On This Day

Events in History on June 20

  • 451 Battle of the Catalaunian Plains: Roman and Visigoths forces defeat Attila the Hun in north east France
  • 1212 French and Spanish crusaders unite against the Almohaden at Toledo
  • 1214 The University of Oxford receives its charter
  • 1221 Foundation stone laid for Burgos Cathedral in the presence of Ferdinand III of Castile (made a UNESCO World Heritage Site 1984)
  • 1530 German Parliament joins to Augsburg together
  • 1567 Jews are expelled from Brazil by order of regent Don Henrique
  • 1582 Bishop Domingo de Salazar of Manila suppresses the Philippines
  • 1591 Mauritius and Willem van Nassau occupy Devente
  • 1627 Ottoman pirates begin raids on Icelandic villages, will eventually capture over 400 people to sell into slavery
  • 1631 The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates
  • 1632 Britain grants 2nd Lord Baltimore rights to Chesapeake Bay area
  • 1633 Charter for Maryland is given to Lord Cecil Baltimore
  • 1656 Polish King Jan II Casimir recaptures Warsaw
  • 1675 Abenaki, Massachusetts, Mohegan and Wampanoag Native Americans form anti-English front under Metacom
  • 1756 Black Hole of Calcutta: 146 British soldiers, Anglo-Indian soldiers and Indian civilians are imprisoned in a small dungeon in Calcutta, India where most die from suffocation and heat exhaustion
  • 1756 Siraj ud-Daulah Nawab of Bengal takes Calcutta from the British

  • 1779 Battle of Stono Ferry fought near Charleston, South Carolina (American Revolutionary War)
  • 1782 Congress approves Great Seal of the United States of America and the bald eagle as its symbol
  • 1787 Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States

FranceTennis Court Oath

1789 French Revolution: The Third Estate of the French Estates-General swears the Tennis Court Oath at the Palace of Versailles, swearing not to disband until a new constitution is formed

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Painting by Jacques-Louis David of the Tennis Court Oath
Painting by Jacques-Louis David of the Tennis Court Oath
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

1791 King Louis XVI and the French royal family are caught during an attempt to flee Paris during the French Revolution, severely undermining their credibility

King of France Louis XVI
King of France
Louis XVI
  • 1819 320 ton Savannah becomes 1st steamship to cross any ocean (Atlantic)

CrownRoyal Coronation

1825 Coronation of Charles X, the last Bourbon King of France

King of France Charles X
King of France
Charles X
  • 1826 Siam and Britain sign trade and peace treaty

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1837 Queen Victoria at 18 ascends British throne following death of uncle King William IV. She rules for 63 years till 1901

Queen of the United Kingdom Queen Victoria
Queen of the United Kingdom
Queen Victoria

InventionHistoric Invention

1840 Samuel Morse patents his telegraph

Inventor Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
  • 1855 Commissioners appointed to lay out San Francisco streets west of Larkin
  • 1862 Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, is assassinated
  • 1863 1st bank chartered in US (National Bank of Davenport Iowa)
  • 1863 Skirmish at Greencastle, Pennsylvania
  • 1863 West Virginia admitted as 35th US state of the Union
  • 1864 Battle of Kinston, North Carolina and Battle of Abingdon, Virginia
  • 1864 Skirmish at Lattermore's Mills/Powder Springs, Georgia
  • 1866 Italy declares war on Austria beginning the Third Italian War of Independence

Treaty of InterestAlaska Purchase

1867 US President Andrew Johnson announces the Alaska Purchase

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The check used by the United States to purchase Alaska at less than 2 cents an acre
The check used by the United States to purchase Alaska at less than 2 cents an acre
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  • 1871 Ku Klux Klan trials began in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi

  • 1874 1st US Lifesaving Medal awarded (Lucian Clemons)

