Today in History 20 September: What Happened on this Day

September 20 is the 263rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar; 102 days remain until the end of the year. Numerous remarkable occurrences, both big and small, have shaped our world today.

From historical milestones and scientific discoveries to cultural moments and notable birthdays, this day has a rich tapestry of stories to uncover.

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On This Day In History- Events

Historic Siege


Commencing the Siege of Jerusalem, Saladin embarks on a campaign of paramount significance in history. The pivotal event marks the beginning of a tumultuous chapter, as the city becomes the focal point of a fierce struggle.

Historic Expedition


In a momentous voyage, a Spanish expedition led by the intrepid Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets sail on a groundbreaking mission—the first successful circumnavigation of the globe. Regrettably, Magellan meets his demise while charting uncharted waters, underscoring the perils of such a daring undertaking.

Significant Battle


The Battle at Jassy unfolds with resounding echoes in history as the Turks claim victory over King Sigismund III of Poland. This battle stands as a testament to the ever-shifting tides of power in the annals of warfare.

Triumph in Battle


The First Battle of Newbury, a pivotal clash in the English Civil War, witnesses the forces of King Charles I suffering a decisive defeat at the hands of a resolute parliamentary army led by the Earl of Essex and Philip Stapleton. This conflict reshaped the course of the Civil War and England’s future.

Noteworthy Event


The flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie from Scotland to France marks a dramatic turn of events in the unfolding saga of Scotland’s tumultuous history. It reverberates through time as a symbol of resilience and the quest for a lost cause.

Battle of Paoli


The Battle of Paoli, known ominously as the “Paoli Massacre,” unfolds as British forces, under the command of Major General Charles Grey, launch a relentless assault on Brigadier General Anthony Wayne’s encampment. It is forever etched in history due to the alleged British refusal to show clemency, leading to a massacre of soldiers and civilians alike.

Remarkable Arrival


Charles Darwin’s arrival in Buenos Aires after traversing the Argentine interior alongside the gauchos bears testament to his relentless pursuit of scientific knowledge. It marks a pivotal moment in his journey of discovery and enlightenment.

Battle of the Alma


In the pivotal Battle of the Alma, a formidable alliance comprising British, French, and Ottoman forces emerged triumphant over the Russian Empire. This momentous victory became the inaugural chapter of the Crimean War, reshaping the geopolitical landscape of the era.

Distinguished Visit


The visit of the Prince of Wales, later known as King Edward VII, to the United States stands as a significant milestone in international diplomacy and cultural exchange, strengthening bonds between nations.

Pivotal Battle


The US Civil War Battle of Chickamauga, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, concluded with a Union withdrawal, leaving an indelible mark on the history of the American Civil War. The battle’s outcome reverberates through the hearts and minds of Americans, shaping their nation’s destiny.

Notable Accusation


Mayor William Tweed’s accusation of embezzlement from the New York treasury sends shockwaves through the political arena, challenging the integrity of city leadership and sparking public outrage.

Prominent Visit


Ulysses S. Grant’s extensive and elaborate visit to San Francisco captivates the nation’s attention and underscores the enduring charisma of a former American president.

Presidential Inauguration


The inauguration of Chester A. Arthur as the 21st president of the United States embodies the peaceful transfer of power in a young democracy, symbolizing the enduring strength of American institutions.

Aviation Milestone


The historic flight of Orville and Wilbur Wright, as they complete a full circle in their Flyer II aircraft, marks a momentous leap forward in the realm of aviation and human achievement.

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Civil Rights Advocacy


Mahatma Gandhi’s hunger strike against the mistreatment of Hindu untouchables highlights the indomitable spirit of a leader dedicated to the pursuit of justice and equality.

Cultural Premiere


The premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s composition, “In Memoriam Dylan Thomas,” in Los Angeles, stands as a cultural milestone, fusing music and poetry to commemorate the legendary poet.

Civil Rights Struggle


James Meredith’s denial of enrollment at the segregated University of Mississippi symbolizes the ongoing struggle for civil rights in the United States, igniting a nationwide conversation on racial equality.

Voyage of Discovery


President John F. Kennedy’s proposal for a joint US-Soviet voyage to the moon represents an audacious vision of human exploration and international collaboration in the uncharted realm of space.

Majestic Launch


The grand launch of the British liner Queen Elizabeth II at Clydebank, Scotland, evokes a sense of elegance and opulence, marking a pinnacle in maritime history.

Political Upheaval


The Central African Republic experienced a tumultuous coup as David Dacko overthrew Emperor Bokassa I, reshaping the nation’s political landscape and international relations.

