It happened today – this day in history – June 20

451: Roman and Visigoth forces defeat Attila the Hun in north east France.

1214: The University of Oxford receives its charter.

1674: Birth of poet and playwright, Nicholas Rowe, in Little Barford, Beds.

1756: The Black Hole of Calcutta: 146 British soldiers, Anglo-Indian soldiers and Indian civilians are imprisoned in a small dungeon in Calcutta, India where most die from suffocation and heat exhaustion.

1791: Louis XVI and the royal family are caught during an attempt to flee Paris during the French Revolution.

1819: Birth of composer Jacques Offenbach in Cologne.

1825: Coronation of Charles X, the last Bourbon King of France.

1837: Queen Victoria ascends to the British throne following the death of her uncle William IV.

1840: Samuel Morse patents his telegraph.

1862: Barbu Catargiu, the Prime Minister of Romania, is assassinated.

1866: Italy declares war on Austria.

1867: President Andrew Johnson announces the Alaska purchase.

1893: Lizzie Borden is acquitted of the axe murders of her father and stepmother in Massachusetts.

1919: Philipp Scheidemann resigns as chancellor of the new German Republic, which he helped establish, refusing to sign the Treaty of Versailles.

1930: Golfer Bobby Jones wins his third British Open title.

1936: Jesse Owens sets the 100m world record at 10.2 seconds.

1940: Joe Louis TKOs Arturo Godoy in Round 8 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1942: German troops conquer Tobruk, north Africa.

1943: 35 people die during a race riot in Detroit.

1944: Nazis begin the mass extermination of Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz. On the same day, the US Congress charters the Central Intelligence Agency.

1947: Gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, who introduced casinos to Las Vegas, is shot dead in Beverly Hills aged 41.

1948: Introduction of the Deutsche Mark in West Germany.

1949: The Central Intelligence Agency Act passes in the US, approving the formation of the CIA. On the same day, tennis star Gussie Moran shocks Wimbledon by wearing a short dress “to look good and “move more freely on the court”.

1960: Floyd Patterson KOs Ingemar Johansson in the fifth round for the heavyweight boxing title. On the same day, Mali and Senegal become independent of France.

1965: Protestors in Algiers take to the streets chanting slogans in support of deposed President Ben Bella.

1966: Billy Casper wins the US Open on a Monday 18 hole playoff against Arnold Palmer. On the same day, aviator Sheila Scott completes the first round-the-world solo flight by a woman.


1967: Mohammed Ali is sentenced to five years imprisonment for refusing to be inducted into the armed forces during the Vietnam War.

1968: Jim Hines becomes the first person to run 100m in under 10 seconds.

1969: David Bowie records the song Space Oddity at Trident Studios, London, with Rick Wakeman on Mellotron. On the same day, the three-day Newport Festival begins in California with Jimi Hendrix, Ike and Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Credence Clearwater Revival and The Byrds. Hendrix is paid $120,000 for his appearance.

1971: Singles chart:

  1. Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep – Middle of the Road
  2. I Did What I Did For Maria – Tony Christie
  3. Banner Man – Blue Mink
  4. I’m Gonna Run Away From You – Tami Lynn
  5. Lady Rose – Mungo Jerry
  6. He’s Gonna Step ON You Again – John Kongos
  7. Knock Three Times – Dawn
  8. Don’t Let It Die – Hurricane Smith
  9. Co-Co – The Sweet
  10. I Am… I Said – Neil Diamond
1971: Paul McCartney – Ram

Album chart:

  1. Tarkus – Emerson Lake and Palmer
  2. Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones
  3. Ram – Paul McCartney
  4. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  5. Motown Chartbusters Vol 5 – Various Artists
  6. Home Lovin’ Man – Andy Williams
  7. Free Live – Free
  8. Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon – James Taylor
  9. Sinatra And Company – Frank Sinatra
  10. Split – The Groundhogs

1973: Juan Peron returns from exile to Argentina after 18 years. Snipers fire upon left-wing Peronists in Buenos Aires, killing 13 and injuring more than 300.

1974: Van Morrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Tim Buckley, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and The Doobie Brothers appeared at the Knebworth festival near Stevenage.

1976: Hundreds of Americans and Britons are moved from Beirut and taken to safety in Syria by the US military, following the murder of US ambassador Francis Meloy. On the same day, Czechoslovakia upsets West Germany, 5-3 on penalties to win the European Championship in Belgrade.

1980: Roberto Durán takes the WBC welterweight title from Sugar Ray Leonard at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal by unanimous points decision.

1981: Guitarist Gerry Cott quits The Boomtown Rats.

1982: Tom Watson wins his only US Open by two strokes from Jack Nicklaus.

1984: The biggest exam shake-up for over 10 years is announced with O-Level and CSE exams to be replaced by GCSEs.

1987: The All Blacks beat France, 29-9 to win the first Rugby World Cup final in Aukland.

1988: Curtis Strange wins the US Open in a Monday 18-hole playoff by 4 strokes from Nick Faldo.

1990: Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Major, proposes a new European currency which would circulate alongside existing national currencies.

1991: The Bundestag decides to move the German capital from Bonn back to Berlin.

1994: Former NFL running back broadcaster and actor O J Simpson is arraigned on the murder of his ex wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

1995: Shell caves in to international pressure and abandons plans to dump the Brent Spar oil rig at sea. On the same day, Arsenal manager Bruce Rioch signs Dennis Bergkamp from Inter-Milan for £7.5 million.

1997: Lawrence Payton of The Four Tops dies from liver cancer aged 59.

2000: The Ronettes are awarded $2.6 million in back earnings from Phil Spector by a New York judge.

2017: Actor Daniel Day Lewis announces his retirement.

2018: Algeria turns off its internet to stop students cheating during exams.

2019: David Gilmour’s guitar collection set several auction records when nearly 130 instruments went up for bid at Christie’s in New York. His iconic black Fender Stratocaster, used on every Pink Floyd album from Atom Heart Mother onwards, including the iconic lead breaks on the song Comfortably Numb, fetched $3,975,000. Other items sold included a 1954 Fender Stratocaster with the serial number 0001, which was used on the recording of Another Brick In The Wall and sold for $1.8million. All proceeds went to charity. On the same day, Iran shoots down a US drone over the Straits of Hormuz escalating tension between the two countries and Chinese president Xi Jinping meets North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.

2020: Three men are stabbed to death with three others injured in a terrorist attack in a park in Reading.

BIRTHDAYS: Wendy (Anne) Craig, actress, 87; Stephen Friers, director, 80; Brian Wilson, singer-songwriter/musician (The Beach Boys) 79; Lionel Richie, singer-songwriter, 72; John Goodmanm, actor, 69, Michael Anthony (Sobolewski), bassist (Van Halen/Chickenfoot), 67; Allan Lamb, cricketer, 67; Peter Reid, footballer/manager, 65; John Taylor, bassist (Duran Duran) 61; Nicole Kidman (Urban), actress, 54; Robert Rodriguez, director/screenwriter, 53; Ian Matthews, drummer, (Kasabian) 50; Brandon Lewis MP, politician, 50; Chino Moreno, singer (The Deftones), 49; Frank Lampard, footballer/manager, 43; Charlotte Hatherley, guitarist/singer-songwriter, 42; Julie Fowlis, singer ,42; Example (Elliot Gleave) rapper, 39; Asmir Begović, goalkeeper, 34; Adam Hann, guitarist (The 1975), 33; Christopher Mintz-Plasse, actor, 32.