Famous Events on this Day in History, December 20:

69 - General Vespasianus occupies Rome
69 - Vespasian, formerly a general under Nero, enters Rome to claim the title of emperor.
1046 - Synod of Sutri: German king Henry III removes Popes Gregory VI
1046 - Benedictus IX & Silvester III & names Bishop Siutger, Pope Clemens II
1192 - Richard the Lionhearted captured in Vienna
1448 - Pope Nicolaas V named Utrechts bishop Rudolf of Diepholt, cardinal
1522 - 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.
1585 - English fleet & earl Robert Dudley van Leicester reach Vlissingen
1600 - Ottario Rinuccini/Giulio Caccini's opera "Euridice" published
1606 - Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown Va
1626 - Emperor Ferdinand II/Transylvanian monarch Gabor Betlen signs Peace of Pressburg
1661 - Corporation Act enforced in England
1669 - 1st jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection & sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery
1688 - Prince Willem III's troops pull into London
1694 - Frederik van Brandenburg flees Schweiben
1699 - Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed-Sept 1 to Jan 1
1745 - Bonnie Prince Charlie's army meets de Esk
1780 - England declares war on Netherlands
1790 - 1st successful US cotton mill to spin yarn (Pawtucket, RI)
1803 - Louisiana Purchase formally transferred from France to US for $27M
1820 - Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 & 50
1823 - Franz Schuberts "Ballet-Musik aus Rosamunde," premieres in Vienna
1830 - England, France, Prussia, Austria & Russia recognize Belgium
1850 - Hawaiian post office established
1860 - SC votes 169-0 for Ordinace of Secession, 1st state to secede
1861 - Battle of Dranesville, VA
1862 - -Dec 20th] Battle of Kelly's Ford, VA
1862 - -Jan 3rd] Vicksburg campaign
1862 - Battle of Holly Spring, MS
1862 - Brig-gen Nathan B Forrest occupies Trenton, Kentucky
1864 - -Dec 27th] Battle of Ft Fisher, NC
1865 - De Clear-Alkmaar railway opens
1879 - Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
1880 - Battle at Bronker's Spruit, Transvaal: Farmers beat Britten
1880 - NY's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"
1883 - Intl cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls
1891 - Strongman Louis Cyr withstands pull of 4 horses
1892 - Phileas Fogg completes around world trip, according to Verne
1892 - Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse, NY
1893 - 1st state anti-lynching statue approved, in Georgia
1894 - Day Six 1T Aus v Eng Australia need 177 to win, all out 166
1894 - England beat Australia by 10 runs in the 1st six-day Test Cricket
1900 - Giacobini discovers a comet (will be 1st comet visited by spacecraft)
1906 - Venezuela (under vice-pres Gomez) attacks Dutch fleet
1907 - Explosion at Yolande Alabama, coal mine kills 91
1912 - J Hartley Manners' "Peg O' My Heart," premieres in NYC
1912 - Paul Claudels "L'Annonce Faite à Marie," premieres in Paris
1915 - Russian troops overrun Qom, Persia
1917 - Russian secret police in Czech forms under Felix Dzerzjinski
1918 - Eugene O'Neill's "Moon of the Caribees," premieres in NYC
1919 - Canadian Natl Railways established (N America's longest, 50,000 KM)
1919 - US House of Representatives restricts immigration
1920 - Bert Collins scores 104 on Test Cricket debut v England SCG
1920 - Bob Hope became an American citizen
1921 - AL votes to return to best-of-7 World Series, while NL votes best-of-9 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis casts deciding vote for best-of-7
1922 - 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR)
1922 - Polish parliament selects Stanislaw Wojcieckowski as president
1924 - Adolf Hitler freed from jail early
1926 - Cards trade Rogers Hornsby to Giants for Frankie Frisch & Jimmy Ring
1926 - Pope Pius XI convicts fascist pursuit in Italy
1926 - Sidney Howard's "Silver Cord," premieres in NYC
1928 - 1st international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Que
1928 - Ethel Barrymore Theater opens at 243 W 47th St NYC
1929 - Heinie Wagner replaces Bill Carrigan as Red Sox manager
1929 - Mount Davidson dedicated as a SF city park
1930 - Learie Constantine cricket 100 in 52 mins WI v Tas (10x4, 1x6, 1x5)
1932 - Queensland all out 74 v Victoria, Ironmonger (age 50) 7-13
1933 - Bolivia & Paraguay sign weapon cease fire
1935 - Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii
1937 - Bill O'Reilly takes 9-41 for NSW against South Australia
1938 - Vladimir K Zworykin (Penn) receives patent on Iconoscope TV system
1939 - Radio Australia begins overseas shortwave service
1940 - Connie Mack acquires controlling interest in the Athletics for $42,000
1941 - Free France under adm Muselier occupies St-Pierre et Miquelon
1941 - Japanese troops lands on Mindanao
1941 - World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers" in Kunming, China.
