July 20 in history

356BC Alexander the Great, Macedonean king and conqueror of Persia, was born (d. 323 BC).

70 Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, stormed the Fortress of Antonia. The Roman army was drawn into street fights with the Zealots.

911 Rollo laid siege to Chartres.

1304 Wars of Scottish Independence: Fall of Stirling Castle – King Edward I  took the stronghold using the War Wolf.

1402  Ottoman-Timurid Wars: Battle of Ankara – Timur, ruler of Timurid Empire, defeated forces of the Ottoman Empire sultan Bayezid I.

1656  Swedish forces under the command of King Charles X Gustav defeated the forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at the Battle of Warsaw.

1712 Riot Act took effect in Great Britain.

1738  French explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye reached the western shore of Lake Michigan.

1810 Citizens of Bogotá, New Granada declared independence from Spain.

1822 Gregor Mendel, German scientist, father of modern genetics, was born (d. 1884).

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Peachtree Creek – Confederate forces led by General John Bell Hood unsuccessfully attacked Union troops under General William T. Sherman.

1866 Austro-Prussian War: Battle of Lissa – The Austrian Navy , led by Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, defeated the Italian Navy.

1881 Indian Wars:Sioux Chief Sitting Bull led the last of his fugitive people in surrender to United States troops at Fort Buford, North Dakota.

1885  The Football Association legalised professionalism in football under pressure from the British Football Association.

1892 – The Wellington and Manawatu Railway (WMR) Company’s locomotive No. 10 established a world speed record for the narrow 3 foot 6 inch (1067 mm) gauge, averaging 68 km per hour on a two-hour run and hitting a peak speed of 103 kph.

1893 George Llewelyn-Davies, English Peter Pan character model, was born (d. 1915).

1898  Spanish-American War: A boiler exploded on the USS Iowa off the coast of Santiago de Cuba.

1902 Jimmy Kennedy, Irish composer, was born (d. 1984).

1903 Ford Motor Company shipped its first car.

1907 A train wreck on the Pere Marquette Railroad near Salem, Michigan killed thirty and injured seventy.

1917  World War I: The Corfu Declaration, which led to the creation of the post-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia, was signed by the Yugoslav Committee and Kingdom of Serbia.

1918  Cindy Walker, American singer, was born (d. 2006).

1919  Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer, was born (d. 2008).

1921 Air mail service began between New York City and San Francisco.

1921 – Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson became the first woman to preside over the US House of Representatives.

1922 The League of Nations awarded mandates of Togoland to France and Tanganyika to the United Kingdom.

1924  Teheran, Persia came under martial law after the American vice-consul, Robert Imbrie, was killed by a religious mob enraged by rumors he had poisoned a fountain and killed several people.

1925  Jacques Delors, French President of the European Commission, was born.

1926 A convention of the Southern Methodist Church voted to allow women to become priests.

1928 The government of Hungary issued a decree ordering Gypsies to end their nomadic ways, settle permanently in one place, and subject themselves to the same laws and taxes as other Hungarians.

1930 Sally Ann Howes, English-born singer and actress, was born.

1932  In Washington, D.C., police fired tear gas on World War I veterans part of the Bonus Expeditionary Force who attempted to march to the White House.

1932  Crowds in the capitals of Bolivia and Paraguay demanded their governments declare war on the other after fighting on their border.

1933 Buddy Knox, American singer and songwriter, was born (d. 1999).

1933  Vice-Chancellor of Germany Franz von Papen and Vatican Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli sign a concordat on behalf of their respective nations.

1933  In London, 500,000 marched against anti-Semitism.

1933  Two-hundred Jewish merchants were arrested in Nuremberg and paraded through the streets.

1934  Police in Minneapolis fired upon striking truck drivers, during the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934, killing two and wounding sixty-seven; Seattle police fired tear gas on and club 2,000 striking longshoremen, and the governor of Oregon called out the National Guard to break a strike on the Portland docks.

1935  A Royal Dutch Airlines plane en route from Milan to Frankfurt crashed into a Swiss mountain, killing 13.

1936 The Montreux Convention was signed in Switzerland, authorising Turkey to fortify the Dardanelles and Bosphorus but guaranteeing free passage to ships of all nations in peacetime.

1938 -  Dame Diana Rigg, English actress, was born.

1938 Natalie Wood, American actress, was born (d. 1981).

1940 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act of 1939, limiting political activity by Federal government employees.

1941 Soviet leader Joseph Stalin consolidated the Commissariats of Home Affairs and National Security to form the NKVD and named Lavrenti Beria its chief.

