 1954 Los Stravinsky's "In Memoriam Dylan Thomas," premieres in Angeles

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1954 Roger Bannister awarded Britain's Silver Pears Trophy

Middle-Distance Runner Roger Bannister
Middle-Distance Runner
Roger Bannister
  • 1954 New Zealand's Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents reports just ten days after concluding hearings.
  • 1958 Ferhat Abbas forms Algerian government in exile (Cairo)
  • 1958 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1960 UN General Assembly admit 13 African countries & Cyprus (96 nations)
  • 1961 After 84 1/3 innings Bill Fischer gives up a base on balls
  • 1961 James Meredith refused enrollment to the segregated University of Mississippi
  • 1961 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
  • 1962 Ben Bella wins 1st elections in independent Algeria
  • 1962 Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett refuses to admit an African-American, James Meredith, to Mississippi University

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1963 JFK proposes a joint US-Soviet voyage to the moon

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964 Günter Grass' play "Die Plebejern proben den Aufstand," premieres in Berlin

Writer and playwright Günter Grass
Writer and playwright
Günter Grass
  • 1966 US Surveyor B launched toward Moon; crashed Sept 23
  • 1967 Benin separates from Nigeria
  • 1967 British liner Queen Elizabeth II launched at Clydebank Scotland
  • 1967 Hurricane Beulah hits Texas-Mexican border, kills 38
  • 1970 Soviet spcecraft Luna 16 lands on Moon's Mare Fecunditatis, drills core sample

Birthdays in History

  • 1486 Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of King Henry VII of England (d. 1502)
  • 1599 Christian the Younger, German Protestant military leader (d. 1623)
  • 1665 Johannes van der Hagen, vicar/genealogist/chronologer
  • 1744 Giacomo Quarenghi, Italian-Russian master builder and architect (Hermitage Theater), born in Rota d'Imagna, Republic of Venice (d. 1817)
  • 1744 Thomas Grosvenor, American Revolutionary War hero (d. 1825)
  • 1746 Móric Beňovský, Slovak military officer, explorer and self-declared King of Madagascar, born in Verbó, Kingdom of Hungary (d. 1786)
  • 1790 Francisco Acuna the Figueroa, Uruguayan poet (Toraidas)
  • 1791 Sergei T Aksakov, Russian writer (Semejnaja chronika)
  • 1795 Peter of Limburg Brouwer, physician/classical/author
  • 1809 Sterline "Old Pap" Price, Major General (Confederate Army)
  • 1810 Alpheus Starkey Williams, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Deep River, Connecticut (d. 1878)
  • 1820 George Washington Morgan, American lawyer, politician, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Washington County, Pennsylvania (d. 1893)
  • 1820 John Fulton Reynolds, American Major General (Union Army), born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (d. 1863)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1833 Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, Italian journalist, soldier and pacifist (Nobel Peace Prize 1907), born in Milan, Lombardy (d. 1918)

Italian Pacifist Ernesto Teodoro Moneta
Italian Pacifist
Ernesto Teodoro Moneta
  • 1842 James Dewar, Scottish chemist/physicist (Dewarfles/cordiet)
  • 1844 William H. Illingworth, American photographer (d. 1893)
  • 1847 Sergei G Netsjajev, Russian nihilist (Catechism Revolutionary)
  • 1852 Edouard baron Empain, Belgian railway builder (Paris Metro)
  • 1853 Rama V, King of Thailand (d. 1910)
  • 1859 Yuan She-k'ai, Chinese general/president/dictator
  • 1861 Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress (d. 1955)
  • 1865 Lubor Niederle, Czech archaeologist/slavist
  • 1869 George Robey, [George Edward Wade], comic
  • 1869 Marcel Cachin, co-founder (French Communistic Party)
  • 1872 Maurice Gamelin, French generalissimo

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1878 Upton Beall Sinclair, US writer (Jungle), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1968)

  • 1879 Victor Seastrom, Silbodal Sweden, director (Wind, Under the Red Robe)
  • 1880 Louise Peete, American murderess (d. 1947)
  • 1883 John G van Dillen, historian (Of Wealth & Oligarchists)
  • 1883 Maria Baers, Flemish social female worker/senator

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1884 Maxwell Perkins, American editor and publisher, born in NYC, New York (d. 1947)