1942 - 1st Japanese bombing of Calcutta
1943 - "International" is no longer USSR National Anthem
1944 - Archbishop De Young & bishop Huibers condemn black market
1944 - Battle of Bastogne, Nazis surround 101st Airborne (NUTS!)
1944 - Bishop forbids membership in non Catholic unions
1944 - Terence Rattigans "O Mistress Mine," premieres in London
1945 - Rationg of auto tires ends in US
1946 - Darius Milhaud's 2nd Symphony, premieres
1948 - Second Chamber accept 2nd Police Action in Indonesia
1949 - Maurice Ravel/John Cranko's ballet "Beauty & the Beast," premieres
1950 - "Harvey," starring James Stewart, premieres in NY
1952 - KHQ TV channel 6 in Spokane, WA (NBC) begins broadcasting
1953 - KID (now KIDK) TV channel 3 in Idaho Falls, ID (CBS) 1st broadcasting
1953 - KWTV TV channel 9 in Oklahoma City, OK (CBS) begins broadcasting
1955 - Cardiff is proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.
1956 - Military coup under colonel Simbolon in Sumatra
1956 - Montgomery, Ala, removed race-based seat assignments on its buses
1957 - Elvis Presley given draft notice to join US Army for National Service
1959 - Jasu Patel takes 9-69, India v Australia at Kanpur
1960 - Auschwitz-commandant Richard Bar arrested in German FR
1960 - National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam is formed.
1962 - D Sjostakovitz opera "Katerina Ismailova," premieres in Moscow
1962 - Osmond brothers debut on Andy Williams Show
1963 - Berlin Wall opens for 1st time to West Berliners
1963 - Massemba-Debate elected pres of Congo-Brazzaville
1963 - Trial against 21 camp guards of Auschwitz begins
1964 - Levi Eshkol forms Israeli govt
1966 - Brussels: Nuclear Planning Group established
1966 - NBA awards Seattle Supersonics a franchise for 1967-68 season
1966 - Nuclear Planning Group forms in Brussels
1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1967 - "Graduate," starring Dustin Hoffman & Anne Bancroft, premieres
1967 - 474,300 US soldiers in Vietnam
1967 - Ian Anderson & Glenn Cornick form rock group Jethro Tull
1968 - The Zodiac Killer kills Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday in Vallejo, California.
