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Wikipedia defines history as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. It came from the Greek word ‘historia’ – which means ‘inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation’.

Today In HistoryThis website utilizes entries from Wikipedia to extract historical events from 3761 BC up to the present. There are 105,062 records in the database that include events, births and deaths of popular individuals. The present day Gregorian calendar was adopted to show dates of interest.

Let us begin with what happened today in history. You may also enter a specific day using the form on the right sidebar.

What happened on February 20? There are more than 283 events that were made this day in history. Here are the important historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

Interesting Facts & Myths About February 20

February 20 is the 51st day of the year 2019. There are 314 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Wednesday. This day falls under the 8th week of the year 2019.

On this day in Palisades, Washington 98845 sunrise will occur at 12:54 PM and sunset will occur at 11:30 PM (local time).

The zodiac sign of a person born on this day is Pisces. The modern birthstone for this month is Amethyst while the mystical birthstone is Bloodstone.

According to the Chinese calendar, there are 339 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year (January 25, 2020).

Birthday curiousity Is your birthday coming up in two days? Are you not curious to find out who is sharing your special day? Discover all the February 22 famous birthdays. There are fun facts about that day that you must know. (Sponsored link)

Historical Events For February 20

  • 1339
    The Milanese army and the St. George’s (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti clashed in the Battle of Parabiago.
  • 1472
    Orkney and Shetland are pawned by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark.
  • 1547
    Edward VI of England is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
  • 1685
    René-Robert Cavelier establishes Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France’s claim to Texas.
  • 1792
    The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington.
  • 1798
    Louis Alexandre Berthier removes Pope Pius VI from power.
  • 1810
    Andreas Hofer, Tirolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon’s forces, is executed.
  • 1813
    Manuel Belgrano defeats the royalist army of Pío de Tristán during the Battle of Salta.
  • 1835
    Concepción, Chile is destroyed by an earthquake.
  • 1864
    American Civil War: Battle of Olustee occurs – the largest battle fought in Florida during the war.
  • 1872
    In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens.
  • 1873
    The University of California opens its first medical school in San Francisco, California.
  • 1877
    Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake receives its première performance at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
  • 1877
    The world’s first professional sports league, the International Association for Professional Base Ball Players is founded in Pittsburgh.
  • 1901
    The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.
  • 1909
    Publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro.
  • 1913
    King O'Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra.
  • 1920
    New Year’s Day in Chinese calendar. Start of the year of the Metal Monkey in Chinese astrology.
  • 1931
    The Congress of the United States approves the construction of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge by the state of California.
  • 1933
    Adolf Hitler secretly meets with German industrialists to arrange for financing of the Nazi Party’s upcoming election campaign.
  • 1933
    The Congress of the United States proposes the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution that will end Prohibition in the United States.
  • 1935
    Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.
  • 1942
    Lieutenant Edward O'Hare becomes America’s first World War II flying ace.
  • 1943
    The Saturday Evening Post publishes the first of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms in support of United States President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union address theme of Four Freedoms.
  • 1943
    American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.
  • 1943
    The Parícutin volcano begins to form in Parícutin, Mexico.
  • 1944
    World War II: The “Big Week” began with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.
  • 1944
    World War II: The United States takes Eniwetok Island.
  • 1952
    Emmett Ashford becomes the first African-American umpire in organized baseball by being authorized to be a substitute umpire in the Southwestern International League.
  • 1959
    The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.
  • 1962
    Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes.
  • 1965
    Ranger 8 crashes into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts.
  • 1978
    The last Order of Victory is bestowed upon Leonid Brezhnev.
  • 1987
    Unabomber: In Salt Lake City, a bomb explodes in a computer store.
  • 1988
    The Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast votes to secede from Azerbaijan and join Armenia, triggering the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
  • 1989
    An IRA bomb destroys a section of a British Army barracks in Ternhill, England
  • 1991
    A gigantic statue of Albania’s long-time leader, Enver Hoxha, is brought down in the Albanian capital Tirana, by mobs of angry protesters.
  • 1998
    American figure skater Tara Lipinski becomes the youngest gold-medalist at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
  • 2003
    During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others.
  • 2005
    Spain becomes the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.
  • 2009
    Two Tamil Tigers aircraft packed with C4 explosives en-route to the national airforce headquarters are shot down by the Sri Lankan military before reaching their target, in a kamikaze style attack.
  • 2010
    In Madeira Island, Portugal, heavy rain causes floods and mudslides, resulting in at least 43 deaths, in the worst disaster in the history of the archipelago.

