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: Muhammed 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.

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.

1993: Singles chart:

  1. Dreams – Gabrielle
  2. (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You – UB40
  3. What Is Love – Haddaway
  4. All That She Wants – Ace of Base
  5. Two Princs – The Spin Soctors
  6. Tease Me – Chaka Demus and Pliers
  7. Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
  8. In All The Right Places – Lisa Stansfield
  9. One Night In Heaven – M People
  10. Sweat (A La La La La Song) – Inner Circle
1993: Janet Jackson – Janet

Album chart:

  1. Emergency On Planet Earth – Jamiroquai
  2. What’s Love Got To Do With It – Tina Turner
  3. Unplugged And Seated – Rod Stewart
  4. Unplugged – Neil Young
  5. Automatic For The People – REM
  6. Pocket Full Of Kryptonite – The Spin Doctors
  7. No Limit – 2Unlimited
  8. Ten Summoners’ Tales – Sting
  9. Janet – Janet Jackson
  10. Connected – Stereo MCs

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 producer Phil Spector by a New York judge.

2017: Daniel Day Lewis announces his retirement from acting.

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

2019: David Gilmour’s guitar collection sets several auction records when nearly 130 instruments go up for bid at Christie’s in New York. His iconic black Fender Stratocaster, used on every Pink Floyd album from Atom Heart Mother in 1970 onwards, including the iconic lead breaks on the song Comfortably Numb, fetches $3,975,000. Other items include a 1954 Fender Stratocaster with the serial number 0001, used on the recording of Another Brick In The Wall fetches $1.8million. All proceeds go 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 at a park in Reading. On the same day, Donald Trump controversially holds his first re-election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, only 6,200 people attend despite the campaign stating a million had registered.

2021: Golfer Jon Rahm beats Louis Oostthuizen by one stroke to become the first Spaniard to win the US Open.

2023: Controversial online prsonality Andrerw Tate I indicted on charges of human trafficking and forming a gang to abuse women in Romania.

Nicole Kidman (Photo: Georges Baird)

BIRTHDAYS: Wendy (Anne) Craig, actress, 90; Stephen Friers, director, 83; Brian Wilson, singer-songwriter/musician (The Beach Boys) 82; Lionel Richie, singer-songwriter, 75; John Goodman, actor, 72, Michael Anthony (Sobolewski), bassist (Van Halen/Chickenfoot), 70; Allan Lamb, cricketer, 70; Peter Reid, footballer/manager, 68; John Taylor, bassist (Duran Duran) 64; Nicole Kidman (Urban), actress, 57; Robert Rodriguez, director/screenwriter, 56; Ian Matthews, drummer, (Kasabian) 53; Brandon Lewis MP, politician, 53; Chino Moreno, singer (The Deftones), 52; Frank Lampard, football manager, 46; Charlotte Hatherley, guitarist/singer-songwriter, 45; Julie Fowlis, singer ,45; Example (Elliot Gleave) rapper, 42; Asmir Begović, goalkeeper, 37 Adam Hann, guitarist (The 1975), 36; Christopher Mintz-Plasse, actor, 35.