February 20

Events

*1472 - Orkney and Shetland are left by Norway to Scotland, due to a dowry payment.
*1547 - Edward VI of England is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
*1792 - The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington.
*1798 - Louis Alexandre Berthier removes Pope Pius VI from power.
*1810 - Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon's forces, was executed.
*1816 - Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" debuts at Teatro Argentina, with a "fiasco".
*1835 - Concepción, Chile is destroyed by an earthquake.
*1864 - American Civil War: Battle of Olustee occurs - the largest battle fought in Florida during the war.
*1872 - In New York City the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens.
*1873 - The University of California opens its first medical school in San Francisco, California.
*1901 - The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.
*1909 - Publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro.
*1913 - King O'Malley drives in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra.
*1931 - California gets the go-ahead by the U.S. Congress to build the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge.
*1933 - The Congress of the United States proposes the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would end Prohibition in the United States.
*1935 - Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.
*1942 - Lieutenant Edward O'Hare becomes America's first World War II flying ace.
*1943 - American movie studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.
* 1943 - The Parícutin volcano begins to form in Parícutin, Mexico.
*1944 - World War II: The "Big Week" began with American bomber raids on German aircraft manufacturing centers.
* 1944 - World War II: The United States takes Eniwetok Island.
*1947 - State of Prussia ceases to exist.
*1952 - Emmett Ashford becomes the first African-American umpire in organized baseball by being authorized to be a substitute umpire in the Southwestern International League.
*1959 - The Avro Arrow program to design and manufacture supersonic jet fighters in Canada is cancelled by the Diefenbaker government amid much political debate.
*1962 - Mercury program: While aboard Friendship 7, John Glenn orbits the earth three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes, becoming the first American to orbit the earth.
*1965 - Ranger 8 crashes into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts.
*1976 - The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization disbands.
*1987 - Unabomber: In Salt Lake City, Utah, a bomb explodes in a computer store.
*1989 - An IRA bomb destroys a section of a British Army barracks in Ternhill, England
*1991 - A gigantic statue of Albania's long-time dictator, Enver Hoxha, is brought down in the Albanian capital, Tirana, by mobs of angry protesters.
*1998 - American figure skater Tara Lipinski becomes the youngest gold-medalist at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
*2002 - In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injures over 65 and kills at least 370.
*2003 - During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 300 others.
*2005 - Spain becomes the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.