Who Were Born On February 20?

  • 1631
    Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, English statesman (d. 1712)
  • 1633
    Jan de Baen, Dutch portrait painter (d. 1702)
  • 1743
    Anna Laetitia Barbauld, English poet (d. 1825)
  • 1745
    Henry James Pye, English poet (d. 1813)
  • 1751
    Johann Heinrich Voß, German poet (d. 1826)
  • 1753
    Louis Alexandre Berthier, French marshal (d. 1815)
  • 1757
    John ‘Mad Jack’Fuller, English philanthropist (d. 1834)
  • 1759
    Johann Christian Reil, German physician, founder of psychiatry (d. 1813)
  • 1794
    William Carleton, Irish novelist (d. 1869)
  • 1802
    Charles de Bériot, Belgian violinist (d. 1870)
  • 1819
    Alfred Escher, Swiss politician, railroad entrepreneur (d. 1882)
  • 1839
    Benjamin Waugh, social reformer; founder of the NSPCC (d. 1908)
  • 1844
    Joshua Slocum, Canadian seaman and adventurer (d. 1909)
  • 1844
    Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist (d. 1906)
  • 1848
    Edward Henry Harriman, American railroad executive (d. 1909)
  • 1850
    Nérée Beauchemin, Canadian physician and poet (d. 1931)
  • 1866
    Carl Westman, Swedish architect and designer (d. 1936)
  • 1867
    Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (d. 1931)
  • 1879
    Hod Stuart, Canadian hockey player (d. 1907)
  • 1880
    Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, French aristocrat and novelist (d. 1923)
  • 1887
    Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada (d. 1967)
  • 1888
    Georges Bernanos, French writer (d. 1948)
  • 1893
    Elizabeth Holloway Marston, American psychologist (d. 1993)
  • 1893
    Russel Crouse, American playwright (d. 1966)
  • 1898
    Jimmy Yancey, American pianist (d. 1951)
  • 1899
    Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman (d. 1992)
  • 1901
    Cecil Harmsworth King, English newspaper owner (d. 1987)
  • 1901
    Muhammad Naguib, President of Egypt (d. 1984)
  • 1902
    Ansel Adams, American photographer (d. 1984)
  • 1904
    Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union (d. 1980)
  • 1906
    Gale Gordon, American television and radio actor (d. 1995)
  • 1907
    Malcolm Atterbury, American actor (d. 1992)
  • 1912
    Pierre Boulle, French author (d. 1994)
  • 1913
    Tommy Henrich, American baseball player (d. 2009)
  • 1914
    John Daly, South African–born broadcaster (d. 2001)
  • 1917
    Juan Vicente Torrealba, Venezuelan harpist and composer
  • 1918
    Leonore Annenberg, American billionaire (d. 2009)
  • 1919
    James O'Meara, British Battle of Britain Spitfire Flying Ace (d. 1974)
  • 1920
    Evgeny Dragunov, Russian weapons designer (d. 1991)
  • 1923
    Forbes Burnham, President of Guyana (d. 1985)
  • 1924
    Gloria Vanderbilt, American socialite and clothing designer
  • 1925
    Heinz Kluncker, German trade union leader (d. 2005)
  • 1925
    Robert Altman, American film director (d. 2006)
  • 1925
    Tochinishiki Kiyotaka, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 44th Yokozuna (d. 1990)
  • 1926
    Richard Matheson, American author
  • 1927
    Ibrahim Ferrer, Cuban musician (Buena Vista Social Club) (d. 2005)
  • 1927
    Roy Cohn, American lawyer (d. 1986)
  • 1927
    Sidney Poitier, American actor
  • 1929
