On this day in history, June 20
|Updated: 6/20 4:43 pm
||Published: 6/20 4:40 pm
- 451 – Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius' battles Attila the Hun. After the battle, which was inconclusive, Attila retreats, causing the Romans to interpret it as a victory.
- 1214 – The University of Oxford receives its charter.
- 1605 – After only three months as tsar, 16-year-old Feodor II of Russia is assassinated.
- 1631 – The sack of Baltimore: the Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates.
- 1652 – Tarhoncu Ahmet Paşa is appointed grand vezir of the Ottoman Empire.
- 1685 – Monmouth Rebellion: James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declares himself King of England at Bridgwater.
- 1756 – A British garrison is imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.
- 1782 – The U.S. Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States.
- 1787 – Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the United States.
- 1789 – Deputies of the French Third Estate take the Tennis Court Oath.
- 1819 – The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrives at Liverpool, England, United Kingdom. It is the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey is made under sail.
- 1837 – Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne.
- 1840 – Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph.
- 1862 – Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, is assassinated.
- 1863 – American Civil War: West Virginia is admitted as the 35th U.S. state.
- 1877 – Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
- 1887 – Victoria Terminus, the busiest railway station in India, opens in Bombay.
- 1893 – Lizzie Borden is acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother.
- 1895 – The Kiel Canal, crossing the base of the Jutland peninsula and the busiest artificial waterway in the world, is officially opened.
- 1900 – Boxer Rebellion: The Imperial Chinese Army begins a 55-day siege of the Legation Quarter in Beijing, China.
- 1919 – 150 die at the Teatro Yaguez fire, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
- 1921 – Workers of Buckingham and Carnatic Mills in the city of Chennai, India, begin a four-month strike.
- 1940 – World War II: Italy begins an unsuccessful invasion of France.
- 1942 – The Holocaust: Kazimierz Piechowski and three others, dressed as members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, steal an SS staff car and escape from the Auschwitz concentration camp.
- 1943 – The Detroit Race Riot breaks out and continues for three more days.
- 1944 – World War II: The Battle of the Philippine Sea concludes with a decisive U.S. naval victory. The lopsided naval air battle is also known as the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot".
- 1944 – Continuation war: the Soviet Union demands an unconditional surrender from Finland during the beginning of partially successful Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive. The Finnish government refuses.
- 1945 – The United States Secretary of State approves the transfer of Wernher von Braun and his team of Nazi rocket scientists to America.
- 1948 – Toast of the Town, later The Ed Sullivan Show, makes its television debut.
- 1956 – A Venezuelan Super-Constellation crashes in the Atlantic Ocean off Asbury Park, New Jersey, killing 74 people.
- 1959 – A rare June hurricane strikes Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35.
- 1960 – The Mali Federation gains independence from France (it later splits into Mali and Senegal).
- 1963 – The so-called "red telephone" is established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- 1972 – Watergate scandal: An 18½-minute gap appears in the tape recording of the conversations between U.S. President Richard Nixon and his advisers regarding the recent arrests of his operatives while breaking into the Watergate complex.
- 1973 – Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Snipers fire upon left-wing Peronists. At least 13 are killed and more than 300 are injured.
- 1979 – ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart is shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder is caught on tape and sparks an international outcry against the regime.
- 1982 – The Argentine base (Corbeta Uruguay) on Southern Thule surrenders to Royal Marine commandos in the final action of the Falklands War.
- 1990 – Asteroid Eureka is discovered.
- 1991 – The German Bundestag votes to move the capital from Bonn back to Berlin.
- 2003 – The WikiMedia Foundation is founded in St. Petersburg, Florida.
- 2009 – During the Iranian election protests, the death of Neda Agha-Soltan is captured on video and spreads virally on the Internet, making it "probably the most widely witnessed death in human history".
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