1969 - Peter, Paul & Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane" reaches #1
1970 - Edward Gierek succeeds Wladyslaw Gomulka as Poland's party leader
1971 - Pakistan president Yahya Khan resigns
1972 - Neil Simons "Sunshine Boys," premieres in NYC
1973 - AL pres Joe Cronin refuses to allow Dick Williams to manage Yankees
1973 - Dutch Antillean govt of Evertsz forms
1973 - Montreal Canadien Henri Richard scores his 1,000th NHL point
1974 - Ethiopia becomes socialist one-party state
1974 - George Harrison releases his "Dark Horse" album in UK
1975 - Joe Walsh recruited to join Eagles
1975 - Pope Paul VI named J Willebrands archbishop of Utrecht
1976 - "Music Is" opens at St James Theater NYC for 8 performances
1976 - Israel's PM Yitzhak Rabin resigns
1977 - 1st Space walk made by G Grechko from Salyut
1977 - RAF -terrorist Knut Folkerts sentenced to 20 years
1978 - H R Haldeman, Nixon's White House chief of staff released from jail
1980 - NBC broadcasts NY Jets' 24-17 win over Dolphins without audio
1980 - USSR formally announces death of Alexei Kosygin
1981 - "Dreamgirls" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 1522 performances
1981 - Browns set team records for most fumbles (9) & most turnovers (10)
1981 - Doug Small (Winnipeg Jets) ties NHL record scoring at 5 second mark
1981 - Harry Krieger/Tom Eyen's musical "Dreamgirls," premieres in NYC
1983 - El Salvador adopts constitution
1983 - Guy Lafleur, Montreal, became 10th NHLer to score 500 goals
1983 - NY Islanders score their most goals (11) vs Pitts Penguins
1983 - PLO chairman Yasser Arafat & 4,000 loyalists evacuate Lebanon
1984 - 33 unknown Bach keyboard works found in Yale library
1984 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1985 - Denis Potvin passes Bobby Orr as NHL defenseman scorer (916 points)
1985 - Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC
1985 - Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is 1st)
1986 - White teenagers beat blacks in Howard Beach, NY
1987 - "Nuts" with Barbra Striesand premieres
1987 - 76th Davis Cup: Sweden beats India in Gothenburg (5-0)
1987 - Dona Paz ferry sinks after crash with oil tanker Vector, 4386 die
1987 - Nancy Lopez/Miller Barber wins LPGA Mazda Golf Championship
1988 - Animal rights terrorists fire-bomb Harrod's dept store, London
1988 - NBC signs lease to stay in NYC, 33 more years
1988 - Premier Ranasinghe Premadasa elected pres of Sri Lanka
1989 - Premier Lubbers sees CDA-party leader Elco Brinkman as successor
1989 - US troops invade Panama & oust Manuel Noriega, but don't catch him
1990 - Pentagon warns Saddam that US air power is ready to attack on 1/15
1990 - Robert F X Sillerman purchases WAFL NY-NJ Knights for $11 million
1990 - Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze resigns
1991 - NHL grants permanent membership to Tampa Lightning & Ottawa Senators
1991 - Paul Keating installed as premier of Australia
1991 - A Missouri court sentences the Palestinian militant Zein Isa and his wife Maria to death for the honor killing of their daughter Palestina.
1992 - Northwest & KLM introduce a new joint logo "Worldwide Reliability"
1992 - Slobodan Milosevic re-elected president of Serbia
1993 - Donald Trump weds Marla Maples
1995 - "Paul Roebson" opens at Longacre Theater NYC for 14 performances
1995 - American Flight 965 crashes in Columbia, 159 die, 5 survive
1995 - NATO begins peacekeeping in Bosnia.
1998 - Wendy's Three-Tour Golf Challenge
1999 - Portugal returns Macau to China
2001 - Argentine economic crisis: President of Argentina Fernando de la Rúa is forced out of office.
2002 - US Senator Trent Lott resigns as majority leader.
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.
2005 - The first same sex civil partnerships in Scotland are celebrated.
2005 - 2005 New York City transit strike: New York City's Transport Workers Union Local 100 goes on strike, shutting down all New York City Subway and Bus services.
2006 - A judge rules against the death penalty in the case of Naveed Haq, a man convicted in the shooting death and injuries at the Jewish Federation in Seattle.
2007 - Her Majesty Queen 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, was stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art, along with O Lavrador de Café, by the major Brazilian modernist painter Candido Portinari.
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