    Amanda Blake, American actress (d. 1989)
  • 1930
    Willie Cunningham, Northern Irish footballer (d. 2007)
  • 1932
    Adrian Cristobal, Filipino writer (d. 2007)
  • 1934
    Bobby Unser, American racing driver
  • 1936
    Larry Hovis, American actor (d. 2003)
  • 1936
    Marj Dusay, American actress
  • 1936
    Shigeo Nagashima, Japanese baseball player and coach
  • 1937
    Nancy Wilson, American singer
  • 1937
    Robert Huber, German chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1937
    Roger Penske, American racing driver, race team owner and entrepreneur
  • 1938
    Richard Beymer, American actor
  • 1939
    Frank Arundel, English footballer (d.1994)
  • 1940
    Jimmy Greaves, English footballer
  • 1941
    Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer
  • 1941
    Lim Kit Siang, Democratic Socialist opposition party in Malaysia
  • 1942
    Charlie Gillett, British radio DJ
  • 1942
    Claude Miller, French film director and screenwriter
  • 1942
    Mitch McConnell, American politician, senior senator of Kentucky
  • 1942
    Phil Esposito, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1943
    Antonio Inoki, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1943
    Mike Leigh, British film director
  • 1943
    Moshe Cotel, American composer and pianist
  • 1944
    Robert de Cotret, Canadian politician (d. 1999)
  • 1944
    Willem van Hanegem, Dutch footballer and coach
  • 1945
    Andrew Bergman, American screenwriter and film director
  • 1945
    Annu Kapoor, Indian actor
  • 1945
    Brion James, American actor (d. 1999)
  • 1946
    Brenda Blethyn, English actress
  • 1946
    J. Geils, American guitarist (The J. Geils Band)
  • 1946
    Richard Cocciante, French-Italian singer and songwriter
  • 1946
    Sandy Duncan, American singer and actress
  • 1947
    André van Duin, Dutch comedian
  • 1947
    Eggert Magnusson, Icelandic football executive
  • 1947
    Peter Osgood, English footballer (d. 2006)
  • 1947
    Peter Strauss, American actor
  • 1948
    Jennifer O'Neill, Brazilian-born actress
  • 1948
    Pierre Bouchard, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1949
    Ivana Trump, Czech-born American socialite
  • 1949
    Mab Segrest, American writer and activist
  • 1950
    Ken Shimura, Japanese performer and actor
  • 1950
    Tony Wilson, British journalist and impresario (d. 2007)
  • 1950
    Walter Becker, American guitarist (Steely Dan)
  • 1951
    Edward Albert, American actor (d. 2006)
  • 1951
    Gordon Brown, British Member of Parliament, Prime Minister (2007–2010)
  • 1951
    Phil Neal, English footballer
  • 1951
    Randy California, American guitarist (Spirit) (d. 1997)
  • 1953
    Poison Ivy, American musician (The Cramps)
  • 1953
    Riccardo Chailly, Italian conductor
  • 1954
    Anthony Head, English actor
  • 1954
    Billy Pontoni, Colombian musician
  • 1954
    Jon Brant, American musician (Cheap Trick)
  • 1954
    Patty Hearst, American socialite
  • 1956
    Charlie Adler, American voice actor
  • 1956
    Rick Green, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1957
    Glen Hanlon, Canadian ice hockey coach
  • 1958
    James Wilby, English actor
  • 1959
    Bill Gullickson, American baseball player
  • 1960
