This Day in History - July 20

Friday, July 20, 2018

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Today is the 201st day of 2018. There are 164 days left in the year.


1968: The first International Special Olympics Summer Games, organised by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, are held in Chicago.



1810: Bogota rises against Spanish rule. The day is now Independence Day in Colombia.

1811: The Rev Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a hero of independence, is executed by firing squad in Chihuahua, Mexico.

1861: Congress of the southern Confederate States convened in Richmond, Virginia, after seceding from the US.

1871: British Columbia enters Confederation as a Canadian province.

1880: The second British invasion of Afghanistan ends; Abdur Rahman proclaims himself the new Afghan ruler.

1881: Sioux leader Sitting Bull, a fugitive since the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, surrenders to US troops.

1913: Turkey recaptures Adrianople from Bulgaria during Balkan War, regaining Ottoman Empire's most important Balkan city.

1922: League of Nations Council approves mandates for Cameroon, Togoland (now divided between Togo and Ghana) and Tanganyika (which later merged with Zanzibar to form Tanzania).

1944: Adolf Hitler is injured by a bomb in an attaché case, an assassination attempt by German officers that leads to a brutal purge. And US President Franklin D Roosevelt is nominated for a fourth term at the Democratic convention.

1945: US flag is raised over Berlin as US troops prepare to occupy Germany after World War II.

1951: Jordan's King Abdullah is assassinated in Jerusalem by a Palestinian nationalist after Jordan annexed West Bank territory.

1958: United Arab Republic, the brief union of Egypt and Syria, severs relations with Jordan.

1969: US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon after reaching the surface in their Apollo 11 lunar module.

1976: US spacecraft Viking I lands on Mars after 11-month flight and begins sending back clear pictures of the red planet.

1989: Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is placed under house arrest by the military government of Myanmar.

1991: Russian Federation President Boris N Yeltsin bans political activity in Russian government offices and republic-run businesses.

1992: Vaclav Havel, the playwright who led Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution against communism, steps down as president after failing to halt the country's break-up into separate Czech and Slovak nations.

1996: Hutu rebels attack Tutsi refugees at a camp in Burundi, killing some 320 people, mostly women and children.

1999: After 38 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, astronaut Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule was lifted to the surface.

2003: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas meet in Jerusalem to discuss Palestinian demands for the release of prisoners held by Israel and for Israeli troop withdrawals from the West Bank.

2004: The UN General Assembly demands that Israel tear down the barrier it was building to seal off the West Bank; Israel vows to continue construction.

2005: Hurricane Emily slams into north-eastern Mexico, knocking out power and forcing thousands to flee small fishing villages after leaving hundreds homeless and destroying luxury hotels in the Yucatan Peninsula.

2009: A UN war crimes court convicts two Bosnian Serb cousins for a 1992 killing spree that included locking scores of Muslims in two houses and burning them alive.

2012: A gunman hurls a gas canister inside a crowded movie theatre in Colorado during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie and then opens fire, killing 12 people and wounding nearly 60 others.

2013: Americans rally in dozens of US cities, urging authorities to press federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the former neighbourhood watch leader found not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin. And five employees of an Italian cruise company are convicted of manslaughter in the Costa Concordia shipwreck that killed 32 people, receiving sentences of less than three years.



Francesco Petrarca, Italian poet (1304-1374); Alberto Santos-Dumont, Brazilian aviator (1872-1932); Theda Bara, US silent-film actress (1885-1955); Diana Rigg, English actress (1938- ); Kim Carnes, US singer (1945- ); Carlos Santana, Mexican guitarist (1947- ); Judy Greer, actress (1975- ); Stone Gossard, US musician (1966- )



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