  • 1890 Rachel Bluwstein, Hebrew poet, born in Saratov, Imperial Russia (d. 1931)
  • 1893 Hans H B Scharoun, German architect (Berlin Philharmonic)
  • 1896 Fjodor I Panfjorov, Russian author (Volga) [NS=Oct 2]
  • 1899 Elliott Nugent, American director (And So They Were Married), born in Dover, Ohio (d. 1980)
  • 1899 Leo Strauss, German-born philosopher (d. 1973)
  • 1900 Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco, Brazil general/pres (1964-67)
  • 1902 Stevie [Florence Margaret] Smith, Kingston upon Hull, English poet and novelist (Not Waving but Drowning)
  • 1908 Alexander Mitscherlich, German psychotherapist
  • 1908 Levon-Karapet His Holiness Vasken Baidjian, patriach of Etchmiadzin
  • 1911 Shriram Sharma Acharya, Indian spiritual leader (d. 1991)
  • 1912 Marianne Kunvari, writer
  • 1922 David Nicolson, British businessman and politician (Chairman of BTR Industries-1969)
  • 1923 Geraldine Clinton Little, Irish-born poet (d. 1997)
  • 1924 James Galanos, fashion designer (Coty Hall of Fame 1959), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2016)
  • 1924 John Vassall, spy/civil servant
  • 1925 Ananda Mahidol, King of Thailand (d. 1946)
  • 1928 Donald Hall, American poet and US Poet Laureate
  • 1933 Bob Banas, American choreographer (Malibu U, Jonathan Winters Show), born in NYC, New York
  • 1935 Keith J Roberts, England, writer (Irish Encounter, Ladies from Hell)
  • 1937 Birgitta Dahl, Swedish politician
  • 1938 George J Hochbrueckner, (Rep-D-NY)
  • 1939 Robert L. Gerry III, American businessman
  • 1940 Joseph J DioGuardi, (Rep-R-NY, 1985- )
  • 1941 Dale Chihuly, artist in glass (Louis Tiffany Award 1967), born in Tacoma, Washington
  • 1941 John A Wismont Jr, California, watercolor painter (over 50,000)
  • 1942 Gérald Tremblay, Québec politician

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1943 Sani Abacha, de facto President of Nigeria (1993-98), born in Kano, Nigeria

President of Nigeria Sani Abacha
President of Nigeria
Sani Abacha
  • 1947 Chuck Panozzo [John], rocker (Styx), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1947 Bruce Pasternack, American CEO
  • 1948 George R. R. Martin, American fantasy and sci-fi author (A Song of Ice and Fire), born in Bayonne, New Jersey
  • 1950 James P[aul] Blaylock, American sci-fi author (Elfin Ship, Homunculus), born in Long Beach, California
  • 1951 Javier Marías, Spanish author, translator and academic
  • 1954 Anne Mcintosh, British member European parliament
  • 1954 Brinke Stevens, [Charlene Brinkman] Ca, actress (Slumber Party Massacre)
  • 1955 Christine Oddy, British member European parliament
  • 1957 Rich DiSilvio, American new media developer & artist
  • 1960 James A Pawelczyk, PhD/astronaut (sk STS 90), born in Buffalo, New York
  • 1960 Deborah Roberts, American journalist and TV reporter
  • 1974 Michael Waddington, American defense lawyer
  • 1976 Yui Horie, Japanese seiyuu
  • 1976 Reuben Singh, British entrepreneur
  • 1981 Joanie Dodds, America's Next Top Model contestant

Weddings in History

  • 2012 Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's daughter Princess Hajah Hafizah Sururul Bolkiah (32) weds Pengiran Haji Muhammad Ruzaini (29) at the Throne Hall of Istana Nurul Iman palace in Brunei