    Joel Hodgson, American comedian (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
  • 1960
    Kee Marcello, Swedish guitarist
  • 1961
    Imogen Stubbs, British actress
  • 1962
    Kenn Nesbitt, American children’s author
  • 1963
    Charles Barkley, American basketball player
  • 1963
    Ian Brown, English singer (The Stone Roses)
  • 1963
    Jon Lynn Christensen, former Nebraska Congressman
  • 1963
    Marilisa Xenogiannakopoulou, Greek politician
  • 1964
    French Stewart, American actor
  • 1964
    Rodney Rowland, American actor
  • 1965
    Ron Eldard, American actor
  • 1966
    Cindy Crawford, American model
  • 1967
    Andrew Shue, American television actor
  • 1967
    David Herman, American comedian
  • 1967
    Katherine Soucie, American voice actress
  • 1967
    Kurt Cobain, American musician (Nirvana) (d. 1994)
  • 1967
    Lili Taylor, American actress
  • 1968
    Ted Hankey, English darts player
  • 1969
    Danis Tanovic, Bosnian film director and screenwriter
  • 1969
    Gedo, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1969
    Siniša Mihajlović, Serbian footballer
  • 1969
    Tommy Vardell, American football player
  • 1969
    Vaginal Davis, American drag queen and performance artist
  • 1971
    Calpernia Addams, transgender activist
  • 1971
    Jari Litmanen, Finnish footballer
  • 1971
    Shawn McKenzie, American programmer
  • 1972
    Brent Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1972
    K-OS, Canadian musician/rapper
  • 1973
    Kimberley Davies, Australian actress
  • 1973
    Rohan Alexander, Jamaican-born cricketer
  • 1974
    Ophelie Winter, French actress
  • 1975
    Brian Littrell, American singer (Backstreet Boys)
  • 1975
    Liván Hernández, Cuban baseball player
  • 1976
    Ed Graham, English drummer (The Darkness)
  • 1976
    Gail Kim, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1976
    Rohan Gavaskar, Left-handed batsman, India ODI 2004 (son of Sunil Gavaskar)
  • 1977
    Amal Hijazi, Lebanese singer and model
  • 1977
    Bartosz Kizierowski, Polish swimmer
  • 1977
    Stephon Marbury, American basketball player
  • 1977
    T.J. Slaughter, American football player
  • 1978
    Jakki Degg, English glamour model/actress
  • 1978
    Jay Hernandez, American actor
  • 1978
    Julia Jentsch, German actress
  • 1978
    Lauren Ambrose, American actress
  • 1980
    Artur Boruc, Polish footballer
  • 1980
    Imanol Harinordoquy, French rugby union footballer
  • 1981
    Chris Thile, American musician
  • 1981
    Fred Jackson, American football player
  • 1981
    Tony Hibbert, English footballer
  • 1982
    Jason Hirsh, American baseball player
  • 1983
    Jose Morales, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1983
    Justin Verlander, American baseball player
  • 1984
    Brian McCann, American baseball player
  • 1984
    Gilles Pagnon, French-German rugby player
  • 1984
    Ramzee Robinson, American football player
  • 1985
    Ryan Sweeney, American baseball player
  • 1985
    Yulia Volkova, Russian singer (t.A.T.u.)
  • 1986
    Diego Reis, Brazilian footballer
  • 1988
    Jiah Khan, Indian actress
  • 1988
    Rihanna, Barbadian singer
  • 1989
    Iga Wyrwal, Polish glamour model
  • 1991
    Giovanni Kyeremateng Italian footballer

