See what makes December 20 special at Famous Daily.
History, birthdays, holiday, and a quote!
What happened on December 20
- December 20, 0069 "Vespasian, a former general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of emperor."
- December 20, 1192 Richard the Lion-Heart is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the crusade.
- December 20, 1522 "Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta."
- December 20, 1606 "The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas."
- December 20, 1606 Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown
- December 20, 1669 "First jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection and sentenced to flogging, branding and slavery"
- December 20, 1699 Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed-Sept 1 to Jan 1
- December 20, 1790 "First successful US cotton mill to spin yarn (Pawtucket, RI)"
- December 20, 1803 Louisiana Purchase formally transferred from France to US for $27M
- December 20, 1820 Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 and 50
- December 20, 1835 "First signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence at Goliad, Texas."
- December 20, 1850 Hawaiian post office established
- December 20, 1860 "SC votes 169-0 for Ordinance of Secession, first state to secede"
- December 20, 1860 South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the United States.
- December 20, 1879 Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
- December 20, 1880 "New York's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as ""Great White Way"""
- December 20, 1883 International cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls
- December 20, 1891 Strongman Louis Cyr withstands the pull of 4 horses
- December 20, 1892 "Phileas Fogg completes around world trip, according to Verne"
- December 20, 1892 "Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse NY"
- December 20, 1893 "First state anti-lynching statue approved, in Georgia"
- December 20, 1900 Giacobini discovers a comet which later will be visited bya spacecraft
- December 20, 1907 "Explosion at Yolande Alabama, coal mine kills 91"
- December 20, 1915 Last Australian troops evacuated from Gallipoli Peninsula
- December 20, 1915 World War I: Last Australian troops evacuated from Gallipoli.
- December 20, 1917 "Cheka, the first Soviet secret police, is founded."
- December 20, 1917 Second conscription referendum in Australia and among forces overseas Proposal to introduce conscription defeated TOP
- December 20, 1918 "The use of the collective title ""Canadian National Railways"" is authorized by order in council P.C. 3122."
- December 20, 1922 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR)
- December 20, 1928 "First international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Quebec"
- December 20, 1929 Mount Davidson dedicated as a San Francisco city park
- December 20, 1938 V.K. Zworykin receives patent on the Iconoscope TV system
- December 20, 1939 Radio Australia begins overseas short-wave service
- December 20, 1941 "World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the ""Flying Tigers"" in Kunming, China."
- December 20, 1942 World War II: Bombing of Calcutta by the Japanese.
- December 20, 1944 "Battle of Bastogne, Nazis surround 101st Airborne (NUTS!)"
- December 20, 1951 "The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity for the first time. The electricity powered four light bulbs."
- December 20, 1955 "Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom."
- December 20, 1960 National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam is formed.
- December 20, 1962 The Osmond brothers debut on the Andy Williams Show
- December 20, 1963 Berlin Wall opens for first time to West Berliners
- December 20, 1968 "The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California."
- December 20, 1969 Number one hit on UK music charts - Rolf Harris - Two Little Boys
- December 20, 1973 "The Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, is assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid."
- December 20, 1976 Israel's PM Yitzhak Rabin resigns
- December 20, 1977 First Space walk made by G Grechko from Salyut
- December 20, 1978 "H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House chief of staff released from jail"
- December 20, 1980 Number one hit on UK music charts - John Lennon - (Just Like) Starting Over
- December 20, 1980 USSR formally announces death of Alexei Kosygin
- December 20, 1981 """Dreamgirls"" opens on Broadway"
- December 20, 1981 The first stage performance of the award-winning Broadway musical Dreamgirls at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway.
- December 20, 1983 "PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and 4,000 loyalists evacuate Lebanon"
- December 20, 1984 33 unknown Bach keyboard works found in the Yale library
- December 20, 1984 "The Summit tunnel fire is the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines."
- December 20, 1986 Number one hit on UK music charts - Housemartins - Caravan Of Love
- December 20, 1986 White teenagers beat blacks in Howard Beach NY
- December 20, 1987 "Worst peacetime shipping disaster, Dona Paz collides with Vector 1,749 confirmed deaths (probably closer to 3,000)"
- December 20, 1988 "Animal rights terrorists fire-bomb Harrod's department store, London"
- December 20, 1988 "NBC signs lease to stay in NYC, 33 more years"
- December 20, 1988 The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed in Vienna.
- December 20, 1989 United States invasion of Panama: The United States sends troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega.
- December 20, 1989 "US troops invade Panama and oust Manuel Noriega, but don't catch him"
- December 20, 1990 Pentagon warns Saddam that US air power is ready to attack on 1/15
- December 20, 1990 Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze resigns
- December 20, 1991 A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
- December 20, 1991 Paul Keating becomes the 24th Prime Minister of Australia.
- December 20, 1995 "American Airlines Flight 965, a Boeing 757, crashes into a mountain 50 km north of Cali, Colombia killing 160."
- December 20, 1995 NATO assumes peacekeeping duties in Bosnia
- December 20, 1995 The Democratic Social Movement is founded in Greece.
- December 20, 1996 "NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X."
- December 20, 1999 Macau is handed over to the People's Republic of China by Portugal.
- December 20, 2002 US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
- December 20, 2005 "2005 New York City transit strike: New York City's Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike, shutting down all New York City Subway and Bus services."
- December 20, 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."
- December 20, 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."
- December 20, 2007 Bear Stearns takes a $1.9 billion write-down
- December 20, 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."
- December 20, 2007 Important Islamic date - Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice)
- December 20, 2007 The Lakota Indians send a letter to the United States State Department declaring their secession from the union.
- December 20, 2007 "The painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, was stolen from the So Paulo Museum of Art, together with O Lavrador de Caf, by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari."
- December 20, 2007 The Utah Utes wins the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl over the Navy Midshipmen 35-32.
- December 20, 2009 "A crisis state of emergency is declared when at least three people are killed, hundreds are wounded and buildings collapse when an earthquake strikes Malawi."
- December 20, 2009 "A runaway truck kills up to 100 people at a market in Kogi State, Nigeria."
- December 20, 2009 "American band Rage Against the Machine top the UK Christmas Singles Chart with 1992 song ""Killing in the Name"". Its popularity arose from an internet campaign to prevent X Factor winner Joe McElderry from topping the charts."
- December 20, 2009 Colombia and Venezuela move closer to war.
- December 20, 2009 "Gerry Adams, in an interview with RTÉ, speaks for the first time about the abuse his father inflicted on his family."
- December 20, 2009 Hundreds of riot police and Maoist protesters clash in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on the first day of a three-day general strike.
- December 20, 2009 "Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina appoints Colonel Vital Albert Camille as the new Prime Minister, days after sacking former Prime Minister Eugene Mangalaza, who had been appointed as part of a power sharing agreement."
- December 20, 2009 Mourners pay their respects to drug baron Marcos Arturo Beltrán-Leyva days after he is shot dead by authorities.
- December 20, 2009 Philippine officials warn an eruption at the Mayon Volcano could happen within the next few days.
- December 20, 2009 "Shi'ites say Saudi air attacks on northern Yemen have led to the deaths of 54 people, including women and children."
- December 20, 2009 Snowfall disrupts transport services and kills at least 18 people across Europe.
- December 20, 2009 Tanzania is hit by an earthquake measuring 6.2 magnitude. (Press TV)
- December 20, 2009 Two people are killed and four people are wounded by flying concrete during a huge demolition of a Soviet war memorial in Georgia.
- December 20, 2009 United States Army Major General Anthony Cucolo makes pregnancy a court-martial offense for both female and male troops under his command in northern Iraq.