Births

*1631 - Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, English statesman (d. 1712)
*1633 - Jan de Baen, Dutch portrait painter (d. 1702)
*1745 - Henry James Pye, English poet (d. 1813)
*1751 - Johann Heinrich Voß, German poet (d. 1826)
*1753 - Louis Alexandre Berthier, French marshal (d. 1815)
*1757 - John 'Mad Jack' Fuller, English philanthropist (d. 1834)
*1794 - William Carleton, Irish novelist (d. 1869)
*1802 - Charles de Bériot, Belgian violinist (d. 1870)
*1819 - Alfred Escher, Swiss politician, railroad entrepreneur (d. 1882)
*1839 - Benjamin Waugh, American minister; founder of the NSPCC (d. 1908)
*1844 - Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist (d. 1906)
* 1844 - Joshua Slocum, Canadian seaman and adventurer (d. 1909)
*1848 - Edward Henry Harriman, American railroad executive (d. 1909)
*1850 - Nérée Beauchemin, Canadian physician and poet (d. 1931)
*1866 - Carl Westman, Swedish architect and designer (d. 1936)
*1867 - Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife (d. 1931)
*1918 - Leonore Annenberg American Billionaire
*1880 - Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, French aristocrat and novelist (d. 1923)
*1887 - Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada (d. 1967)
*1888 - Georges Bernanos, French writer (d. 1948)
*1893 - Russel Crouse, American playwright (d. 1966)
* 1893 - Elizabeth Holloway Marston, American psychologist (d. 1993)
*1898 - Enzo Ferrari, Italian automobile manufacturer, designer and racing car driver (d. 1988)
* 1898 - Jimmy Yancey, American pianist (d. 1951)
*1899 - Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman (d. 1992)
*1901 - Cecil Harmsworth King, English newspaper owner (d. 1987)
* 1901 - Muhammad Naguib, President of Egypt (d. 1984)
*1902 - Ansel Adams, American photographer (d. 1984)
*1904 - Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union (d. 1980)
*1906 - Gale Gordon, American television and radio actor (d. 1995)
*1907 - Malcolm Atterbury, American actor (d. 1992)
*1912 - Pierre Boulle, French author (d. 1994)
*1914 - John Daly, South African-born broadcaster (d. 2001)
*1920 - Evgeny Dragunov, Russian weapons designer (d. 1991)
*1923 - Forbes Burnham, President of Guyana (d. 1985)
*1924 - Gloria Vanderbilt, American socialite and clothing designer
*1925 - Robert Altman, American film director (d. 2006)
* 1925 - Heinz Kluncker, German trade union leader
*1926 - Richard Matheson, American author
*1927 - Roy Cohn, American lawyer (d. 1986)
* 1927 - Ibrahim Ferrer, Cuban musician (Buena Vista Social Club) (d. 2005)
* 1927 - Sidney Poitier, American actor
*1929 - Amanda Blake, American actress (d. 1989)
*1930 - Willie Cunningham, Northern Irish footballer
*1932 - Adrian Cristobal, Filipino writer (d. 2007)
*1934 - Bobby Unser, American racing driver
*1936 - Marj Dusay, American actress
* 1936 - Larry Hovis, American actor (d. 2003)
* 1936 - Shigeo Nagashima, Japanese baseball player and coach
*1937 - Robert Huber, German chemist, Nobel laureate
* 1937 - Roger Penske, American racing driver, race team owner and entrepreneur
* 1937 - Nancy Wilson, American singer
*1938 - Richard Beymer, American actor
*1939 - Frank Arundel, English footballer
*1940 - Jimmy Greaves, English footballer
*1941 - Lim Kit Siang, Democratic Socialist opposition party in Malaysia
*1941 - Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer
*1942 - Phil Esposito, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1942 - Charlie Gillett, British radio DJ
* 1942 - Mitch McConnell, American politician
* 1942 - Claude Miller, French film director and screenwriter
*1943 - Antonio Inoki, Japanese professional wrestler
* 1943 - Mike Leigh, British film director
*1944 - Robert de Cotret, French Canadian politician (d. 1999)
* 1944 - Willem van Hanegem, Dutch footballer and coach
*1945 - Andrew Bergman, American screenwriter and film director
