Events in History on December 20

  • 69 General Vespasian's troops occupy Rome after defeating the Emperor Vitellius
  • 1046 Pope Gregory VI abdicates at the Council of Sutri, ending a conflict between himself, Benedict IX and Sylvester III; Clement II becomes the new Pope

Historic Event

1192 Richard the Lionhearted captured in Vienna

  • 1448 Pope Nicholas V appoints Rudolf of Diepholt, Bishop of Utrecht, as cardinal

Historic Event

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.

  • 1585 English fleet & Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, reach Vlissingen
  • 1606 The English colonial expedition to America, consisting of the ships Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant, departs Blackwall, London to found Jamestown, Virginia

Historic Event

1626 Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II and Prince of Transylvania Gabor Bethlen sign Peace of Pressburg (Bratislava)

  • 1661 Corporation Act enforced in England
  • 1669 1st jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection & sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery
  • 1688 Prince William of Orange's troops arrive in London

Historic Event

1699 Russian Tsar Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed from Sept 1 to Jan 1

  • 1780 Britain declares war on Holland

Historic Event

1790 1st successful US cotton mill begins spinning yarn in Pawtucket, Rhode Island built by Samuel Slater based on Richard Arkwright's design

  • 1803 French flag lowered in New Orleans to mark the formal transfer of the Louisiana Purchase from France to USA, purchased for $15M


1812 "Grimm's Fairy Tales" or "Children's and Household Tales" by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm is first published

  • 1820 Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men aged between 21 & 50
  • 1830 Great Britain, France, Prussia, Austria and Russia recognize Belgium
  • 1850 Hawaiian post office established
  • 1860 South Carolina declared an "independent commonwealth" and secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • 1861 Battle of Dranesville, VA
  • 1862 -Dec 20th] Battle of Kelly's Ford, VA
  • 1862 -Jan 3rd] Vicksburg campaign

Historic Event

1862 Confederate Army Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest occupies Trenton, Kentucky (US Civil War)

  • 1862 Confederate raid on Union supplies at Holly Springs, Mississippi
  • 1864 -Dec 27th] Battle of Ft Fisher, NC
  • 1865 De Clear-Alkmaar railway opens

Historic Event

1879 Thomas Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park

  • 1880 Battle at Bronker's Spruit, Transvaal: Farmers beat Britten
  • 1880 NY's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"
  • 1883 Intl cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls
  • 1891 Strongman Louis Cyr withstands pull of 4 horses
  • 1892 Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse, NY
  • 1893 1st state anti-lynching statute approved, in Georgia
  • 1900 Giacobini discovers a comet (will be 1st comet visited by spacecraft)
  • 1906 Venezuela (under vice-pres Gomez) attacks Dutch fleet
  • 1907 Explosion at Yolande Alabama, coal mine kills 91
  • 1912 J Hartley Manners' "Peg O' My Heart" premieres in NYC
  • 1912 Paul Claudels "L'Annonce Faite à Marie" premieres in Paris
  • 1915 Final withdraw of all allied troops from Anzac Cove
  • 1915 Russian troops overrun Qom, Persia
  • 1917 A second nationwide referendum on military conscription is rejected by the Australian public

Historic Event

1917 Cheka formed - Soviet state security force and forerunner to the KGB, under Felix Dzerzhinsky after decree by Lenin

Historic Event

1918 Eugene O'Neill's "Moon of the Caribees" premieres in NYC

  • 1918 The Allies turn their attention to Bolshevik expansion in the East, landing troops in Crimea and Latvia
  • 1919 Canadian National Railways established (N America's longest, 50,000 KM)
  • 1919 US House of Representatives restricts immigration
  • 1922 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR)
  • 1922 Polish parliament selects Stanislaw Wojcieckowski as president

Coup d'état

1924 Adolf Hitler freed from jail early, having served only nine months of five-year sentence for "Beer Hall Putsch"

Historic Event

1926 Pope Pius XI convicts fascist pursuit in Italy

  • 1926 Sidney Howard's "Silver Cord" premieres in NYC
  • 1928 1st international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Quebec
  • 1929 Mount Davidson dedicated as a San Francisco city park
  • 1933 Bolivia & Paraguay sign cease fire
  • 1935 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii
  • 1939 Radio Australia begins overseas shortwave service
  • 1941 Free France under adm Muselier occupies St-Pierre et Miquelon
  • 1941 Japanese troops land on Mindanao, Philippines
  • 1941 World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" in Kunming, China.
  • 1942 1st Japanese bombing of Calcutta
  • 1944 Archbishop De Young & bishop Huibers condemn black market
  • 1944 Battle of Bastogne: Nazis surround 101st Airborne (NUTS!)
  • 1944 Bishop forbids membership of non Catholic unions

