Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON : FEB 20



1962 – Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn orbits the earth three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes, becoming the first American to orbit the earth.

1280 – Japanese Imperial Court orders all temples and shrines to pray for victory in the impending second Mongol invasion

1472 – Orkney and Shetland are left by Norway to Scotland, due to a dowry payment

1525 – Swiss & German mercenaries desert François I’s army

1547 – Edward VI of England crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.

1673 – The first recorded wine auction took place in London.

1725 – 10 sleeping Indians scalped by whites in New Hampshire for 100pounds/scalp bounty

1792 – U.S. President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act that created the U.S. Post Office.

1798 – French General Louis Alexandre Berthier forcibly removes Pope Pius VI from Rome during French occupation of Rome (Pope later dies a prisoner in Valence)

1809 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was greater than that of any individual state.

1810 – Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon’s forces, was executed.

1815 – The USS Constitution, under Captain Charles Stewart fought the British ships Cyane and Levant. The Constitution captures both, but lost the Levant after encountering a British squadron. The Constitution and the Cyane returned to New York safely on May 15, 1815. The Cyane was purchased and became the USS Cyane.

1839 – The U.S. Congress prohibited dueling in the District of Columbia.

1869 – Tennessee Governor W C Brownlow declares martial law in Ku Klux Klan crisis

1880 – The American Bell Company was incorporated.

1901 – The first territorial legislature of Hawaii convened.

1909 – Publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro

1919 – French premier Clemenceau injured during assassination attempt

1921 – The motion picture “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” was released starring Rudolph Valentino.

1929 – American Samoa organized as a territory of US

1931 – The U.S. Congress allowed California to build the Oakland Bay Bridge.

1933 – The U.S. House of Representatives completed congressional action on the amendment to repeal Prohibition.

1938 – UK Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigns stating Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain has appeased Nazi Germany

1939 – The American pro-Nazi organization German American Bund hold a rally at Madison Square Garden and 20,000 attend

1941 – First transport of Jews to concentration camps leave Plotsk Poland

1942 – Lieutenant E H O’Hare single-handedly shoots down 5 Japanese heavy bombers. Becomes America’s first World War II flying ace.

1943 – American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.

1944 – “Big Week” began as U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers during World War II.

1947 – Chemical mixing error causes explosion that destroys 42 blocks in Los Angeles CA

1952 – Emmett L. Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball. He was authorized to be a substitute in the Southwestern International League.

1953 – US Court of Appeals rules that Organized Baseball is a sport & not a business, affirming the 25-year-old Supreme Court ruling

1962 – Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn orbits the earth three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes, becoming the first American to orbit the earth.

1965 – Ranger 8 crashed on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of its surface.

1968 – State troopers used tear gas to stop demonstration at Alcorn A & M

1971 – National Emergency Center erroneously orders US radio & TV stations to go off the air; The mistake wasn’t resolved for 30 minutes

1975 – Margaret Thatcher elected leader of British Conservative Party

1979 – 11 ‘loyalists’ known as the “Shankill Butchers” are sentenced to life in prison for 19 murders; the gang was named for its late-night kidnapping, torture and murder (by throat slashing) of random Catholic civilians in Belfast

1987 – A bomb exploded in a computer store in Salt Lake City, UT. The blast was blamed on the Unabomber.

1988 – The Nagorno-Karabakh War is triggered by der Autonomous Oblast’s secession from Azerbaijan

1991 – A gigantic statue of Albania’s long-time dictator, Enver Hoxha, is brought down in the Albanian capital, Tirana, by mobs of angry protesters

1994 – 3 Afghans take 70 Pakistani children hostage

2001 – FBI Agent Robert Phillip Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for the Russians for 15 years.

2002 – In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire raced through a train killing at least 370 people and injuring at least 65.

2003 – In West Warwick, RI, 100 people were killed and more than 230 were injured when fire destroyed the nightclub The Station. The fire started with sparks from a pyrotechnic display being used by Jack Russel’s Great White. Ty Longley, guitarist for the band, was one of the victims in the fire.

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

2008 – The U.S. Navy destroyed an inoperable spy satellite with a missile from the USS Lake Erie.

2013 – Estonia becomes the first country to establish a national system of fast chargers for electric cars

2017 – Famine is declared in Unity State, South Sudan, affecting 4.9 million

2018 – Venezuela becomes the first country to launch a virtual currency, the petro, to counteract their financial crisis

2020 – Trump associate Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months imprisonment for obstructing a congressional investigation

2021 – Bloodiest day of protests in Myanmar since its coup after security forces open fire, killing two people with 40 wounded in Mandalay

2022 – Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (Gerd), Africa’s controversial and biggest-ever hydroelectric project on the Blue Nile, begins generating electricity

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com


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