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

1888 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Libertas

256th Pope Leo XIII
256th Pope

MurderMurder of Interest

1893 Lizzie Borden acquitted of the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts

Acquitted Murderer Lizzie Borden
Acquitted Murderer
Lizzie Borden
  • 1894 French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin discovers bacillus responsible for the bubonic plague in Hong Kong (Yersinia pestis named in his honor)
  • 1895 1st female PhD from an American University, earned by Caroline Willard Baldwin (in Science) at Cornell University
  • 1895 Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras form a short-lived confederation
  • 1900 In China, most foreigners in the Peking legations now accept that they are under siege by Boxers
  • 1900 Baron Von Ketteler, German Minister, decides to go to the Chinese authorities to demand more guards for European protection from Boxers and is killed by Boxers en route
  • 1901 Charlotte Maxeke becomes the first native African to graduate from a US college (Wilberforce University in Ohio)
  • 1907 1st Portland Rose festival held in Portland, Oregon
  • 1909 1st balloon honeymoon (Roger Burham & Eleanor Waring)
  • 1911 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) incorporates (NY)
  • 1912 NY Giant Josh Devore steals 4 bases in an inning (2nd & 3rd twice)
  • 1913 Bert Daniels set AL mark, being hit-by-pitch 3 times in a doubleheader
  • 1915 German offensive in Argonne
  • 1919 Treaty of Versailles: Germany ends incorporation of Austria
  • 1919 150 die at the Teatro Yaguez fire, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
  • 1919 Philipp Scheidemann resigns as chancellor of the new German Republic, which he helped establish, refusing to sign the Treaty of Versailles
  • 1921 11.5" (29.2 cm) of rainfall, Circle, Montana (state record)
  • 1921 At the Imperial Conference in London, V.S. Srinivasa Sastri puts forward a case for the granting of full citizenship rights to Indians in South Africa and other British colonies

  • 1926 Mordecai W Johnson becomes 1st black president of Howard University
  • 1931 Karl Buresch becomes chancellor of Austrian
  • 1932 A's Roger Cramer gets 6 consecutive hits in a game (repeats in 1935)
  • 1939 Test flight of 1st rocket plane using liquid propellants
  • 1941 German U-203 fails on torpedo attack on US battleship Texas

Execution'The Banality of Evil'

1942 Adolf Eichmann proclaims deportation of Dutch Jews

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Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in the dock at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem
Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann sits in the dock at his 1961 trial in Jerusalem
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  • 1942 German troops conquer Tobruk, North Africa
  • 1943 Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) founded in Chicago
  • 1943 Detroit race riot kills 35
  • 1943 German round up Jews in Amsterdam
  • 1943 Chubb Crater (now called Pingualuit Crater) discovered in northern Quebec (3½ km diameter)
  • 1944 Congress charters Central Intelligence Agency
  • 1944 Heavy storm hits the Channel

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944 Nazis begin mass extermination of Jews at Auschwitz

Nazi Physician Eduard Wirths
Nazi Physician
Eduard Wirths
  • 1944 Soviet forces conquer Wiborg
  • 1944 US attacks Japanese fleet in the Philippine Sea
  • 1946 NYC transit begins using PA system - Car # 744 on 8th Ave IND line
  • 1947 US President Harry Truman vetoes Taft-Hartley Act
  • 1948 20 Jews killed when a bomb is thrown into Jewish quarter of Cairo
  • 1948 Cleveland draws then record 82,781 for doubleheader

  • 1948 Deutsche Mark introduced in West Germany
  • 1949 Central Intelligence Agency Act passes
  • 1950 Dutch Air Force base Tjililitan given to Indonesia
  • 1956 Venezuelan Super Constellation crashes in NJ, 74 killed
  • 1958 NZ all out 47 v England at Lord's, Laker 4-13, Lock 5-17
  • 1960 Federation of Mali and Senegal become independent of France

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 "The Huckleberry Hound Show" by Hanna-Barbera becomes the first animated programme to win an Emmy

Animator Joseph Barbera
Joseph Barbera
Animator William Hanna
William Hanna
  • 1963 US & USSR agree to set up "Hot Line"

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 Sheila Scott completes 1st round-the-world solo flight by a woman

Aviator Sheila Scott
Sheila Scott
  • 1967 Mohammed Ali [Cassius Clay] sentenced to 5 years by jury after 21 minutes of deliberation for refusing to be inducted into the armed forces during the Vietnam War
  • 1968 Austin Currie, then Nationalist Member of Parliament (MP) at Stormont, and other Irish civil rights activists, protest discrimination in the allocation of housing by 'squatting' (illegally occupying) in a house in Caledon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969 Georges Pompidou sworn in as President of France

French President Georges Pompidou
French President
Georges Pompidou
  • 1969 A constitutional referendum in Rhodesia on declaring a republic is approved by 72% of the voting population

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 British government of Edward Heath forms (with Margaret Thatcher in the Cabinet)

British Prime Minister Edward Heath
British Prime Minister
Edward Heath
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
British Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher
  • 1972 Secret Meeting Between IRA and British Officials held

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973 Juan Perón returns from exile to Argentina after 18 years

