May 20 in History

Today in History

  • First Council of Nicea (325)
  • Vasco de Gama discovers the sea route to India (1498)
  • Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence signed (1775, disputed)
  • Blue jeans patented (1873)
  • Metric system goes into effect (1875)
  • First US traffic ticket issued (1899)
  • Charles Lindbergh takes off for Paris (1927)
  • Amelia Earhart takes off on her transatlantic flight (1932)
  • First prisoners arrive at Auschwitz (1940)
  • First hydrogen bomb airdropped (1956)
  • Battle of Hamburger Hill ends (1969)

Birthdays

  •  Busta Rhymes, rapper (1972)
  • Mindy Cohn, actress (1966)
  • Ted Allen, queer eye (1965)
  • David “Boomer” Wells, pitcher (1963)
  • Bronson Pinchot, actor (1959)
  • Dave Thomas, comedian (1949)
  • Cher, diva (1946)
  • Joe Cocker, singer (1944)
  • Stan Mikita, hockey player (1940)
  • David Hedison, actor (1927)
  • Bud Grant, coach (1927)
  • Hal Newhouser, pitcher (1921)
  • Moshe Dayan, defense minister (1915)
  • Gardner Fox, comic book writer (1911)
  • Jimmy Stewart (1908)
  • Max Euwe, chess grandmaster (1901)
  • Faisal I, monarch (1885)
  • Emile Berliner, inventor (1851)
  • William Fargo, express deliverer (1818)
  • John Stuart Mill, political philosopher (1806)
  • Honoré de Balzac, writer (1799)
  • William Congreve, rocket designer (1772)
  • Dolley Madison, first lady (1768)

Deaths

  • Robin Gibb, singer (2012)
  • Randy “Macho Man” Savage, wrestler (2011)
  • Hamilton Jordan, White House chief of staff (2008)
  • Stephen Jay Gould, evolutionary biologist and writer (2002)
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal, flautist (2000)
  • Jon Pertwee, third doctor (1996)
  • Gilda Radner, comedienne (1989)
  • Syd Howe, hockey player (1976)
  • Christopher Columbus, admiral (1506)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Day of Remembrance (Cambodia)
  • Emancipation Day (Florida)
  • Maritime Day (Europe)
  • Independence Day (Cuba, East Timor)
  • Indonesian National Awakening (Indonesia)
  • Meck Dec Day (North Carolina)
  • National Day (Cameroon)
  • World Metrology Day (Metre Convention)