See what makes October 20 special at Famous Daily.
History, birthdays, holiday, and a quote!
What happened on October 20
- October 20, 1382 "St. Mary's College is founded at Westminster, England."
- October 20, 1600 Battle of Sekigahara sets Tokugawa clan as Japan's rulers (shoguns)
- October 20, 1740 "Maria Theresa became ruler of Austria, Hungary & Bohemia"
- October 20, 1740 "Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refuse to honour the Pragmatic Sanction and the War of the Austrian Succession begins."
- October 20, 1781 "Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, was approved in Habsburg Monarchy."
- October 20, 1803 US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase
- October 20, 1813 German Kingdom of Westphalia abolished
- October 20, 1817 First Mississippi showboat leaves Nashville on maiden voyage
- October 20, 1818 49th parallel established as the border between US & Canada
- October 20, 1818 "The Convention of 1818 signed between the United States and the United Kingdom which, among other things, settled the US-Canada border on the 49th parallel for most of its length."
- October 20, 1818 US & Britain agree to joint control of Oregon country
- October 20, 1824 William H. Seward and Frances Adeline Miller Seward wed.
- October 20, 1827 "Battle of Navarino - a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada is destroyed by an allied British, French, and Russian naval force in the port of Navarino in Pylos, Greece. The most important result of this battle is the end of the Greek Liberation War and the affirmation of independence of modern Greece."
- October 20, 1847 Little William Nelman poisons his grandfather
- October 20, 1883 "Peru and Chile signed the Treaty of Ancn, by which the Tarapac province was ceded to the latter, bringing an end to Peru's involvement in the War of the Pacific."
- October 20, 1883 "Treaty of Ancon, Peru cedes Tarapaca to Chile"
- October 20, 1890 Pike's Peak railroad completed.
- October 20, 1891 First International 6 day bike race begins in New York
- October 20, 1898 NC Mutual & Provident Insurance Company forms
- October 20, 1903 US wins disputed boundary between the District of Alaska & Canada
- October 20, 1905 Great General Strike in Russia begins; lasts 11 days
- October 20, 1906 Dr Lee DeForest demonstrates his radio tube
- October 20, 1910 "The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland."
- October 20, 1911 Amundsen sets out on race to South Pole
- October 20, 1929 Bayshore Highway opens in San Francisco
- October 20, 1930 British White Paper restricts Jews from buying Arab land
- October 20, 1935 The Long March ends
- October 20, 1941 World War II: Thousands of civilians in Kragujevac in German-occupied Serbia are killed in the Kragujevac massacre.
- October 20, 1944 30 blocks of Cleveland Ohio burn after a liquid gas factory explodes
- October 20, 1944 "Liquid natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland, then explodes; the explosion and resulting fire level 30 blocks and kill 130."
- October 20, 1944 Revolution by workers & students in Guatemala
- October 20, 1944 "The Soviet army and Yugoslav Partisans liberate Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia"
- October 20, 1947 HUAC opens hearings into alleged Communist influence in Hollywood
- October 20, 1951 "The ""Johnny Bright Incident"" occurred in Stillwater, Oklahoma"
- October 20, 1952 "Governor Evelyn Baring declared a state of emergency in Kenya and began arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya."
- October 20, 1955 Day-O is released by Harry Belafonte. It was later renamed to The Banana Boat Song.
- October 20, 1955 "Publication of The Return of the King, being the last part of The Lord of the Rings."
- October 20, 1956 Hannes Lindemann begins journey across Atlantic in a 17 foot craft
- October 20, 1960 "First fully mechanized post office opened, Providence, RI"
- October 20, 1960 Number one hit on UK music charts - Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely
- October 20, 1963 South Africa begins trial of Nelson Mandela & 8 others on conspiracy
- October 20, 1964 "Herbert Hoover, former U.S. president, dies."
- October 20, 1964 Riot at Rolling Stones show in Paris (150 arrested)
- October 20, 1967 A purported bigfoot is filmed by Patterson and Gimlin.
- October 20, 1967 All white federal jury convicts 7 in murder of 3 civil rights workers
- October 20, 1968 Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
- October 20, 1968 Jacqueline Kennedy marries Aristotle Onassis.