General and President of Argentina Juan Perón
General and President of Argentina
Juan Perón
  • 1973 Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Snipers fire upon left-wing Peronists. At least 13 are killed and more than 300 are injured
  • 1976 Carol Fugate, Starkweather accomplice, is paroled

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1977 Menachem Begin forms Israeli government

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin
  • 1977 Oil enters Trans-Alaska pipeline exits 38 days later at Valdez

  • 1981 Mudjahedin uprises against Iran regime

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1981 Pope John Paul II hospitalized for 55 days for infection

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1982 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin arrives in Washington
  • 1983 Iran moves into northern Iraq (casualties top 13,800 in ten days)
  • 1984 Amber Kvanli, of Minnesota, crowned America's Junior Miss

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 Drs at Bethesda Naval remove 2 small benign polyps from Reagan's colon

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1987 Chuti Tiu, 17, of Wisconsin, crowned America's Junior Miss
  • 1988 Coup in Haiti: Henri Namphy overthrows Leslie Manigat, general assembly dissolved
  • 1988 Supreme Court upholds a law that made it illegal for private clubs to discriminate against women and minorities

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Nelson Mandela lands in NYC to begin a tour of US

Anti-apartheid activist and South African President Nelson Mandela
Anti-apartheid activist and South African President
Nelson Mandela
  • 1990 Asteroid Eureka is discovered
  • 1991 The Bundestag (German parliament) decides to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin
  • 1994 Bomb attack on Islamic temple in Mashad Iran (70 killed)
  • 1994 US Fairchild Hospital Air Force Base massacre, former gunman kills 5 and injures 22
  • 1995 Space probe Ulysses begins 2nd passage behind the Sun
  • 1996 Space Shuttle STS 78 (Columbia 20), launches into space
  • 1996 The Venezuelan Congress approves deals which allow foreign oil companies to explore and produce oil in Venezuela for the first time since the country's 1975 nationalization of the oil industry
  • 1997 Negotiators announce agreement in principle with tobacco industry
  • 2011 Betty Dukes v. Walmart class action lawsuit on alleged employee gender discrimination in pay and promotion policies is decided in a 5-4 decision, ruling that the class should not be certified in its current form
  • 2012 Western Libyan tribal clashes kill 105 people and injure 500

  • 2012 A Syrian fighter pilot lands in Jordan and defects from the Syrian uprising
  • 2015 Heat wave peaks in southern Pakistan, goes on to kill about 2,000 people from dehydration and heat stroke
  • 2015 1000 humanoid robots named "Pepper" sell out in under a minute ($1,600 each) in Japan, according to its creator SoftBank Robotics Corp.
  • 2016 China's super computer tally overtakes the US; Chinese 93 petaflop Sunway TaihuLight is world's No. 1
  • 2016 Rome elects its first female Mayor Virginia Raggi (Five Star Movement) and its youngest at 37
  • 2017 US toymaker Mattel releases 15 new body types for their Ken doll, including one with a man bun
  • 2017 Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns as CEO after a shareholder revolt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018 US President Donald Trump signs Executive Order ending family separation at the border for illegal immigrants

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2018 Algeria turns off its internet to stop students cheating during exams
  • 2018 Hungarian government passes legislation that criminalizes aiding undocumented migrants
  • 2019 Oregon Governor Kate Brown authorizes police to round up 11 Republican state senators who have gone into hiding to stop vote on cap-and-trade proposal emissions bill

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

2019 Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, the first Chinese president to visit North Korea in 14 years

Paramount Leader of China Xi Jinping
Paramount Leader of China
Xi Jinping
Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea Kim Jong-un
Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea
Kim Jong-un
  • 2019 Shares for messaging site Slack start trading on the New York Stock Exchange to give it a valuation of $19.5 billion
  • 2019 Iran shoots down a US drone over the Straits of Hormuz escalating tension between the two countries
  • 2020 Donald Trump controversially holds his first re-election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, only 6,200 people attend despite the campaign stating 1 million had registered. Social media campaign organised by teens on TikTok, K-Pop fans and others, claims responsibility for wildly inflating the expected attendance.
  • 2020 Highest-ever temperature recorded in the Arctic circle, 38C (100F) in Verkhoyansk, Siberia
  • 2020 Three men stabbed to death, with three others injured, in a terrorist attack in a park in Reading, England
  • 2020 Historic dust cloud from the Sahara desert reaches the Caribbean, largest for half a century