On This Day … 20 November

Events

  • 762 – During the An Shi Rebellion, the Tang dynasty, with the help of Huihe tribe, recaptures Luoyang from the rebels.
  • 1194 – Palermo is conquered by Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1407 – John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans agree to a truce, but Burgundy would kill Orléans three days later.
  • 1441 – The Peace of Cremona ends the war between the Republic of Venice and the Duchy of Milan.
  • 1695 – Zumbi, the last of the leaders of Quilombo dos Palmares in early Brazil, is executed by the forces of Portuguese bandeirante Domingos Jorge Velho.
  • 1739 – Start of the Battle of Porto Bello between British and Spanish forces during the War of Jenkins’ Ear.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: British forces land at the Palisades and then attack Fort Lee. The Continental Army starts to retreat across New Jersey.
  • 1815 – The Second Treaty of Paris is signed, returning the French frontiers to their 1790 extent, imposing large indemnities, and prolonging the occupation by Allied troops for several more years.
  • 1820 – An 80-ton sperm whale attacks and sinks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America.
    • Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick is in part inspired by this story.
  • 1845 – Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata: Battle of Vuelta de Obligado.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: A secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky’s Confederate government.
  • 1910 – Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero issues the Plan de San Luis Potosí, denouncing Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, calling for a revolution to overthrow the government of Mexico, effectively starting the Mexican Revolution.
  • 1917 – World War I: Battle of Cambrai begins: British forces make early progress in an attack on German positions but are later pushed back.
  • 1936 – José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, is killed by a republican execution squad.
  • 1940 – World War II: Hungary becomes a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis powers.
  • 1943 – World War II: Battle of Tarawa (Operation Galvanic) begins: United States Marines land on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands and suffer heavy fire from Japanese shore guns and machine guns.
  • 1945 – Nuremberg trials: Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals start at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.
  • 1947 – The Princess Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who becomes the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London.
  • 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, US President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
  • 1969 – Vietnam War: The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.
  • 1977 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he meets Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement.
  • 1979 – Grand Mosque seizure: About 200 Sunni Muslims revolt in Saudi Arabia at the site of the Kaaba in Mecca during the pilgrimage and take about 6000 hostages.
    • The Saudi government receives help from Pakistani special forces to put down the uprising.
  • 1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.
  • 1991 – An Azerbaijani MI-8 helicopter carrying 19 peacekeeping mission team with officials and journalists from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan is shot down by Armenian military forces in Khojavend District of Azerbaijan.
  • 1994 – The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign the Lusaka Protocol in Zambia, ending 19 years of civil war.
    • Localised fighting resumes the next year.
  • 20-N (Spain).
  • Revolution Day (Mexico).
  • Royal Thai Navy Day (Thailand).

People (Births)

  • 1733 – Philip Schuyler, American general and senator (d. 1804).
  • 1781 – Karl Friedrich Eichhorn, German captain and jurist (d. 1854).
  • 1787 – Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse, German firearms inventor and manufacturer (d. 1867).
  • 1830 – Mikhail Dragomirov, Russian general (1905).
  • 1841 – François Denys Légitime, Haitian general (d. 1935).
  • 1853 – Oskar Potiorek, Austro-Hungarian Army officer (d. 1933).
  • 1864 – Percy Cox, British Indian Army officer (d. 1937).
  • 1880 – Walter Brack, German swimmer (d. 1919).
  • 1885 – Kaarlo Vasama, Finnish gymnast (d. 1926).
  • 1890 – Lauri Tanner, Finnish gymnast (d. 1950).
  • 1898 – Richmond Landon, American high jumper (d. 1971).
  • 1900 – Florieda Batson, American Olympic hurdler (d. 1996).
  • 1902 – Philipp Schmitt, German officer of the Schutzstaffel (d. 1950).
  • 1909 – Samand Siabandov, Soviet Red Army writer (d. 1989).
  • 1911 – Jean Shiley, American high jumper (d. 1998).
  • 1913 – Libertas Schulze-Boysen, German opponent of the Nazis (d. 1942).
  • 1916 – Michael J. Ingelido, American general (d. 2015).
  • 1918 – Dora Ratjen, German high jumper (d. 2008).
  • 1924 – Karen Harup, Danish swimmer (d. 2009).
  • 1925 – Robert F. Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 64th United States Attorney General (d. 1968).
  • 1926 – John Gardner, English soldier and author (d. 2007).
  • 1926 – Tôn Thất Đính, Vietnamese general (d. 2013).
  • 1927 – Ed Freeman, American soldier and pilot, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 2008).
  • 1928 – John Disley, Welsh athlete (d. 2016).
  • 1936 – Charles R. Larson, American admiral (d. 2014).
  • 1941 – Oliver Sipple, US Marine and Vietnam War veteran (d. 1989).
  • 1970 – Matt Blunt, American lieutenant and politician, 54th Governor of Missouri.
  • 1976 – Dominique Dawes, American gymnast and actress.
  • 1977 – Mikhail Ivanov, Russian cross-country skier.
  • 1980 – Christian Obrist, Italian middle-distance runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 927 – Xu Wen, Chinese general (b. 862).
  • 1903 – Tom Horn, American scout, cowboy, soldier.
  • 1930 – Bill Holland, American track and field athlete (b. 1874).
  • 1975 – Francisco Franco, Spanish Fascist dictator (b. 1892).
  • 1978 – Vasilisk Gnedov, Russian soldier and poet (b. 1890).
  • 2007 – Ian Smith, Rhodesian lieutenant and politician, 1st Prime Minister of Rhodesia (b. 1919).
  • 2012 – William Grut, Swedish pentathlete (b. 1914).
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