On This Day in History June 20

June 20 – Events:

  • 451 – Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius’ victory over Attila the Hun.
  • 1214 – University of Oxford receives its charter.
  • 1631 – The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates.
  • 1685 – Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declares himself King of England at Bridgwater.
  • 1756 – British garrison imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.
  • 1782 – The U.S. Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States.
  • 1787 – Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the United
  • 1789 – Deputies of the French Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath.
  • 1791 – King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family begin the Flight to Varennes.
  • 1819 – The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrives at Liverpool, United Kingdom. She is the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, but most of the journey was made under sail.
  • 1837 – Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne.
  • 1862 – Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, is assassinated.
  • 1863 – West Virginia is admitted as the 35th U.S. state.
  • 1877 – Alexander Graham Bell installs world’s first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • 1893 – Lizzie Borden is acquitted of murdering her stepmother and father.
  • 1919 – 150 die at the Teatro Yaguez fire, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
  • 1948 – Toast of the Town, later The Ed Sullivan Show, debuts.
  • 1956 – A Venezuelan Super-Constellation crashed in Atlantic Ocean off Asbury Park, New Jersey killing 74 people.
  • 1960 – Independence of Mali and Senegal.
  • 1963 – The so-called “red telephone” is established between Soviet Union and United States following the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • 1973 – Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Snipers fired upon left-wing peronists. At least 13 are killed and more than 300 injured.
  • 1990 – Asteroid Eureka discovered.
  • 1991 – German parliament decides to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin.

June 20 – Birthdays:

  • 1005 – Ali az-Zahir, caliph (d. 1036)
  • 1389 – John, Duke of Bedford, regent of England (d. 1435)
  • 1566 – King Sigismund III Vasa (d. 1632)
  • 1583 – Jacob De la Gardie, Swedish soldier and statesman (d. 1652)
  • 1634 – Charles Emmanuel II of Savoy (d. 1675)
  • 1642 – George Hickes, English minister and scholar (d. 1715)
  • 1647 – John George III, Elector of Saxony (d. 1691)
  • 1717 – Jacques Saly, French sculptor (d. 1776)
  • 1723 – Adam Ferguson, Scottish philosopher and historian (d. 1816)
  • 1723 – Theophilus Lindsey, English theologian (d. 1808)
  • 1733-Betty Washington- sister of George Washington
  • 1737 – Tokugawa Ieharu, Japanese military (d. 1786)
  • 1756 – Joseph Martin Kraus, Swedish composer (d. 1792)
  • 1763 – Wolfe Tone, Irish patriot (d. 1798)
  • 1770 – Moses Waddel, American educator/minister and bestselling author (d. 1840)
  • 1771 – Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, Scottish philanthropist (d. 1820)
  • 1786 – Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, French poet (d. 1859)
  • 1808 – Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi (d. 1888)
  • 1819 – Jacques Offenbach, German-born French composer (d. 1880)
  • 1858 – Charles W. Chesnutt, American writer (d. 1932)
  • 1860 – Jack Worrall, Australian cricketer, footballer, and coach (d. 1937)
  • 1861 – Frederick Hopkins, English biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (d. 1947)
  • 1872 – George Carpenter, the 5th General of The Salvation Army (d. 1948)
  • 1885 – Andrzej Gawronski, Polish scholar (d. 1927)
  • 1887 – Kurt Schwitters, German painter and writer (d. 1948)
  • 1889 – John S. Paraskevopoulos, Greek-South African astronomer (d. 1951)
  • 1891 – John A. Costello, second Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland (d. 1976)
  • 1894 – Lloyd Hall, American chemist (d. 1971)
  • 1896 – Wilfrid Pelletier, French Canadian conductor (d. 1982)
  • 1897 – Elisabeth Hauptmann, German writer (d. 1973)
  • 1899 – Jean Moulin, French Resistance leader (d. 1943)
  • 1905 – Lillian Hellman, American playwright (d. 1984)
  • 1907 – Jimmy Driftwood, American songwriter and musician (d. 1998)
  • 1909 – Errol Flynn, Australian actor (d. 1959)
  • 1911 – Gail Patrick, American actress (d. 1980)
  • 1912 – Anthony Buckeridge, English author (d. 2004)
  • 1915 – Dick Reynolds, Australian rules footballer and coach (d. 2002)
  • 1915 – Terence Young, British film director (d. 1994)
  • 1916 – Jean-Jacques Bertrand, premier of Quebec (d. 1973)
  • 1917 – Igor Smialowski, Polish actor (d. 2006)
  • 1918 – George Lynch, American auto racer (d. 1997)
  • 1918 – Zoltán Sztáray, Hungarian writer
  • 1920 – Hans Gerschwiler, Swiss figure skater
  • 1924 – Chet Atkins, American guitar player and producer (d. 2001)
  • 1924 – Audie Murphy, American Medal of Honor recipient and actor (d. 1971)
  • 1924 – Fritz Koenig, German sculptor
  • 1928 – Eric Dolphy, American jazz musician (d. 1964)
  • 1928 – Jean-Marie Le Pen, French politician
  • 1930 – Paul Pender, American boxer
  • 1930 – Magdalena Abakanowicz, Polish artist
  • 1931 – Olympia Dukakis, Greek-American actress
  • 1931 – Martin Landau, American actor
  • 1932 – Robert Rozhdestvensky, Russian poet (d. 1994)
  • 1933 – Danny Aiello, American actor
  • 1934 – Wendy Craig, English actress
  • 1934 – Rossana Podestà, Italian actress
  • 1935 – Len Dawson, former football player
  • 1935 – Neal Knox, gun rights activist (d. 2005)
  • 1936 – Billy Guy, American singer (The Coasters) (d. 2002)
  • 1937 – Jerry Keller, pop singer and songwriter
  • 1938 – Mickie Most, British record producer (d. 2003)
  • 1939 – Ramakant Desai, Indian cricketer (d. 1998)
  • 1940 – Eugen Drewermann, German theologian
  • 1940 – John Mahoney, English actor
  • 1941 – Ulf Merbold, German physicist and astronaut
  • 1941 – Stephen Frears, English film director
  • 1942 – Brian Wilson, American musician; founder of The Beach Boys
  • 1944 – Cheryl Holdridge, American actress
  • 1944 – David Roper, English actor
  • 1945 – Anne Murray, Canadian singer
  • 1946 – Bob Vila, television presenter
  • 1946 – Xanana Gusmão, President of East Timor
  • 1946 – Andre Watts, American pianist
  • 1947 – Dolores Brooks, American singer (the Crystals)
  • 1947 – Candy Clark, American actress
  • 1947 – Josef Clemens, German bishop and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
  • 1947 – Ivo Milazzo, Italian comic book artist
  • 1948 – Ludwig Scotty, President of Nauru
  • 1949 – Lionel Richie, American musician (The Commodores)
  • 1949 – Alan Longmuir, Scottish bass guitarist (Bay City Rollers)
  • 1951 – Tress MacNeille, American voice actress
  • 1951 – Paul Muldoon, Northern Irish poet
  • 1951 – Bill Simon, American businessman and politician
  • 1952 – John Goodman, American actor
  • 1952 – Larry Riley, American actor (d. 1992)
  • 1952 – Vikram Seth, Indian poet
  • 1953 – Ulrich Mühe, German actor (d. 2007)
  • 1952 – Willy Rampf, German F1 technical director (BMW Sauber)
  • 1954 – Michael Anthony, American musician (Van Halen)
  • 1954 – Ilan Ramon, Israeli combat pilot and astronaut (d. 2003)
  • 1954 – Allan Lamb, South African born English cricketer
  • 1956 – Ace Andres, American musician
  • 1956 – Peter Reid, English former footballer
  • 1958 – Chuck Wagner, American actor
  • 1958 – Ron Hornaday, American racecar driver
  • 1960 – John Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran)
  • 1963 – Amir Derakh, American musician (Orgy)
  • 1963 – Don West, American professional wrestling announcer
  • 1964 – Pierfrancesco Chili, Italian motorcycle racer
  • 1964 – Silke Möller, German track and field athlete
  • 1967 – Nicole Kidman, American-born Australian actress
  • 1968 – Robert Rodriguez, American film director
  • 1969 – MaliVai Washington, American former tennis player
  • 1970 – Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco
  • 1970 – Andrea Nahles, German politician
  • 1970 – Bruce Woodcock, American computer games analyst
  • 1971 – Josh Lucas, American actor
  • 1971 – Jeordie White, American musician (Marilyn Manson)
  • 1971 – Rodney Rogers, American basketball player
  • 1972 – Paul Bako, American baseball player
  • 1973 – Chino Moreno, American musician (Deftones)
  • 1974 – Attila Czene, Hungarian swimmer
  • 1975 – Daniel Zítka, Czech footballer
  • 1976 – Jerome Fontamillas,Filipino American musician (Switchfoot)
  • 1976 – Carlos Lee, Panamanian baseball player
  • 1976 – Rob Mackowiak, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Juliano Belletti, Brazilian footballer
  • 1977 – Gordan Giricek, Croatian basketball player
  • 1978 – LaVar Arrington, American football player
  • 1978 – Frank Lampard, English footballer
  • 1978 – Jan-Paul Saeijs, Dutch footballer
  • 1978 – Bobby Seay, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Charlotte Hatherley, Former Ash guitarist
  • 1979 – Charles Howell III, Professional Golfer
  • 1979 – Cael Sanderson, Olympic Wrestler
  • 1979 – Lani Billard, Canadian actress
  • 1980 – Damián A. Fernández Beanato, Argentine journalist
  • 1980 – Carlo Festuccia, Italian rugby union footballer
  • 1980 – Fabian Wegmann, German road racing cyclist
  • 1980 – Tony Lovato, American singer and guitarrist (Mest)
  • 1980 – Franco Semioli, Italian footballer
  • 1983 – Darren Sproles, American football player
  • 1983 – Cherrie Ying, Hong Kong actress
  • 1987 – Kamil Król, Polish footballer
  • 1987 – Darko Milicic, Serbian basketball player
  • 1989 – Christopher Mintz-Plasse, American actor
  • 1990 – Tim Commandeur, Australian musician
  • 1997 – Maria Lark, Russian-born American actress

