What happened on December 20? There are more than 273 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 December 20

December 20 In HistoryDecember 20 is the 354th day of the year 2021. There are 11 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Monday. This day falls under the 51st week of the year 2021.

On this day in Otisco, Indiana 47163 sunrise will occur at 07:56 AM and sunset will occur at 05:24 PM (local time).

The zodiac sign of a person born on this day is Sagittarius. The modern birthstone for this month is Turquoise while the mystical birthstone is Onyx.

According to the Chinese calendar, there are 43 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year (February 1, 2022).

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 August 6 famous birthdays. There are fun facts about that day that you must know. (Sponsored link)

Historical Events For December 20

  • 69
    Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of emperor.
  • 217
    The papacy of Zephyrinus ends. Callixtus I is elected as the sixteenth pope, but is opposed by the theologian Hippolytus who accuses him of laxity and of being a Modalist, one who denies any distinction between the three persons of the Trinity.
  • 1192
    Richard the Lion-Heart is captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third crusade.
  • 1522
    Siege of Rhodes: Suleiman the Magnificent accepts the surrender of the surviving Knights of Rhodes, who are allowed to evacuate. They eventually settle on Malta and become known as the Knights of Malta.
  • 1606
    The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.
  • 1803
    The Louisiana Purchase is completed at a ceremony in New Orleans.
  • 1808
    Peninsular War: The Siege of Zaragoza begins.
  • 1860
    South Carolina becomes the first state to attempt to secede from the United States.
  • 1915
    World War I: Last Australian troops evacuated from Gallipoli.
  • 1917
    Cheka, the first Soviet secret police, is founded.
  • 1924
    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: Bombing of Calcutta by the Japanese.
  • 1946
    The popular Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life is first released in New York City.
  • 1951
    The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs.
  • 1952
    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.
  • 1959
    The Walker family murders are committed.
  • 1960
    National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam is formed.
  • 1968
    The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
  • 1971
    Zulfikar Ali Bhutto takes over as the fourth President of Pakistan.
  • 1973
    The Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, is assassinated by a car bomb attack in Madrid.
  • 1977
    Djibouti and Vietnam join the United Nations.
  • 1984
    The Summit tunnel fire is the largest underground fire in history, as a freight train carrying over 1 million litres of petrol derails near the town of Todmorden in the Pennines.
  • 1987
    History’s worst peacetime sea disaster, when the passenger ferry Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).
  • 1988
    The United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is signed in Vienna.
  • 1989
    United States invasion of Panama: The United States sends troops into Panama to overthrow government of Manuel Noriega. This is also the first combat use of purpose-designed stealth aircraft.
  • 1991
    A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
  • 1995
    American Airlines Flight 965, a Boeing 757, crashes into a mountain 50 km north of Cali, Colombia killing 160.
  • 1995
    NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia.
  • 1996
    NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.
  • 1999
    Macau is handed over to the People’s Republic of China by Portugal.
  • 2004
    A gang of thieves steal £26.5 million worth of currency from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland, one of the largest bank robberies in UK history.
  • 2005
    In Durrës, Albania was founded Aleksander Moisiu University.
  • 2005
    US District Court Judge John E. Jones III rules against mandating the teaching of “intelligent design” in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
  • 2007
    Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.
  • 2007
    The painting Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, is stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, along with O Lavrador de Café by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari.

Who Were Born On December 20?

