On This Day … 20 December

Events

  • AD 69 – Priscus enters Rome to claim the title of Emperor for Nero’s former general Vespasian.
  • 1192 – Richard I of England is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after the Third Crusade.
  • 1803 – The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.
  • 1808 – Peninsular War: The Siege of Zaragoza begins.
  • 1832 – HMS Clio under the command of Captain Onslow arrives at Port Egmont under orders to take possession of the Falkland Islands
  • 1860 – South Carolina becomes the first state to attempt to secede from the United States.
  • 1915 – World War I: The last Australian troops are evacuated from Gallipoli.
  • 1917 – Cheka, the first Soviet secret police force, is founded.
  • 1924 – Adolf Hitler is released from Landsberg Prison.
  • 1941 – World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers”, in Kunming, China.
  • 1942 – World War II: Japanese air forces bomb Calcutta, India.
  • 1948 – Indonesian National Revolution: The Dutch military captures Yogyakarta, the temporary capital of the newly formed Republic of Indonesia.
  • 1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs.
  • 1952 – A United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns in Moses Lake, Washington, killing 87.
  • 1955 – Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.
  • 1989 – The United States invasion of Panama deposes Manuel Noriega.
  • 1995 – NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia.
  • 1999 – Macau is handed over to China by Portugal.
    • Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (Macau).
  • 2019 – The United States Space Force becomes the first new branch of the United States Armed Forces since 1947.

People (Births)

  • 1806 – Martín Carrera, Mexican general and president (1855) (d. 1871).
  • 1891 – Erik Almlöf, Swedish triple jumper (d. 1971).
  • 1898 – Konstantinos Dovas, Greek general and politician, 156th Prime Minister of Greece (d. 1973).
  • 1907 – Paul Francis Webster, American soldier and songwriter (d. 1984).
  • 1914 – Harry F. Byrd Jr., American lieutenant, publisher, and politician (d. 2013).
  • 1924 – Judy LaMarsh, Canadian soldier, lawyer, and politician, 42nd Secretary of State for Canada (d. 1980).
  • 1927 – Kim Young-sam, South Korean soldier and politician, 7th President of South Korea (d. 2015).
  • 1933 – Olavi Salonen, Finnish runner.
  • 1933 – Rik Van Looy, Belgian cyclist.
  • 1942 – Bob Hayes, American sprinter and football player (d. 2002).
  • 1956 – Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Mauritanian general and politician, President of Mauritania.
  • 1959 – Hildegard Körner, German runner.
  • 1969 – Zahra Ouaziz, Moroccan runner.
  • 1972 – Anja Rücker, German sprinter.
  • 1978 – Bouabdellah Tahri, French runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 1740 – Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon, English field marshal and politician, Governor of Portsmouth (b. 1675).
  • 1880 – Gaspar Tochman, Polish-American colonel and lawyer (b. 1797).
  • 1935 – Martin O’Meara, Irish-Australian sergeant, Victoria Cross recipient (b. 1882).
  • 1937 – Erich Ludendorff, German general (b. 1865).
  • 1939 – Hans Langsdorff, German captain (b. 1894).
  • 1961 – Earle Page, Australian soldier and politician, 11th Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1880).
  • 1973 – Luis Carrero Blanco, Spanish admiral and politician, 69th President of the Government of Spain (b. 1904; assassinated).
  • 1984 – Dmitry Ustinov, Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union (1976-1984) (b. 1908).
  • 1991 – Albert Van Vlierberghe, Belgian cyclist (b. 1942).
  • 2010 – James Robert Mann, American colonel, lawyer, and politician (b. 1920).
  • 2013 – Pyotr Bolotnikov, Russian runner (b. 1930).
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