20 September 2020 (MIA)
1260 – The Great Prussian Uprising among the old Prussians begins against the Teutonic Knights.
1378 – Cardinal Robert of Geneva, called by some the “Butcher of Cesena”, is elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.
1498 – The 1498 Nankai earthquake generates a tsunami that washes away the building housing the statue of the Great Buddha at Kōtoku-in in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan; since then the Buddha has sat in the open air.
1519 – Ferdinand Magellan sets sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.
1596 – Diego de Montemayor founds the city of Monterrey in New Spain.
1697 – The Treaty of Ryswick is signed by France, England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic ending the Nine Years’ War (1688–97).
1737 – The finish of the Walking Purchase which forces the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony.
1792 – French troops stop allied invasion of France, during the War of the First Coalition at Valmy.
1835 – Ragamuffin rebels capture Porto Alegre, then capital of the Brazilian imperial province of Rio Grande do Sul, triggering the start of ten-year-long Ragamuffin War.
1848 – The American Association for the Advancement of Science is created.
1854 – Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeat Russians in Crimea.
1857 – The Indian Rebellion of 1857 ends with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company.
1860 – The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) visits the United States.
1863 – American Civil War: The conclusion of the Battle of Chickamauga in northwestern Georgia, the bloodiest two-day battle of the conflict, and the only significant Confederate victory in the war’s Western Theater.
1870 – Bersaglieri corps enter Rome through the Porta Pia and complete the unification of Italy, ending de facto the temporal power of popes.
1871 – Bishop John Coleridge Patteson is martyred on the island of Nukapu, a Polynesian outlier island now in the Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands. He is the first bishop of Melanesia.
1881 – U.S. President Chester A. Arthur is sworn in, the morning after becoming President upon James A. Garfield’s death.
1893 – Charles Duryea and his brother road-test the first American-made gasoline-powered automobile.
1906 – Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania is launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
1909 – The Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the South Africa Act 1909, creating the Union of South Africa from the British Colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Orange River Colony, and the Transvaal Colony.
1910 – The ocean liner SS France, later known as the “Versailles of the Atlantic”, is launched.
1911 – White Star Line’s RMS Olympic collides with British warship HMS Hawke.
1930 – Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is formed by Archbishop Mar Ivanios.
1942 – Holocaust in Letychiv, Ukraine. In the course of two days the German SS murders at least 3,000 Jews.
1946 – The first Cannes Film Festival is held, having been delayed seven years due to World War II.
1961 – Greek general Konstantinos Dovas becomes Prime Minister of Greece.
1962 – James Meredith, an African American, is temporarily barred from entering the University of Mississippi.
1967 – RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched at John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland.
1970 – Syrian tanks roll into Jordan in response to continued fighting between Jordan and the fedayeen.
1971 – Having weakened after making landfall in Nicaragua the previous day, Hurricane Irene regains enough strength to be renamed Hurricane Olivia, making it the first known hurricane to cross from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific.
1973 – Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome.
1977 – The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is admitted to the United Nations.
1979 – A coup d’état in the Central African Empire overthrows Emperor Bokassa I.
1982 – The National Football League players begin a 57-day strike.
1984 – A suicide bomber in a car attacks the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing twenty-two people.
1985 – Capital gains tax is introduced in Australia, one of a number of tax reforms by the Hawke/Keating government.
1990 – South Ossetia declares its independence from Georgia.
2000 – The United Kingdom’s MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building is attacked by individuals using a Russian-built RPG-22 anti-tank missile. The perpetrators remain unidentified.
2001 – In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, U.S. President George W. Bush declares a “War on Terror”.
2002 – The Kolka-Karmadon rock/ice slide.
2003 – Maldives civil unrest: the death of prisoner Hassan Evan Naseem sparks a day of rioting in Malé.
2007 – Between 15,000 and 20,000 protesters marched on Jena, Louisiana, in support of six black youths who had been convicted of assaulting a white classmate.
2008 – A dump truck full of explosives detonates in front of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 54 people and injuring 266 others.
2011 – The United States military ends its “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, allowing gay men and women to serve openly for the first time.