Maastricht Treaty


France voted in favour of the Maastricht treaty, a significant step in the process of European integration, laying the groundwork for the European Union as we know it today.

Historic Declaration


President George W. Bush’s declaration of a “war on terror” in a joint session of Congress and before the American people signifies a seismic shift in global politics and security policy.

Election of Significance


Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza party’s victory in the Greek snap election marks a critical juncture in Greece’s political landscape, raising questions about the nation’s economic future within the Eurozone.

Notable Meeting


Pope Francis’s meeting with Fidel Castro in Havana during his tour of Cuba underscores the role of diplomacy and dialogue in bridging ideological divides.

Summit of Importance


European Union leaders, including Donald Tusk and Emmanuel Macron, express their reservations about Theresa May’s Brexit plan during a summit in Salzburg, Austria, highlighting the complexity and stakes of the Brexit negotiations.

Diplomatic Engagement


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s week-long visit to the White House, hosted by US President Donald Trump, reflects the enduring alliance between the two nations and their commitment to shared values and interests.

Global Protest


The world’s largest-ever protest on climate change, organized by students from 185 countries and culminating in a Manhattan rally led by Greta Thunberg, underscores the urgency of addressing environmental challenges on a global scale.

World Record Achievement


The sale of the first edition of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel “Frankenstein” for $1.17 million sets a groundbreaking world record for a printed work authored by a woman, highlighting the enduring literary legacy of female authors.

Today In History – Sports

Sports History


In a dramatic 18-hole playoff at The Country Club, 20-year-old amateur Francis Ouimet clinches his only US Open Men’s Golf title, triumphing by a commanding 5-stroke lead over British competitors Harry Vardon and Ted Ray. This victory marks a historic moment in golf, forever etching Ouimet’s name in the annals of the sport.

Baseball Record


Baseball legend Babe Ruth, renowned for his unparalleled power at the plate, ties Ned Williamson’s MLB record of 27 home runs with a dramatic 9th-inning blast during the Boston Red Sox’s 4-3 victory against the Chicago White Sox. This achievement solidifies Ruth’s status as a baseball icon.

Baseball Record


St. Louis Cardinals’ future Baseball Hall of Fame infielder Rogers Hornsby brings an end to his remarkable 33-game hitting streak, leaving an indelible mark on the history of baseball. This streak showcased Hornsby’s extraordinary prowess at the plate.

Sports History


In a display of extraordinary batting skill, MLB’s Lou Gehrig surpasses his own RBI mark, amassing a total of 184 runs batted in. This achievement is a testament to Gehrig’s consistency and excellence on the baseball diamond.

Sports History


Ernie Banks, the beloved Cubs’ slugger, launches his very first major league home run. This momentous occasion marks the beginning of a storied career for one of baseball’s greats.

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Baseball Record


Roger Maris, wearing the pinstripes of the New York Yankees, smashes his 59th home run of the season, narrowly missing the elusive 60-home run mark in the 154th game of the season. This historic achievement secured the Yankees’ 26th pennant.

Sports History


In a historic and widely watched event, Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs in a high-stakes tennis match, known as the “battle of the sexes.” This victory symbolizes a breakthrough moment in gender equality in sports.

NFL Record


Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton notches his NFL record 107th rushing touchdown during a 20-3 victory over Tampa Bay, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.

Sports History


French driver Alain Prost secures victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix in Estoril, achieving his 28th Formula 1 victory—a remarkable feat that solidifies his place in motorsport history.

Olympic Gold


American diver Greg Louganis achieved a remarkable feat by winning the 3m springboard gold medal at the Seoul Olympics, displaying unwavering determination and skill despite a head injury suffered the previous day.

Sports History


Wade Boggs of the Boston Red Sox becomes the first player to achieve 200 hits for six consecutive seasons, a testament to his consistency and excellence on the baseball field.

Federation Cup


In a thrilling Federation Cup Women’s Tennis match in Geneva, Switzerland, Conchita Martínez and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario defeat Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in a doubles decider, securing Spain’s fifth title with a score of 3-2.

World Record


Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge shatters his world record for the marathon, completing the race in a remarkable 2 hours, 1 minute, and 9 seconds during the Berlin Marathon. This extraordinary achievement cements Kipchoge’s status as one of the greatest long-distance runners in history.

On This Day – TV, Music, And Films

Music Recording


Italian tenor Enrico Caruso concludes his final recording session, delivering haunting renditions of “Domine Deus” and “Crucifixus” from Gioachino Rossini’s “Petite messe solennelle” at Victor’s Trinity Church studio in Camden, New Jersey, leaving behind an enduring musical legacy.

