Today in History

September 20
480 BC Themistocles and his Greek fleet win one of history’s first decisive naval victories over Xerxes‘ Persian force off Salamis.
1378 The election of Robert of Geneva as anti-pope by discontented cardinals creates a great schism in the Catholic church.
1519 Ferdinand Magellan embarks from Spain on a voyage to circumnavigate the world.
1561 Queen Elizabeth of England signs a treaty at Hampton Court with French Huguenot leader Louis de Bourbon, the Prince of Conde. The English will occupy Le Havre in return for aiding Bourbon against the Catholics of France.
1565 Pedro Menendez of Spain wipes out the French at Fort Caroline, in Florida.
1604 After a two-year siege, the Spanish retake Ostend, the Netherlands, from the Dutch.
1784 Packet and Daily, the first daily publication in America, appears on the streets.
1806 Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark pass the French village of La Charette, the first white settlement they have seen in more than two years.
1830 The National Negro Convention convenes in Philadelphia with the purpose of abolishing slavery.
1850 The slave trade is abolished in the District of Columbia.
1853 The Allies defeat the Russians at the Battle of Alma on the Crimean Peninsula.
1863 Union troops under George Thomas prevent the Union defeat at Chickamauga from becoming a rout, earning him the nickname “the Rock of Chickamauga.”
1934 Bruno Hauptmann is arrested for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby.
1952 Scientists confirm that DNA holds hereditary data.
1971 Hurricane Irene becomes the first hurricane known to cross from the Atlantic to Pacific, where it is renamed Hurricane Olivia.
1973 In a pro tennis bout dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes,” Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome in Texas.
1977 The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is admitted to the United Nations.
1984 A suicide car bomber attacks the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 22.
1985 Australia introduces a capital gains tax.
1990 South Ossetia declares its independence from Georgia in the former Soviet Union.
2000 The British MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building in London is attacked by an unidentified group using an RPG-22 anti-tank missile.
2001 US Pres. George W. Bush, addressing a joint session of Congress, declares a “war on terror.”.
2008 A truck loaded with explosives detonates by Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 45 and injuring 226.
2011 The US military ends its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allows gay men and women to serve openly.
Born on September 20
1833 Petroleum V. Nasby (David Ross Locke), humorist whose work was enjoyed by Abraham Lincoln.
1842 Lord James Dewar, physician who invented the vacuum flask and cordite, the first smokeless powder.
1878 Upton Sinclair, author best known today for The Jungle.
1884 Maxwell Perkins, editor, the first to publish F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe.
1885 Ferdinand La Menthe (Jelly Roll Morton), jazz pianist, composer and singer, one of the first to orchestrate jazz music.
1891 Lamine Gueye, Senegalese political leader.
1917 Arnold “Red” Auerbach, had the second-most wins as a basketball coach in history with 1,037 victories for the Boston Celtics.
1920 Jay Ward, creator and producer of animated TV cartoons (Rocky & His Friends, renamed The Bullwinkle Show; George of the Jungle).
1934 Sofia Loren (Sofia Scicolone), first actress to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for a performance in a non-English language film (Two Women); received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievements (1995).
1941 Dale Chihuly, sculptor known for his unique creations in blown glass.
1967 Kristen Johnston, actress; won two Emmy Awards as Sally Solomon in 3rd Rock from the Sun TV series.


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