* 1945 - Brion James, American actor (d. 1999)
*1945 - Annu Kapoor, Indian actor
*1946 - Brenda Blethyn, English actress
* 1946 - Richard Cocciante, French-Italian singer and songwriter
* 1946 - Sandy Duncan, American singer and actress
* 1946 - J. Geils, American guitarist (The J. Geils Band)
*1947 - André van Duin, Dutch comedian
* 1947 - Eggert Magnusson, Icelandic football executive
* 1947 - Peter Osgood, English footballer (d. 2006)
* 1947 - Peter Strauss, American actor
*1948 - Pierre Bouchard, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1948 - Jennifer O'Neill, Brazilian-born actress
*1949 - Ivana Trump, Czech-born American socialite
*1950 - Walter Becker, American guitarist (Steely Dan)
* 1950 - Ken Shimura, Japanese performer and actor
* 1950 - Tony Wilson, British journalist and impresario (d. 2007)
*1951 - Edward Albert, American actor (d. 2006)
* 1951 - Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
* 1951 - Randy California, American guitarist (Spirit) (d. 1997)
* 1951 - Phil Neal, English footballer
*1953 - Riccardo Chailly, Italian conductor
* 1953 - Poison Ivy, American musician (The Cramps)
*1954 - Jon Brant, American musician (Cheap Trick)
* 1954 - Anthony Stewart Head, English actor
* 1954 - Patty Hearst, American socialite
*1956 - Rick Green, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1956 - Charlie Adler, American voice actor
*1957 - Glen Hanlon, Canadian ice hockey coach
*1959 - Bill Gullickson, American baseball player
*1960 - Joel Hodgson, American comedian ("Mystery Science Theater 3000")
* 1960 - Kee Marcello, Swedish guitarist
*1962 - Kenn Nesbitt, American children's author
*1963 - Charles Barkley, American basketball player
* 1963 - Ian Brown, English singer (The Stone Roses)
* 1963 - Jon Lynn Christensen, former Nebraska Congressman
* 1963 - Marilisa Xenogiannakopoulou, Greek politician
*1964 - French Stewart, American actor
* 1964 - Rodney Rowland, American actor
*1966 - Cindy Crawford, American model
*1967 - Kurt Cobain, American musician (Nirvana) (d. 1994)
* 1967 - Katherine Soucie, American voice actress
* 1967 - Andrew Shue, American television actor
* 1967 - Lili Taylor, American actress
*1968 - Ted Hankey, English darts player
*1969 - Vaginal Davis, American drag queen and performance artist
* 1969 - Gedo, Japanese professional wrestler
* 1969 - Danis Tanovic, Bosnian film director and screenwriter
* 1969 - Tommy Vardell, National Football League fullback
*1971 - Jari Litmanen, Finnish footballer
*1971 - Shawn McKenzie, American programmer
*1972 - Brent Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1972 - K-OS, Canadian musician/rapper
*1974 - Ophelie Winter, French actress
*1975 - Liván Hernández, Cuban baseball player
* 1975 - Brian Littrell, American singer (Backstreet Boys)
* 1976 - Rohan Gavaskar, Left-handed batsman, India ODI 2004 (son of Sunil Gavaskar)
*1976 - Ed Graham, English drummer (The Darkness)
* 1976 - Gail Kim, Canadian professional wrestler
*1977 - Bartosz Kizierowski, Polish swimmer
* 1977 - Stephon Marbury, American basketball player
* 1977 - T.J. Slaughter, American football player
* 1977 - Amal Hijazi, Lebanese singer and model
*1978 - Lauren Ambrose, American actress
* 1978 - Jakki Degg, English glamour model/actress
* 1978 - Jay Hernandez, American actor
* 1978 - Julia Jentsch, German actress
*1980 - Artur Boruc, Polish footballer
* 1980 - Imanol Harinordoquy, French rugby union footballer
*1981 - Tony Hibbert, English footballer
* 1981 - Chris Thile, American musician
*1982 - Jason Hirsh, American baseball player
*1983 - Jose Morales, Puerto Rican baseball player
* 1983 - Justin Verlander, American baseball player
*1985 - Ryan Sweeney, American baseball player
* 1985 - Yulia Volkova, Russian singer (t.A.T.u.)
*1988 - Rihanna, Barbadian singer
*1989 - Melanie Leishman, Canadian actress

