On This Day In History… 20th February

20th February may appear to be a day just like any other, but in fact it has marked some fairly momentous events, births and deaths over the years. Of which, we’ve noted a few below for posterity, if you think we’ve missed any out then let us know in the comments!

Events

  • 1547 – Edward VI of England was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
  • 1835 – Chile’s second largest city Concepción, was destroyed by an earthquake.
  • 1865 – The Uruguayan War ended with a peace agreement between President Tomás Villalba and rebel leader Venancio Flores. This set the scene for the destructive War of the Triple Alliance.
  • 1933 – Adolf Hitler secretly met with German industrialists to make finance arrangements for the Nazi Party’s upcoming election campaign.
  • 1944 – The “Big Week” of WWII began with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centres.
  • 1965 – Ranger 8 crashed into the Moon after photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo programme astronauts.
  • 1986 – The Soviet Union launched its Mir spacecraft. It remained in orbit for 15 years and was occupied for 10.
  • 1998 – American figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest gold-medalist at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Births

  • 1893 – Russel Crouse: American playwright (d. 1966)
  • 1901 – René Dubos: French-American biologist and author (d. 1982)
  • 1927 – Sidney Poitier: American actor, director, and diplomat
  • 1949 – Ivana Trump: Czech-American skier and model
  • 1951 – Gordon Brown: Scottish politician and UK Prime Minister
  • 1966 – Cindy Crawford: American model and actress
  • 1967 – Kurt Cobain: American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Nirvana and Fecal Matter) (d. 1994)
  • 1978 – Jakki Degg: English model and actress
  • 1981 – Tony Hibbert: English footballer
  • 1984 – Gilles Pagnon: French-German rugby player
  • 1988 – Rihanna: Barbadian-American singer-songwriter and actress

Deaths

  • 1194 – Tancred: King of Sicily (b. 1138)
  • 1408 – Henry Percy: 1st Earl of Northumberland and English politician (b. 1342)
  • 1524 – Tecun Uman: Mayan ruler (b. 1500)
  • 1790 – Joseph II: Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1741)
  • 1862 – William Wallace Lincoln: American son of Abraham Lincoln (b. 1850)
  • 1907 – Henri Moissan: French chemist and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)
  • 1917 – Leone Sextus Tollemache: English captain (b. 1884)
  • 1970 – Sophie Treadwell: American playwright and journalist (b. 1885)
  • 1976 – René Cassin: French judge and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
  • 1993 – Ferruccio Lamborghini: Italian businessman and founder of Lamborghini (b. 1916)
  • 2012 – Vitaly Vorotnikov: Russian politician and 27th Prime Minister of Russia (b. 1926)

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