  • 1494
    Oronce Finé, French mathematician (d. 1555)
  • 1537
    King John III of Sweden (d. 1592)
  • 1566
    Edward Wightman, English Baptist preacher (d. 1612)
  • 1579
    (baptized) John Fletcher, English playwright (d. 1625)
  • 1626
    Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman (d. 1692)
  • 1629
    Pieter de Hooch, Dutch painter (d. 1684)
  • 1717
    Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, French statesman and diplomat (d. 1787)
  • 1740
    Arthur Lee, American diplomat (d. 1792)
  • 1786
    Pietro Raimondi, Italian composer (d. 1853)
  • 1792
    Nicolas Charlet, French painter (d. 1845)
  • 1833
    Dr Samuel A. Mudd, American physician (d. 1883)
  • 1838
    Edwin Abbott Abbott, English schoolmaster, theologian, and author (d. 1926)
  • 1841
    Ferdinand Buisson, French pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1932)
  • 1860
    Dan Leno, English entertainer (d. 1904)
  • 1861
    Ivana Kobilca, Slovenian painter (d. 1926)
  • 1865
    Elsie de Wolfe, American socialite and interior decorator (d. 1950)
  • 1868
    Harvey Firestone, American automobile pioneer (d. 1938)
  • 1869
    Charles Grapewin, American actor (d. 1956)
  • 1873
    Kanichi Asakawa, Japanese historian (d. 1948)
  • 1881
    Branch Rickey, baseball executive (d. 1965)
  • 1886
    Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, American tennis player (d. 1974)
  • 1888
    Fred Merkle, American baseball figure (d. 1958)
  • 1888
    Yitzhak Baer, German-born Israeli historian (d. 1980)
  • 1890
    Jaroslav Heyrovský, Czech chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1967)
  • 1890
    Yvonne Arnaud, French-born actress (d. 1958)
  • 1894
    Sir Robert Menzies, twelfth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1978)
  • 1898
    Irene Dunne, American actress (d. 1990)
  • 1898
    Konstantinos Dovas, Greek Greek general and interim Prime Minister (d. 1973)
  • 1901
    Robert J. Van de Graaff, American physicist and inventor (d. 1967)
  • 1902
    George Edward Alexander Windsor, Duke of Kent (d. 1942)
  • 1902
    Sidney Hook, American philosopher (d. 1989)
  • 1904
    Spud Davis, baseball player (d. 1984)
  • 1904
    Yevgenia Ginzburg, Russian writer (d. 1977)
  • 1905
    Bill O'Reilly, Australian cricket player (d. 1992)
  • 1907
    Paul Francis Webster, songwriter (d. 1984)
  • 1908
    Dennis Morgan, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1909
    Vakkom Majeed, Indian politician (d. 2000)
  • 1911
    Hortense Calisher, American author (d. 2009)
  • 1914
    Harry F. Byrd Jr, American politician
  • 1916
    Michel Chartrand, Quebec union leader (d. 2010)
  • 1917
    David Bohm, American-born physicist, philosopher, and neuropsychologist (d. 1992)
  • 1918
    Audrey Totter, American actress
  • 1918
    Jean Marchand, Canadian trade unionist and politician (d. 1988)
  • 1922
    Beverly Pepper, American sculptor and painter
  • 1922
    George Roy Hill, American film director (d. 2002)
  • 1924
    Judy LaMarsh, Canadian politician and broadcaster (d. 1980)
  • 1925
    Benito Lorenzi, Italian footballer (d. 2007)
  • 1926
    Otto Graf Lambsdorff, German politician
  • 1926
    Sir Geoffrey Howe, British politician
  • 1927
    Charlie Callas, American comedian (d. 2011)
  • 1927
    Kim Young-sam, 14th President of South Korea
  • 1931
    Mala Powers, American film actress (d. 2007)
  • 1931
    Terry Sanders, American filmmaker
  • 1932
    John Hillerman, American actor (Magnum, P.I.)
  • 1933
    Jean Carnahan, U.S. Senator
  • 1933
    Rik van Looy, Belgian cyclist
  • 1935
    Khalid Ibadulla, Pakistani cricket player
  • 1938
    John Harbison, American composer
  • 1940
    Pat Chapman, English Author, Founder The Curry Club
  • 1941
    Tommy Cole, American makeup artist, actor and singer
  • 1942
    Jean-Claude Trichet, French banker and economist
  • 1942
    Rana Bhagwandas, Former Pakistani Chief Justice
  • 1944
    Bobby Colomby, American musician (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
  • 1944
    Jean Fergusson, English actress
  • 1945
    Peter Criss, American drummer and singer (Kiss)
  • 1945
    Sivakant Tiwari, senior legal officer of the Singapore Legal Service (d. 2010)
  • 1946
    Dick Wolf, American television series creator
  • 1946
    John Spencer, American actor (d. 2005)
  • 1946
    Lesley Judd, English TV presenter and dancer
  • 1946
    Lloyd Mumphord, NFL football player
  • 1946
    Sonny Perdue, American politician, governor of Georgia
  • 1946
    Uri Geller, Israeli mentalist
