October 20 in history

1548 The city of Nuestra Senora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) was founded by Captain Alonso de Mendoza by appointment of the king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

1632 Sir Christopher Wren, English architect, was born (d. 1723).

1740 Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refused to honour the Pragmatic Sanction (allowing succession by a daughter) and the War of the Austrian Succession began.

1781 Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, was approved in Habsburg Monarchy.

1803 The United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.

1818 The Convention of 1818 signed between the United States and the United Kingdom which, among other things, settled the Canada – United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.

1827  Battle of Navarino – a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada was defeated by British, French, and Russian naval force in the port of Navarino in Pylos, Greece.

1859  John Dewey, American philosopher, was born (d. 1952).

1883  Peru and Chile signed the Treaty of Ancón, by which the Tarapacá province was ceded to the latter, bringing an end to Peru’s involvement in the War of the Pacific.

1904  Anna Neagle, English actress, was born (d. 1986).

1910  The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the RMS Titanic, was launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast

1932 William Christopher, American actor who played Father Mulcahy inM*A*S*H, was born.

1934 Michiko, empress of Japan, was born.

1935  The Long March ended.

1941 Stan Graham was shot by police after five days on the run.

Fugitive Stan Graham shot by police

1941  World War II: Thousands of civilians in German-occupied Serbia were killed in the Kragujevac massacre.

1944  Liquid natural gas leaked from storage tanks in Cleveland, then exploded; levelling 30 blocks and killing 130.

1944 – General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return to the Philippines when he commanded an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.

1947 The House Un-American Activities Committee began its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevented some from working in the industry for years.

1950  Tom Petty, American musician, was born.

1951 The “Johnny Bright Incident“  in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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.

1967 A purported bigfoot was filmed by Patterson and Gimlin.

1968  Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1970 Siad Barre declared Somalia a socialist state.

1971 The Nepal Stock Exchange collapsed.

1973  ”Saturday Night Massacre“: President Richard Nixon fired Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

1973  The Sydney Opera House opened.

1976  The ferry George Prince was struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River. Seventy-eight passengers and crew died and only 18 people aboard the ferry survived.

1977 A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singerCassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot.

1979  The John F. Kennedy library was opened in Boston.

1982  During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people were crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster.

1984 The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in Monterey Bay, California.

1991 The Oakland Hills firestorm killed 25 and destroyed 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

2011 – The former leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, and his sonMutassim Gaddafi were killed shortly after the Battle of Sirte while in the custody of NTC fighters.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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