Who Died On February 20?

  • 702
    K'inich Kan B'alam II, king of the Maya state of Palenque (b. 635)
  • 1154
    Saint Wulfric of Haselbury Plucknett
  • 1171
    Conan IV, Duke of Brittany (b. 1138)
  • 1194
    King Tancred of Sicily (b. 1138)
  • 1258
    Al-Musta’sim, last Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad (b. 1213)
  • 1408
    Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, English statesman (b. 1342)
  • 1431
    Pope Martin V (b. 1368)
  • 1524
    Tecún Umán, last leader of the K‘iche’(Quiché) Maya people
  • 1579
    Nicholas Bacon, English politician (b. 1509)
  • 1618
    Philip William, Prince of Orange (b. 1554)
  • 1626
    John Dowland, English composer and lutenist (b. 1563)
  • 1762
    Tobias Mayer, German astronomer (b. 1723)
  • 1771
    Jean Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan, French geophysicist (b. 1678)
  • 1773
    King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia (b. 1701)
  • 1778
    Laura Bassi, Italian scholar (b. 1711)
  • 1790
    Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1741)
  • 1803
    Marie Dumesnil, French actress (b. 1713)
  • 1806
    Lachlan McIntosh, Scottish-born American military and political leader (b. 1725)
  • 1810
    Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean national hero (executed) (b. 1767)
  • 1862
    William Wallace Lincoln, son of U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (b. 1850)
  • 1871
    Paul Kane, Irish-born painter (b. 1810)
  • 1893
    P.G.T. Beauregard, American Confederate general (b. 1818)
  • 1895
    Frederick Douglass, American abolitionist writer (b. 1818)
  • 1905
    Jeremiah W. Farnham, American merchant captain
  • 1907
    Henri Moissan, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)
  • 1916
    Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Swedish writer and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1844)
  • 1917
    Leone Sextus Tollemache, British Army captain (b. 1884)
  • 1920
    Robert Peary, American explorer (b. 1856)
  • 1936
    Max Schreck, German actor (b. 1879)
  • 1941
    Madame Bolduc, Canadian singer and songwriter (b. 1894)
  • 1961
    Percy Grainger, Australian composer (b. 1882)
  • 1963
    Ferenc Fricsay, Hungarian conductor (b. 1914)
  • 1963
    Jacob Gade, Danish composer(b. 1879)
  • 1965
    Fred Immler, German actor (b. 1880)
  • 1966
    Chester Nimitz, American admiral (b. 1885)
  • 1968
    Anthony Asquith, British film director and writer (b. 1902)
  • 1969
    Ernest Ansermet, Swiss conductor (b. 1883)
  • 1970
    Sophie Treadwell, American playwright and journalist (b. 1885)
  • 1972
    Maria Goeppert-Mayer, German physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
  • 1972
    Walter Winchell, American journalist (b. 1897)
  • 1974
    David Monrad Johansen, Norwegian composer (b. 1888)
  • 1976
    Kathryn Kuhlman, American evangelist (b. 1907)
  • 1976
    René Cassin, French judge, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1887)
  • 1981
    Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, magazine editor, socialite (b. 1904)
  • 1983
    Fritz Köberle, Austrian-Brazilian physician (b. 1910)
  • 1985
    Clarence “Ducky” Nash, American voice actor (b. 1904)
  • 1992
    Dick York, American actor (b. 1928)
  • 1992
    Roberto D'Aubuisson, Salvadoran politician (b. 1944)
  • 1993
    Ernest L. Massad, U.S. Army general (b. 1908)
  • 1993
    Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian automobile manufacturer (b. 1916)
  • 1996
    Solomon Asch, American psychologist (b. 1907)
  • 1996
    Tōru Takemitsu, Japanese composer (b. 1930)
  • 1997
    Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist (b. 1960)
  • 1999
    Gene Siskel, American film critic (b. 1946)
  • 1999
    Sarah Kane, English playwright (b. 1971)
  • 2000
    Anatoly Sobchak, Russian politician (b. 1937)
  • 2001
    Donella Meadows, American scientist (b. 1941)
  • 2001
    Rosemary DeCamp, American actress (b. 1910)
  • 2003
    Harry Jacunski, American football player (b. 1915)
  • 2003
    Maurice Blanchot, French author (b. 1907)
  • 2003
    Mushaf Ali Mir, Pakistani Chief of the Air Staff (b. 1947)
  • 2003
    Orville L. Freeman, American politician (b. 1918)
  • 2003
    Ty Longley, American guitarist (Great White) (b. 1971)
  • 2005
    Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (b. 1937)
  • 2005
    John Raitt, American actor (b. 1917)
  • 2005
    Pam Bricker, American jazz singer and Thievery Corporation vocalist (b. 1954)
  • 2005
    Sandra Dee, American actress (b. 1944)
  • 2005
    Tom Willmore, English geometer (b. 1919)
  • 2006
    Curt Gowdy, American sportscaster (b. 1919)
  • 2006
    Lucjan Wolanowski, Polish journalist, writer and traveller (b. 1920)
  • 2007
    Carl-Henning Pedersen, Danish artist, member of the CoBrA movement (b. 1913)
  • 2007
    F. Albert Cotton, American chemist (b. 1930)
  • 2008
    Emily Perry, English actress (b. 1907)
  • 2009
    Larry H. Miller, American businessman and owner of the Utah Jazz (b. 1944)
  • 2010
    Alexander Haig, American soldier and politician (b. 1924)


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