  • 1947
    Gigliola Cinquetti, Italian singer
  • 1948
    Alan Parsons, British music producer and artist
  • 1948
    Stevie Wright, English-born Australian musician and songwriter
  • 1949
    Cecil Cooper, American baseball player
  • 1949
    Oscar Gamble, American baseball player
  • 1949
    Soumaïla Cissé, Malian politician
  • 1950
    Arturo Marquez, Mexican composer
  • 1951
    Gilbert Montagné, French musician
  • 1951
    Peter May, Scottish novelist and scriptwriter
  • 1952
    Jenny Agutter, English actress
  • 1952
    Sky Gilbert, Canadian writer
  • 1954
    Michael Badalucco, American actor
  • 1954
    Sandra Cisneros, American writer
  • 1955
    David Breashears, American mountaineer
  • 1955
    Ed Kuepper, German-born Australian musician (The Saints, Laughing Clowns)
  • 1955
    Rory Markas, American sportscaster (d. 2010)
  • 1956
    Blanche Baker, American actress
  • 1956
    Guy Babylon, American keyboardist
  • 1956
    Junji Hirata, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1957
    Anna Vissi, Greek-Cypriot singer
  • 1957
    Billy Bragg, English singer and songwriter
  • 1957
    Joyce Hyser, American actress
  • 1957
    Mike Watt, American bassist
  • 1957
    Stephen Bicknell, British organ builder (d. 2007)
  • 1958
    James Thomson, American biologist
  • 1959
    Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Polish politician
  • 1959
    Trent Tucker, American basketball player
  • 1960
    Kim Ki-duk, Korean filmmaker
  • 1960
    Nalo Hopkinson, Canadian writer
  • 1961
    Mike Keneally, American musician
  • 1961
    Mohammad Fouad, Arab singer and actor
  • 1963
    Infanta Elena of Spain
  • 1963
    Joel Gretsch, American actor
  • 1964
    Mark Coleman, American mixed martial artist
  • 1965
    Jim Carr (US), Digital Strategist
  • 1965
    Rich Gannon, American football player
  • 1965
    Robert Cavanah, Scottish actor
  • 1966
    Chris Robinson, American singer (Black Crowes)
  • 1966
    Matt Neal, British Race Driver
  • 1966
    Myrra Malmberg, Swedish singer
  • 1968
    Joe Cornish, British comedian
  • 1968
    Karl Wendlinger, Austrian racing driver
  • 1969
    Bobby Phills, American basketball player (d. 2000)
  • 1970
    Alister McRae, Scottish rally driver
  • 1970
    Grant Flower, Zimbabwean cricketer
  • 1970
    Nicole DeBoer, Canadian actress
  • 1971
    Roger J. Beaujard, American musician
  • 1972
    Anders Odden, Norwegian musician
  • 1973
    Cory Stillman, National Hockey League forward
  • 1974
    Die, Japanese musician (Dir en grey)
  • 1975
    Bartosz Bosacki, Polish footballer
  • 1975
    Jaydy Michel, Mexican model
  • 1976
    Adam Powell, British businessman
  • 1976
    Aubrey Huff, American baseball player
  • 1976
    Jang Hyuk, Korean actor
  • 1976
    Ramon Stoppelenburg, Dutch author
  • 1977
    Saukrates, Canadian rapper
  • 1978
    Andrei Markov, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1978
    Geremi Njitap, Cameroon footballer
  • 1978
    Tony Moore, American comic book artist
  • 1979
    David DeJesus, American baseball player
  • 1979
    George Lamb, English radio and TV presenter
  • 1979
    Michael Rogers, Australian cyclist
  • 1979
    Ramon Rodriguez (actor), Puerto-Rican American Actor
  • 1980
    Ashley Cole, English footballer
  • 1980
    Fitz Hall, English footballer
  • 1980
    Martín Demichelis, Argentine footballer
  • 1980
    Tony, French-born Portuguese footballer
  • 1981
    James Shields, American baseball player
  • 1981
    Roy Williams, American football player
  • 1981
    Royal Ivey, American basketball player
  • 1982
    David Cook, American singer
  • 1982
    David Tavaré, Spanish singer
  • 1982
    David Wright, American baseball player
  • 1982
    Kasper Klausen, Danish footballer
  • 1982
    Keny Arkana, French rapper & singer
  • 1982
    Mohammed Asif, Pakistani cricket player
  • 1983
    Adrián Varela, Mexican singer
  • 1983
    Chelsea Johnson, American pole vaulter
  • 1983
    Darren Sammy, St. Lucian cricketer
  • 1983
    Jonah Hill, American actor
  • 1983
    Lara Stone, Dutch model
  • 1983
    Lucy Pinder, British model
  • 1984
    Nikolaos Karabelas, Greek footballer
  • 1986
    Anoop Desai, American singer
  • 1986
    Benjamin Brierley, English-born German rugby player
  • 1987
    Tariel Zintiridis, Greek judoka
  • 1988
    Andrés Bottiglieri Italian–Argentine footballer
  • 1990
    JoJo, American singer
  • 1991
    Hunter Gomez, American actor
  • 1992
    Ksenia Makarova, Russian-American figure skater