Music Premiere


Leontyne Price makes her operatic stage debut in a historic US premiere of “Dialogues of the Carmelites” in San Francisco, portraying the character Madame Lidoine and marking a significant moment in the world of opera.

Theater Premiere


Günter Grass’ play, “Die Plebejern proben den Aufstand,” premieres in Berlin, offering a thought-provoking exploration of societal upheaval and revolution.

Music History


John Lennon privately informs Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (George Harrison was not present) of his decision to leave “The Beatles” during a pivotal London business meeting, signalling a profound shift in the landscape of music.

Music History


Jim Morrison, the iconic frontman of The Doors, is found guilty of “open profanity and indecent exposure” due to an alleged incident of exposing himself during a concert in Miami in 1969, marking a controversial chapter in rock history.

Music History


Police discover cannabis plants growing on the farm of Paul and Linda McCartney, members of the legendary band The Beatles, sparking intrigue and public interest.

#1 in the Charts


David Bowie’s hit single “Fame” ascended to the number one position on the charts for two consecutive weeks, solidifying Bowie’s status as a music icon.

Musical Finale


Roger Miller’s musical “Big River,” based on Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” concludes its successful run at the Eugene O’Neill Theater in New York City after 1,005 performances and three Tony Awards.

Music Premiere


The musical “Miss Saigon,” created by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, premieres in London, captivating audiences with its powerful storytelling and memorable music.

The First Wives Club


Paramount Pictures released the cult revenge comedy “The First Wives Club,” starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton, directed by Hugh Wilson, becoming a beloved classic in the world of cinema.

“Call Me Maybe”


Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen released her hit single “Call Me Maybe,” which quickly became a pop sensation and a defining song of its era.

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“This Is Us”


The TV drama series “This Is Us” premieres in the United States, featuring an ensemble cast including Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia. The show quickly garners critical acclaim for its heartfelt storytelling and character-driven narrative.

Today On History – Birthdays

Ernesto Teodoro Moneta

Born on this day in 1833

Hailing from Milan, Lombardy, Ernesto Teodoro Moneta was an Italian journalist, soldier, and eminent pacifist. Notably, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1907 for his outstanding contributions to the cause of peace.

Upton Sinclair

Born on this day in 1878

Upton Sinclair, a Baltimore, Maryland native, stands as an illustrious American author, most renowned for his groundbreaking work, “The Jungle.”

Maxwell Perkins

Born on this day in 1884

In New York City, New York, Maxwell Perkins came into the world. He is celebrated for his role as an American editor and publisher, having worked with literary giants such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Thomas Wolfe.

Red Auerbach

Born on this day in 1917

Red Auerbach, a native of Brooklyn, New York, made indelible marks in the annals of basketball history. As the esteemed coach and general manager of the Boston Celtics, he secured an astounding nine NBA championships.

Sophia Loren

Celebrating her 88th birthday today (born in 1934)

The iconic Italian actress Sophia Loren, who graced the silver screen in films such as “La Ciociara,” “Desire Under the Elms,” and “Black Orchid,” was born in Rome, Italy.

Sani Abacha

Born on this day in 1943

Sani Abacha, who held the de facto presidency of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998, was born in Kano, Nigeria.

Guy Lafleur

Born on this day in 1951

Celebrating the legacy of Guy Lafleur, a Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame right wing with an astounding five Stanley Cup victories, two NHL MVP titles, and NHL Playoff MVP awards with the Montreal Canadiens, NY Rangers, and Quebec Nordiques. He hailed from Thurso, Quebec.

John Tavares

Turning 32 today (born in 1990)

John Tavares, the Canadian ice hockey prodigy known for his contributions to the New York Islanders, was born in Mississauga, Ontario.


On This Day In History – Deaths

Jacob Grimm

Passed away on this day in 1863

Jacob Grimm, the German philologist and renowned editor of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” concluded his remarkable journey at the age of 78.

Eduard Wirths

Commits suicide on this day in 1945

Eduard Wirths, a Nazi physician infamously associated with Auschwitz, tragically took his own life at the age of 36.

Fiorello La Guardia

Succumbed to pancreatic cancer on this day in 1947

Fiorello La Guardia, a prominent American politician who served as Mayor of New York City under the Republican banner from 1933 to 1945, met his end at the age of 64.

Jean Sibelius

Passed away on this day in 1957

The world of music mourned the loss of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, acclaimed for his compositions like “Valse Triste” and “Finlandia,” as he passed away at the age of 91.

Jim Croce

Died in a plane crash on this day in 1973

The untimely demise of Jim Croce, the American singer-songwriter renowned for hits such as “Time in a Bottle” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” occurred tragically in a plane crash at the young age of 30.


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