1942  World War II: The first unit of the Women’s Army Corps began training in Des Moines, Iowa.

1943  Chris Amon, New Zealand racing driver

AmonChris19730706.jpg

1943  Wendy Richard, English actress (d.2009).

1944   World War II: Adolf Hitler survived an assassination attempt (known as the July 20 plot) led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.

1944  Franklin D. Roosevelt won the Democratic Party nomination for the fourth and final time at the 1944 Democratic National Convention.

1944   Fifty are hurt in rioting in front of the presidential palace in Mexico City.

1944 Attempt to assasinate Adolf Hitler at his Rastenberg headquarters as part of Operation Valkyrie.

1945 John Lodge, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born.

1945 The US Congress approved the Bretton Woods Agreement.

1946 World War II: The US Congress’s Pearl Harbor Committee said Franklin D. Roosevelt was completely blameless for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and called for a unified command structure in the armed forces.

1947  Police in Burma arrested former Prime Minister U Saw and 19 others on charges of assassinating Prime Minister U Aung San and seven members of his cabinet.

1947 – The Viceroy of India said the people of the North-West Frontier Province overwhelmingly voted the previous day to join Pakistan rather than India.

1948  U.S. President Harry S. Truman issued a peacetime military draft amid increasing tensions with the Soviet Union.

1948 Twelve leaders of the Communist Party USA were indicted under the Smith Act including William Z. Foster and Gus Hall.

1949 Israel and Syria signed a truce to end their nineteen-month war.

1950 Cold War: In Philadelphia, Harry Gold pleaded guilty to spying for the Soviet Union by passing secrets from atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs.

1951  King Abdullah I of Jordan was assassinated.

1953 Dave Evans, Australian singer (AC/DC), was born.

1953 Marcia Hines, American-born Australian singer, was born.

1954  Otto John, head of West Germany’s secret service, defected to East Germany.

1954 – An armistice was signed that ended fighting in Vietnam and divided the country along the 17th parallel.

1955 Jem Finer, English musician and composer (The Pogues), was born.

1958 Mick MacNeil, Scottish musician (Simple Minds), was born.

1959  The Organization for European Economic Cooperation admitted Spain.

1960 Ceylon elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world’s first elected female head of government.

1960 – The Polaris missile was successfully launched from a submarine, the USS George Washington, for the first time.

1960  The head of the Physics Department at the Israel Institute of Technology, Kurt Sitte, was arrested for espionage.

1961  French military forces broke the Tunisian siege of Bizerte.

1964 Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attacked the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, Cai Be, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of whom were children).

1964 – The National Movement of the Revolution was instituted as the sole legal political party in the Republic of Congo.

1965 – Riots at Mt Eden prison followed a botched escape attempt and lasted into the next day.

1968  Special Olympics founded.

1969 Apollo Program: Apollo 11 successfully landed on the Moon.

1969 – A cease fire was announced between Honduras and El Salvador, 6 days after the beginning of the “Football War

1974 Turkish occupation of Cyprus: Forces from Turkey invaded Cyprus after a “coup d’ etat”, organised by the dictator of Greece, against president Makarios.

1976  The Viking 1 lander successfully landed on Mars.

1977 Johnstown was hit by a flash flood that killed80n people and caused $350 million in damage.

1982   The Provisional IRA detonated two bombs in Hyde Park and Regents Park killing eight soldiers, wounding forty-seven people, and leading to the deaths of seven horses.

1984 Officials of the Miss America pageant asked Vanessa Lynn Williams to quit after Penthouse published nude photos of her.

1985  The government of Aruba passed legislation to secede from the Netherlands Antilles.

1989 – Burma’s ruling junta put opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

1992 Václav Havel resigned as president of Czechoslovakia.

1996  In Spain, an ETA bomb at an airport killed 35

1999 Falun Gong is banned in China, and a large scale crackdown of the practice is launched.

2000 – In Zimbabwe, Parliament opened its new session and seats opposition members for the first time in a decade.

2000  Carlos the Jackal sued France in the European Court of Human Rights for allegedly torturing him.

2001  The London Stock Exchange Group plc  went public.

2001  The 27th Annual G8 summit opened in Genoa and Carlo Giuliani, was shot by police.

2002  A fire in a discotheque in Lima, Peru killed more than 25 people.

2003  Sixteen people were injured after two bombs exploded outside a tax office in Nice.

2006 Ethiopian invasion of Somalia – Ethiopian troops entered Somalian territory.

2012 – During a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman opened fire at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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