Who Died On December 20?

  • 217
    Pope Zephyrinus
  • 860
    King Ethelbald of Wessex (b. 834)
  • 910
    Alfonso III of Leon (b. 848)
  • 1022
    Elvira Mendes, wife of Alfonso V of Castile (b. 996)
  • 1355
    Stefan Dušan, Emperor of Serbia (b. 1308)
  • 1494
    Matteo Maria Boiardo, Italian poet (b. 1434)
  • 1524
    Thomas Linacre, English scholar and physician (b. 1460)
  • 1539
    Johannes Lupi, Flemish composer (b. 1506)
  • 1590
    Ambroise Paré, French physician (b. 1510)
  • 1695
    John Bowne, English-born American pioneer of religious liberty (b. 1627)
  • 1722
    Kangxi Emperor of China (b. 1654)
  • 1723
    Augustus Quirinus Rivinus (b. 1652)
  • 1740
    Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon, English military officer and statesman (b. 1675)
  • 1765
    Louis, Dauphin of France, son of Louis XV; father of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, and Charles X (b. 1729)
  • 1768
    Carlo Innocenzio Maria Frugoni, Italian poet (b. 1692)
  • 1783
    Antonio Soler, Spanish composer (b. 1729)
  • 1786
    Hannah Ocuish, Native American convicted murderer (b. 1774)
  • 1812
    Sacagawea, Native American member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (b. 1788)
  • 1856
    Francesco Bentivegna, Italian revolutionary (b. 1820)
  • 1862
    Robert Knox, Scottish surgeon and zoologist (b. 1791)
  • 1915
    Upendrakishore Ray, Indian writer, painter and composer (b. 1863)
  • 1917
    Lucien Petit-Breton, French racing cyclist (b. 1882)
  • 1921
    Hans Hartwig von Beseler, German general (b. 1850)
  • 1927
    Roshan Singh, Indian nationalist (date of birth unknown)
  • 1929
    Émile Loubet, French statesman (b. 1838)
  • 1935
    Martin O'Meara, Australian soldier (b. 1882)
  • 1937
    Erich Ludendorff, German general (b. 1865)
  • 1938
    Annie Armstrong, American missionary (b. 1850)
  • 1941
    Igor Severyanin, Russian poet (b. 1887)
  • 1954
    James Hilton, British author (b. 1900)
  • 1956
    Ramon Carrillo, Argentine neuroscientist (b. 1906)
  • 1961
    Earle Page, Australian politician (b. 1880)
  • 1961
    Moss Hart, American dramatist (b. 1904)
  • 1968
    John Steinbeck, American writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902)
  • 1971
    Roy O. Disney, American entertainment industry executive (b. 1893)
  • 1973
    Bobby Darin, American singer (b. 1936)
  • 1973
    Luis Carrero Blanco, Spanish statesman (b. 1904)
  • 1974
    André Jolivet, French composer (b. 1905)
  • 1976
    Richard J. Daley, American politician (b. 1902)
  • 1981
    Dimitris Rontiris, Greek actor and director (b. 1899)
  • 1982
    Arthur Rubinstein, Polish-born American pianist (b. 1887)
  • 1984
    Gonzalo Márquez, Venezuelan baseball player (b. 1946)
  • 1986
    Joe DeSa, American baseball player (b. 1959)
  • 1988
    Alphonse Ouimet, Canadian television executive (b. 1908)
  • 1989
    Kurt Böhme, German bass (b. 1908)
  • 1991
    Albert Van Vlierberghe, Belgian cyclist (b. 1942)
  • 1991
    Simone Beck, French chef (b. 1904)
  • 1994
    Dean Rusk, American diplomat (b. 1909)
  • 1996
    Carl Sagan, American astronomer and writer (b. 1934)
  • 1997
    Dawn Steel, American film producer (b. 1946)
  • 1997
    Denise Levertov, English-born American poet (b. 1923)
  • 1997
    Juzo Itami, Japanese actor and director (b. 1933)
  • 1998
    Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, British scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1916)
  • 1998
    C. P. Lyons, Canadian naturalist and author (b. 1915)
  • 1998
    Irene Hervey, American actress (b. 1909)
  • 1999
    Hank Snow, Canadian singer (b. 1914)
  • 1999
    Riccardo Freda, Italian film director (b. 1909)
  • 2000
    Mirza Ghulam Hafiz, Bangladeshi statesman and philanthropist (b. 1920)
  • 2001
    Foster Brooks, American actor and comedian (b. 1912)
  • 2001
    Léopold Sédar Senghor, Senegalese politician (b. 1906)
  • 2002
    Bernard King, Australian chef and television personality (b. 1934)
  • 2005
    Maniam Moorthy, Malaysian climber
  • 2006
    Anne Rogers Clark, American dog breeder and trainer (b. 1929)
  • 2006
    Piergiorgio Welby, Italian poet and activist (b.1945)
  • 2006
    Shi Yuejun, Chinese serial killer (b. 1970)
  • 2007
    Nataline Sarkisyan, American medical patient (b. 1990)
  • 2009
    Arnold Stang, American comic actor (b. 1918)
  • 2009
    Brittany Murphy, American actress (b. 1977)
  • 2009
    Jack Hixon, English football talent scout (b. 1921)
  • 2009
    Mairoon Ali, Trinidadian comedienne and actress (b. 1954)
  • 2010
    Brian Hanrahan, British journalist (b. 1949)
  • 2010
    James R. Mann, American attorney and politician (b. 1920)
  • 2010
    Steve Landesberg, American actor and comedian (b. 1936)

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