Historic Event

1944 Terence Rattigan's "O Mistress Mine" premieres in London

  • 1945 Rationing of auto tires ends in US
  • 1948 Second Chamber accept 2nd Police Action in Indonesia
  • 1951 Walter Zinn's Experimental Breeder Reactor I, the first nuclear reactor to produce electric power, goes live at the Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  • 1955 Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales
  • 1956 Military coup under colonel Simbolon in Sumatra
  • 1956 Montgomery, Alabama removes race-based seat assignments on its buses
  • 1960 Auschwitz commandant Richard Bar arrested in German FR
  • 1960 The National Liberation Front, better known as the Viet Cong, is officially formed in South Vietnam
  • 1963 Berlin Wall opens for 1st time to West Berliners
  • 1963 Massemba-Debate elected President of Congo-Brazzaville
  • 1963 Trial against 21 camp guards of Auschwitz begins
  • 1964 Levi Eshkol forms 12th Israeli government
  • 1966 Nuclear Planning Group forms in Brussels
  • 1966 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1967 474,300 US soldiers in Vietnam
  • 1968 Learie Constantine becomes UK's first person of African descent to be named a life peer (to sit in the House of Lords) in the Crown's New Year's Honours list [1]
  • 1968 The People's Democracy (PD) announce that its members will undertake a protest march from Belfast to Derry beginning 1 January 1969
  • 1968 The Zodiac Killer murders teenagers Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday while on their first date together in Vallejo, California [1]
  • 1970 Edward Gierek succeeds Wladyslaw Gomulka as Poland's communist party leader

Historic Publication

1971 First preview issue of "Ms" magazine is published in the US launched by Gloria Steinem

  • 1971 Pakistan president Yahya Khan resigns
  • 1972 Five civilians (four Catholics, one Protestant) killed in gun attack on the Top of the Hill Bar in Derry, North Ireland
  • 1973 Dutch Antillean government of Evertsz forms
  • 1974 Ethiopia becomes socialist one-party state
  • 1975 Joe Walsh recruited to join Eagles

Historic Event

1975 Pope Paul VI named J Willebrands archbishop of Utrecht

  • 1977 1st Space walk made by Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko during Salyut 6 EO-1 mission
  • 1977 RAF -terrorist Knut Folkerts sentenced to 20 years

Historic Event

1978 H. R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House Chief of Staff released from jail

  • 1980 USSR formally announces death of Alexei Kosygin
  • 1981 Browns set team records for most fumbles (9) & most turnovers (10)
  • 1983 El Salvador adopts constitution

Historic Event

1983 PLO chairman Yasser Arafat & 4,000 loyalists evacuate Lebanon

  • 1984 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1985 Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is 1st)
  • 1986 White teenagers beat blacks in New York City's Howard Beach
  • 1987 Dona Paz ferry sinks after crash with oil tanker Vector in Philippine waters, 4,386 die in world's deadliest peacetime maritime disaster
  • 1988 Animal rights terrorists fire-bomb Harrod's department store, London
  • 1988 Premier Ranasinghe Premadasa elected President of Sri Lanka
  • 1989 Premier Lubbers sees CDA-party leader Elco Brinkman as successor

Historic Event

1989 US troops invade Panama & oust Manuel Noriega, but don't catch him

  • 1990 Pentagon warns Saddam that US air power is ready to attack on 1/15
  • 1990 Robert F X Sillerman purchases WAFL NY-NJ Knights for $11 million
  • 1990 The world's first website and server go live at CERN
  • 1991 A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.

Leadership Contest

1991 Paul Keating becomes Prime Minister of Australia after rolling Bob Hawke for leadership of the Labor party

  • 1992 Northwest & KLM introduce a new joint logo "Worldwide Reliability"

Election of Interest

1992 Slobodan Milošević re-elected president of Serbia

  • 1995 American Flight 965 crashes into a mountain in Buga, Colombia, 159 die, 5 survive
  • 1995 NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia
  • 1996 First part of the new building for the National Library of France inaugurated in Paris, designed by Dominique Perrault [1]
  • 1999 Portugal returns Macau to China
  • 2001 Argentine economic crisis: President of Argentina Fernando de la Rúa is forced out of office.
  • 2002 US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
  • 2005 New York City's Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike over pension and wage increases, shutting down all subway and bus services for three days
  • 2005 The first same sex civil partnerships in Scotland are celebrated
  • 2005 US District Court Judge John E. Jones III rules against mandating the teaching of "intelligent design" in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
  • 2006 A judge rules against the death penalty in the case of Naveed Haq, a man convicted in the shooting death and injuries at the Jewish Federation in Seattle.

Historic Event

2007 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.

  • 2007 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque completed (begun 1994), becoming the largest mosque in Abu Dhabi

Historic Event

2007 The painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, along with O Lavrador de Café, by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari.

  • 2012 Apple is denied a patent for mobile pinch-to-zoom gestures by the US patent authorities
  • 2012 Intercontinental Exchange purchases the New York Stock Exchange, the largest in the world, for $8 billion
  • 2014 Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley kills 2 NYPD officers in Brooklyn, New York, supposedly in revenge for the killing of Eric Garner, before killing himself
  • 2015 Landslide from construction waste in Shenzhen, China leaves 74 dead or missing and buries 30 buildings
  • 2017 European Commission triggers first step of its article 7 procedure issuing Poland with formal warning of risk to voting rights
  • 2017 US House and Senate pass $1.5 trillion tax and jobs bill, the biggest tax overhaul for decades
  • 2018 New figures show average US male weighs 198 pounds and stands 5 feet 9 inches, women 171 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches

Historic Event

2018 US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis announces his resignation after disagreements with President Donald Trump

  • 2019 Landmark climate justice case as Dutch Supreme Court upholds 2013 decision brought by Urgenda Foundation against Dutch government for not reducing carbon dioxide emissions
  • 2019 Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana granted US federal recognition, providing the right to certain legal and government benefits
  • 2019 United States Space Force founded, an armed forces branch dedicated to space warfare
  • 2020 European countries begin closing their borders to the UK after news of a faster-spreading variant of COVID-19 across London and the south-east
  • 2021 First Hong Kong legislative elections with only 'patriot' candidates allowed to stand has low turnout of 30%