Deaths in History

  • 1168 Paschal III, [Guido di Crema], Italian anti-Pope, dies
  • 1246 Mikhail of Chernigov, ruler of Kiev
  • 1384 Louis, duke of Anjou/wife of Marie of Bretagne
  • 1493 Philippe Pot, governor/viceroy of Burgundy, dies
  • 1586 Anthony Babington, page/conspirator to Mary Stuart, executed at 24
  • 1613 Willem H van Est (Estius), theologist, dies
  • 1624 Isaac Le Maire, Amsterdam ship owner, dies at about 66
  • 1625 Heinrich Meibom, German historian and critic (b. 1555)
  • 1627 Jan Gruter, Dutch critic (b. 1560)
  • 1639 John Meursius, [van Meurs], historian, dies at 60
  • 1643 Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland, English politician and writer
  • 1679 Cornelis Evertsen the Young, vice-admiral of Zealand, dies at 51
  • 1703 Archibald Campbell, Scot milt man (blood bath of Glencoe), dies at 52
  • 1731 Sicco van Goslinga, Fries diplomat/sect of High Council, dies at 67
  • 1773 Pieter de Swart, architect (Delfts Port Rotterdam), dies at 63
  • 1803 Robert Emmet, Irish nationalist, executed
  • 1806 Utamaro Kitagawa, painter, dies
  • 1810 Wouter J van Troostwijk, painter, dies at 28
  • 1839 Jose Gaspar de Francia, dictator of Paraguay (1816-39), dies at 74
  • 1852 Philander Chase, American university founder (b. 1775)
  • 1863 Benjamin Hardin Helm, US attorney/Confederate brigadier general, dies at 33

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1863 Jacob Grimm, German philologist, folklorist and editor of "Grimm's Fairy Tales", dies at 78

Author Jacob Grimm
Jacob Grimm
  • 1863 William Haines Lytle, US politician, poet and Brigadier General (Union Army), killed in action during the American Civil War at 36
  • 1865 William H Revere Jr, US Union brigadier general, dies
  • 1873 Lulu Strauss und Torney, German poetess/writer, dies
  • 1884 Leopold Fitzinger, Austrian zoologist (b.1802)
  • 1898 Theodor Fontane, German author (Der Stechlin), dies at 78
  • 1906 Robert R. Hitt, American politician (b. 1834)
  • 1917 Herbert Morris, Jamaican deserter in France, executed at 17
  • 1932 Max Slevogt, German painter, dies at 63
  • 1932 Wovoka, Paiute visionary
  • 1933 Annie Besant, English social reformer and supporter of Indian independence, dies at 85
  • 1939 Paul Bruchési, French Canadian Catholic archbishop of Montreal (b. 1855)
  • 1944 John Grayburn, English (Victoria Cross), dies in battle in Arnhem
  • 1945 William Buehler Seabrook, Writer, journalist, occultist and explorer (b. 1884)
  • 1945 Augusto Tasso Fragoso, Brazilian president (b. 1869)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1945 Eduard Wirths, Nazi physician at Auschwitz, commits suicide at 36

Nazi Physician Eduard Wirths
Nazi Physician
Eduard Wirths
  • 1947 Fiorello H La Guardia, (Mayor-R-NYC, 1933-45), dies
  • 1960 Lee Duncan, owner/trainer (Rin Tin Tin), dies of heart attack at 67
  • 1971 William F Albright, US archaeologist, dies at 80
  • 1975 Saint-John Perse, French diplomat/poet (Nobel 1960), dies at 78
  • 1979 Ludvik Svoboda, Czech general and politician, dies at 83
  • 1987 Michael Stewart [Myron Stuart Rubin], American playwright (Hello, Dolly!), dies at 63
  • 1995 Monica Maurice, industrialist, dies at 87
  • 1996 Max Manus, resistance fighter, dies at 82
  • 1996 Murtaza Bhutto, Pakistani politician, dies at 42
  • 1996 Paul Erdos, mathematician, dies of heart attack at 83
  • 1999 Raisa Gorbachyova, wife of Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1932)
  • 2000 Gherman Titov, cosmonaut (b. 1935)
  • 2003 Lord Williams of Mostyn, Welsh barrister, politician, and Lord President of the Council, dies at 62
  • 2003 Simon Muzenda, Zimbabwe politician (b. 1922)
  • 2004 Townsend Hoopes, American politician (b. 1922)
  • 2005 Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian-Polish Nazi hunter (b. 1908)
  • 2005 Tobias Schneebaum, American writer, anthropologist and explorer dies at 83
  • 2011 Burhanuddin Rabbani, President of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. (b. 1940)
  • 2015 C. K. [Charles Kenneth] Williams, American poet and translator (Pulitzer prize 2000), dies at 78