Deaths

* 702 - K'inich Kan B'alam II, king of the Maya state of Palenque (b. 635)
*1154 - Saint Wulfric of Haselbury Plucknett
*1171 - Conan IV, Duke of Brittany (b. 1138)
*1194 - King Tancred of Sicily
*1258 - Al-Musta'sim, last Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad
*1408 - Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, English statesman (b. 1342)
*1431 - Pope Martin V (b. 1368)
*1524 - Tecún Umán, last leader of the Quiché-Maya
*1579 - Nicholas Bacon, English politician (b. 1509)
*1618 - Philip William, Prince of Orange (b. 1554)
*1626 - John Dowland, English composer and lutenist (b. 1563)
*1762 - Tobias Mayer, German astronomer (b. 1723)
*1771 - Jean Jacques d'Ortous de Mairan, French geophysicist (b. 1678)
*1773 - King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia (b. 1701)
*1778 - Laura Bassi, Italian scholar (b. 1711)
*1790 - Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1741)
*1803 - Marie Dumesnil, French actress (b. 1713)
*1806 - Lachlan McIntosh, Scottish-born American military and political leader (b. 1725)
*1810 - Andreas Hofer, Tyrolean national hero (executed) (b. 1767)
*1862 - William Wallace Lincoln, son of U.S. president Abraham Lincoln
*1871 - Paul Kane, Irish-born painter (b. 1810)
*1893 - P.G.T. Beauregard, American Confederate general (b. 1818)
*1895 - Frederick Douglass, American abolitionist writer (b. 1818)
*1905 - Jeremiah W. Farnham, American merchant captain
*1907 - Henri Moissan, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)
*1916 - Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Swedish writer and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1844)
*1920 - Robert Peary, American explorer (b. 1856)
*1936 - Max Schreck, German actor (b. 1879)
*1941 - La Bolduc, French Canadian singer and songwriter (b. 1894)
*1961 - Percy Grainger, Australian composer (b. 1882)
*1963 - Ferenc Fricsay, Hungarian conductor (b. 1914)
*1963 - Jacob Gade, Danish composer(b. 1879)
*1965 - Fred Immler, German actor (b. 1880)
*1966 - Chester Nimitz, American admiral (b. 1885)
*1968 - Anthony Asquith, British film director and writer (b. 1902)
*1969 - Ernest Ansermet, Swiss conductor (b. 1883)
*1970 - Sophie Treadwell, American playwright and journalist (b. 1885)
*1972 - Maria Goeppert-Mayer, German physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1906)
* 1972 - Walter Winchell, American journalist (b. 1897)
*1976 - René Cassin, French judge, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1887)
* 1976 - Kathryn Kuhlman, American evangelist (b. 1907)
*1981 - Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, magazine editor, socialite (b. 1904)
*1983 - Fritz Köberle, Austrian-Brazilian physician (b. 1910)
*1984 - Paul Dirac, British theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics (b. 1902)
*1985 - Clarence "Ducky" Nash, American voice actor (b. 1904)
*1992 - Roberto D'Aubuisson, Salvadoran politician (b. 1944)
* 1992 - Dick York, American actor (b. 1928)
*1993 - Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian automobile manufacturer (b. 1916)
*1994 - Burt Lancaster, American actor (b. 1913)
*1996 - Solomon Asch, American psychologist (b. 1907)
* 1996 - Tōru Takemitsu, Japanese composer (b. 1930)
*1997 - Zachary Breaux, American jazz guitarist (b. 1960)
*1999 - Sarah Kane, English playwright (b. 1971)
* 1999 - Gene Siskel, American film critic (b. 1946)
*2000 - Anatoly Sobchak, Russian politician (b. 1937)
*2001 - Rosemary DeCamp, American actress (b. 1910)
*2003 - Maurice Blanchot, French author (b. 1907)
* 2003 - Orville Freeman, American politician (b. 1918)
* 2003 - Harry Jacunski, American football player
* 2003 - Ty Longley, American guitarist (Great White) (b. 1971)
* 2003 - Mushaf Ali Mir, Pakistani Chief of the Air Staff (b. 1947)
*2005 - Pam Bricker, American jazz singer and Thievery Corporation vocalist (b. 1954)
* 2005 - Sandra Dee, American actress (b. 1944)
* 2005 - John Raitt, American actor (b. 1917)
* 2005 - Hunter S. Thompson, American journalist and author (b. 1937)
* 2005 - Tom Willmore, English geometer (b. 1919)
*2006 - Curt Gowdy, American sportscaster (b. 1919)
* 2006 - Lucjan Wolanowski, Polish journalist, writer and traveller (b. 1920)
*2007 - F. Albert Cotton, American chemist (b. 1930)
* 2007 - Mike Awesome, Pro Wrestler (b. 1965)
*2008 - Emily Perry, English Actress (b. 1907)
* 2008 - Larry Davis (criminal)

Holidays and observances

* Eleutherius of Tournai
* February 20 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/20 BBC: On This Day]
*
* [http://www1.sympatico.ca/cgi-bin/on_this_day?mth=Feb&day=20 On This Day in Canada] ----


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