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This Day in History - July 20

July 20

1304 – Italian poet and scholar, Francisco Petrarch, is born

1402 – Tamerlane’s Mongols defeat the Ottoman Turks at Angora

1588 – The Spanish Armada sets sail from Corunna

1591 – Religious liberal and a founder of Rhode Island, Anne Hutchinson, is born

1715 – The Riot Act goes into effect in England

1780 – General “Mad Anthony” Wayne leads two brigades of Pennsylvania militia in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy a fortified blockhouse near Hoboken, New Jersey, held by Loyalists

1850 – President of Marshall Field and Company, John Graves Shedd, is born

1864 – Confederate General John Bell Hood attacks Union forces outside Atlanta during the Battle of Peachtree Creek

1867 – Imperial troops in Guizhou, China, kill 20,000 Miao rebels

1881 – Sioux chief Sitting Bull surrenders to the US Army

1889 – Homesteaders Ella Watson and James Averell are accused of rustling and hanged by Wyoming ranchers under the leadership of a notoriously arrogant cattleman, Albert Bothwell.  It is the first and only incident of a woman being executed legally or illegally in the history of Wyoming

1914 – The trial of Madame Henriette Caillaux, accused of murdering newspaper editor Gaston Calmette, begins in Paris, distracting many Parisians from the fact that WWI was beginning

1917 – Alexander Kerensky becomes the premier of Russia

1919 – New Zealand explorer, Edmund Hillary, is born

1923 – Mexican General, Pancho Villa, dies

1933 – Novelist, Cormac McCarthy, is born

1937 – Nobel Prize-winning businessman and inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, dies

1939 – Artist, Judy Chicago, is born

1942 – The US Army Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps begins its first training class at Fort Des Moines, Iowa

1944 – Adolf Hitler is wounded in an assassination attempt by German Army officers at Rustenburg

1947 – Mexican and American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Carlos Santana, is born

1948 – President Harry Truman institutes a peacetime military draft

1950 – The US Army’s Task Force is pushed back by North Korean forces

1951 – King Abdullah of Jordan is assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist

1964 – Viet Cong forces overrun Cai Be, the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, killing 11 South Vietnamese militiamen, 10 women and 30 children

1966 – Mexican politician, Enrique Pena Nieto, is born

1969 – Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon

1973 – Actor and martial-arts expert, Bruce Lee, dies at age 32

1976 – The Viking 1 spacecraft lands on Mars and begins taking soil samples

1977 – A second great flood hits Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 84 and causing millions in damages

1978 – American singer and songwriter, Elliott Yamin, is born

1984 – Alton Coleman and Debra Brown are arrested In Evanston, Illinois, after a two-month crime spree that left eight dead and many injured-Coleman had even been added in the special eleventh slot on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.  In addition to brutally raping many young girls, Coleman, with Brown’s help, stole vehicles and killed the cars’ owners.  Coleman was sentenced to death and executed in 2002.  Brown remains in prison in Ohio

2011 – English painter, Lucian Freud, dies

2012 – James Holmes enters an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, shoots and kills 12, and injures at least 70 others after the start of a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”  Holmes was charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder, and weapons charges.  He received 12 life sentences, plus 3,318 years, without the possibility of parole

2013 – American journalist, Helen Thomas, dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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