- October 20, 1971 The Nepal stock exchange collapses.
- October 20, 1973 OPEC oil embargo begins
- October 20, 1973 "The Saturday Night Massacre: President Nixon fires Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork."
- October 20, 1973 The Sydney Opera House opens.
- October 20, 1976 70 die as Norwegian tanker Frosta collides with George Prince
- October 20, 1976 "The ferry George Prince is struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River between Destrehan and Luling, LA. Seventy-eight passengers and crew died; only 18 people aboard the ferry survived."
- October 20, 1977 3 members of rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd die in charter plane crash
- October 20, 1977 "A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot."
- October 20, 1979 John F Kennedy Library dedicated in Boston
- October 20, 1979 Number one hit on UK music charts - Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
- October 20, 1979 "The John F Kennedy library is opened in Boston, Massachusetts."
- October 20, 1981 3 members of Weather underground arrested for armored truck robbery
- October 20, 1982 During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem at least 63 and probably many more people are crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster.
- October 20, 1983 IBM-PC DOS Version 2.1 released
- October 20, 1984 Number one hit on UK music charts - Wham! - Freedom
- October 20, 1984 "The Monterey Bay Aquarium opens in Monterey Bay, California."
- October 20, 1987 10 die as Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn near Indianapolis
- October 20, 1988 Britain ends suspects right to remain silent in crackdown on IRA
- October 20, 1988 Man armed with explosives blows self up in 125 St subway station (NYC)
- October 20, 1991 "The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage."
- October 20, 2004 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is sworn in as the President of Indonesia.
- October 20, 2004 "The Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball become the first team in the history of the league to win a best-of-7 postseason series after trailing the series 3 games to 0, by defeating the New York Yankees in Game 7 the American League Championship Series."
- October 20, 2004 The first Ubuntu Linux distribution is released.
- October 20, 2008 Jewish Holiday - Hoshana Rabbah - Work permitted with certain restrictions.
- October 20, 2009 A court in Yemen sentences 10 Shi'ite Houthi rebels to death and jailed five others over clashes which killed hundreds of people last year.
- October 20, 2009 Afghanistan's election commission orders a run-off election for November 7 in the Afghan presidential election. (
- October 20, 2009 "At least four students are killed and many injured in bomb explosions at an Islamic university in Islamabad, Pakistan."
- October 20, 2009 China pledges to rescue the crew aboard the Chinese ship De Xin Hai after it is hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. The pirates threaten to kill the crew if there is any attempt to rescue them.
- October 20, 2009 "Detectives arrest a man in Belfast in connection with the Massereene Barracks shooting in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, in March 2009.n)"
- October 20, 2009 "In a set of canon laws, the Vatican welcomes groups of Anglicans as ""personal ordinariates"" into the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI announces."
- October 20, 2009 "Iran buries its dead members of the Revolutionary Guard, killed in a suicide attack two days ago. Thousands of people attend the funerals."
- October 20, 2009 "Nearly 100,000 Italian women sign a petition after Silvio Berlusconi says a female politician is ""more beautiful than intelligent"" on live television."
- October 20, 2009 Niger is suspended by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) after its President Tandja Mamadou went ahead with a parliamentary election it had asked to be postponed over boycotts.
- October 20, 2009 "Nine North Koreans who entered the Danish embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam last month leave for South Korea."
- October 20, 2009 Rare footage of the abuse of suspected witches causes controversy in India.
- October 20, 2009 Richard Herman resigns as the Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a result of an admissions scandal.
- October 20, 2009 "Sun Microsystems announces plans to lay off up to 3,000 workers as it prepares for a merger with Oracle Corp. ("
- October 20, 2009 The entire government of Kyrgyzstan resigns as President Kurmanbek Bakiyev announces a new reform campaign.
- October 20, 2009 "The United States observes the National Day on Writing, sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English"
- October 20, 2009 The United States Supreme Court agrees to decide whether federal courts have the power to order prisoners held at Guant namo Bay to be released into the country.
- October 20, 2011 Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi - leader of Libya - was killed by the rebels