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



1963 – The “Red Telephone” is instituted – The hotline between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was established following Cuban Missile Crisis. Contrary to popular belief, communications between the two superpowers occurred via teletype or fax, and today, via email.

451 – Battle of the Catalaunian Plains: Roman and Visigoths forces defeat Attila the Hun in north east France, alting Hun invasion of Roman Gaul (exact date disputed)

1212 – French and Spanish crusaders unite against the Almohaden at Toledo

1397 – The Union of Kalmar united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway under one monarch.

1567 – Jews are expelled from Brazil by order of regent Don Henrique

1627 – Ottoman pirates begin raids on Icelandic villages, will eventually capture over 400 people to sell into slavery

1675 – King Philip’s War begins when a small band of Wampanoag men attack and kill colonists in Swansea, Massachusetts, returning a few days later and destroying town

1756 – In India, 150 British soldiers were imprisoned in a cell that became known as the “Black Hole of Calcutta.”

1782 – The U.S. Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States.

1783 – American Revolution: Battle of Cuddalore, a naval battle between British and French fleets off the coast of India fought before word of a peace agreement arrived from Europe was the final battle of the war

1791 – King Louis XVI of France was captured while attempting to flee the country in the so-called Flight to Varennes.

1837 – Queen Victoria ascended the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.

1863 – West Virginia became the 35th state to join the U.S.

1866 – Italy declares war on Austria beginning the Third Italian War of Independence

1871 – Ku Klux Klan trials began in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi

1893 – Lizzie Borden acquitted of the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts

1898 – The U.S. Navy seized the island of Guam enroute to the Phillipines to fight the Spanish

1928 – Washburn-Crosby Company merged with 26 other mills to become General Mills.

1939 – Test flight of 1st rocket plane using liquid propellants

1941 – The U.S. Army Air Forces was established, replacing the Army Air Corps. The Army Air Forces were abolished with the creation of the United States Air Force in 1947.

1942 – Adolf Eichmann proclaims deportation of Dutch Jews

1942 – Kazimierz Piechowski and three others escape from Auschwitz concentration camp – In a feat of “exceptional courage and gallantry”, as stated by the Polish author Kazimierz Smoleń, the four prisoners left via the front gate in a stolen SS staff car, dressed as SS officers. During World War II, the Nazi regime murdered 1.1 million people in Auschwitz. Only 144 are known to have escaped.

1943 – Race-related rioting erupted in Detroit. Federal troops were sent in two days later to end the violence that left more than 30 dead.

1945 – U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius Jr. approves transfer of German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and his specialists to the US

1947 – Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel was murdered in Beverly Hills, CA, at the order of mob associates angered over the soaring costs of his project, the Flamingo resort in Las Vegas, NV.

1955 – The AFL and CIO agreed to combine names and a merge into a single group.

1963 – The “Red Telephone” is instituted – The hotline between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was established following Cuban Missile Crisis. Contrary to popular belief, communications between the two superpowers occurred via teletype or fax, and today, via email.

1967 – Mohammed Ali [Cassius Clay] sentenced to 5 years by jury after 21 minutes of deliberation for refusing to be inducted into the armed forces during the Vietnam War

1973 – Juan Perón returns from exile to Argentina after 18 years

1973 – Ezeiza massacre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Snipers fire upon left-wing Peronists. At least 13 are killed and more than 300 are injured

1977 – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline began operation.

1979 – ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot to death in Managua, Nicaragua, by a member of President Anastasio Somoza’s national guard.

1983 – Iran moves into northern Iraq (casualties top 13,800 in ten days)

1983 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers must treat male and female workers equally in providing health benefits for their spouses.

1988 – Supreme Court upholds a law that made it illegal for private clubs to discriminate against women and minorities

1991 – The German parliament moves to Berlin – Bonn had been the capital of West Germany until the country’s reunification in 1990. The “Hauptstadtbeschluss” (capital decision) stipulated that the seat of government and the parliament also be moved to the “new” capital Berlin.

1994 – US Fairchild Hospital Air Force Base massacre, former gunman kills 5 and injures 22

1996 – The Venezuelan Congress approves deals which allow foreign oil companies to explore and produce oil in Venezuela for the first time since the country’s 1975 nationalization of the oil industry

2002 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the execution of mentally retarded murderers was unconstitutionally cruel. The vote was 6 in favor and 3 against.

2011 – Betty Dukes v. Walmart class action lawsuit on alleged employee gender discrimination in pay and promotion policies is decided in a 5-4 decision, ruling that the class should not be certified in its current form

2012 – Western Libyan tribal clashes kill 105 people and injure 500

2018 – US President Donald Trump signs Executive Order ending family separation at the border for illegal immigrants

2018 – Algeria turns off its internet to stop students cheating during exams

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

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