June 20 – Deaths:

  • 451 – Theodorid, King of the Visigoths
  • 840 – Louis the Pious, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (b. 778)
  • 885 – Bernard Plantapilosa, Count of Auvergne (b. 841)
  • 1597 – Willem Barentsz, Dutch navigator
  • 1668 – Heinrich Roth, German Sanskrit scholar (b. 1620)
  • 1776 – Benjamin Huntsman, English inventor and manufacturer (b. 1704)
  • 1787 – Karl Friedrich Abel, German composer (b. 1723)
  • 1800 – Abraham Gotthelf Kästner, German mathematician (b. 1719)
  • 1820 – Manuel Belgrano, Argentine lawyer and politician (b. 1770)
  • 1837 – William IV of the United Kingdom (b. 1765)
  • 1869 – Toshizou Hijikata, Shinsengumi vice-commander (b. 1835)
  • 1870 – Jules de Goncourt, French writer (b. 1830)
  • 1906 – John Clayton Adams, British landscape artist (b. 1840)
  • 1925 – Josef Breuer, Austrian psychologist (b. 1842)
  • 1945 – Bruno Frank, German author (b. 1878)
  • 1947 – Bugsy Siegel, American crime figure (b. 1906)
  • 1952 – Luigi Fagioli, Italian race car driver (b. 1898)
  • 1958 – Kurt Alder, German chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1902)
  • 1963 – Raphaël Salem, Greek mathematician (b. 1898)
  • 1972 – Howard Johnson, American businessman, originator of restaurant chain (b. 1897)
  • 1976 – Lou Klein, American baseball player (b. 1918)
  • 1978 – Mark Robson, Canadian film director and producer (b. 1913))
  • 1992 – Sir Charles Groves, English conductor (b. 1915)
  • 1995 – Emil Cioran, Romanian-born French philosopher (b. 1911)
  • 1996 – Jim Ellison, Singer/Guitarist for the band Material Issue (b. 1964)
  • 1997 – Lawrence Payton, American singer (The Four Tops) (b. 1938)
  • 1998 – Conrad Schumann, East German border guard (b. 1942)
  • 1999 – Clifton Fadiman, American author (b. 1902)
  • 2002 – Erwin Chargaff, Austrian biochemist (b. 1905)
  • 2002 – Tinus Osendarp, Dutch runner (b. 1916)
  • 2003 – Bob Stump, American politician (b. 1927)
  • 2005 – Jack Kilby, American electrical engineer, Nobel laureate (b. 1923)
  • 2005 – Larry Collins, American writer (b. 1929)
  • 2006 – Billy Johnson, American baseball player (b. 1918)
  • 2007 – Trevor Henry, New Zealand Justice (b. 1902)

June 20 – Holidays:

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – World Refugee Day.
  • Flag Day in Argentina (1938).
  • West Virginia – West Virginia Day.
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