This Day in history December 20 is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 11 days remaining until the end of the year.
Up to 1950
69 – Vespasian enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor.
1192 – Richard I of England is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria.
1522 – Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually re-settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta.
1606 – The Virginia Company loads three ships settlers and set sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.
1803 – Louisiana Purchase is completed.
1808 – Peninsular War: The Siege of Zaragoza begins.
1860 – South Carolina becomes first state to secede from the United States.
1870 – The Cape Blanco lighthouse goes into operation at the western tip of Oregon.
1915 – The last Australian troops are evacuated from Gallipoli during World War I.
1917 – Cheka, first Soviet secret police, is founded.
1924 – Adolf Hitler is released from Landsberg Prison.
1942 – World War II: Japanese air forces bomb Calcutta.
1942 – A magnitude 7.3 earthquake in Erbaa, Turkey, kills around 3,000 people.
1946 – The popular Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life is first released in New York City.
1946 – The Tonankai earthquake in Japan kills around 1,300 people.
1951 – 2000
1951 – The EBR in Arco, Idaho, becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity.
1952 – United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns in Moses Lake, Washington, killing 87.
1955 – Cardiff is officially proclaimed as the capital city of Wales.
1957 – The European Nuclear Energy Agency is founded.
1957 – The initial production version of the Boeing 707 makes its first flight.
1960 – National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam is formed.
1961 – The Dominican Republic holds its first elections.
1967 – A Pennsylvania Railroad metroliner reaches over the limit of 155 miles per hour in speed on its New York Division.
1968 – The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
1971 – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto becomes the 4th President of Pakistan.
1973 – Spanish Prime Minister Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco is assassinated by a car bomb in Madrid.
1977 – Djibouti and Vietnam join the UN.
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, England.
1985 – Pope John Paul II announces the institution of World Youth Day.
1988 – The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
1989 – Operation Just Cause: United States sends troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega.
1991 – Paul Keating becomes the 24th Prime Minister of Australia.
1995 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) begins peacekeeping in Bosnia.
1995 – An American Airlines Flight 965 Boeing 757 crashes into a mountain 50 km north of Cali, Colombia killing 160.
1999 – Vermont’s Supreme Court rules that homosexual couples are entitled to same benefits and protections as married heterosexual couples.
1999 – Macau is handed over to the People’s Republic of China by Portugal.
1999 – NASA starts the ACRIMSat satellite to study the Sun.
2002 – US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
2004 – A gang of thieves steal 26.5 million pounds from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2007 – Elizabeth II overtakes Queen Victoria as the UK’s oldest-ever monarch, having reached an age of 81 years, 7 months and 29 days. As of December 2014, Elizabeth is 88 years of age.
2015 – Spain holds its parliamentary election, no party winning overall control.
2016 – A fireworks market explosion near Mexico City kills at least 30 people.
Earliest possible date for the December Solstice (usually on December 21 or 22)
International Day of Human Solidarity.
This Day in History, What Happened Today, December 20, Today in history for kids, Battles on this day, What happened on this day, This Day in History Wikipedia, This week in history, Funny things that happened today in the world, What happened today in the world.
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