It happened today – this day in history – October 20

1714: Coronation of George I.

1813: The Kingdom of Westphalia is abolished.

1818: The 49th parallel forms as the border between the US & Canada.

1820: Spain sells part of Florida to the US for $5 million.

1864: President Abraham Lincoln establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

1877:Premiere of Franz Schubert’s 2nd Symphony in B.

1890: Birth of pioneering jazz pianist Jelly Roll (Ferdinand) Morton.

1908: King Leopold II sells the Congo to Belgium.

1911: Explorer Roald Amundsen sets off for the South Pole.

1955: Publication of “The Return of the King”, the third and final volume of “The Lord of the Rings” by J R R Tolkien.

1963: South Africa begins the trial of Nelson Mandela for conspiracy.

1964: Britain’s Anne Packer wins the gold medal in the 800m at the Olympics in Tokyo.

1968: Kenyan runner Kip Keino wins 1,500m gold medal at the Mexico Olympics. On the same day, Dick Fosbury, using his unconventional ‘Fosbury Flop’ technique wins the men’s high jump.

1971: West German Chancellor Willy Brandt wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

1972: John Betjeman is appointed Poet Laureate.

1973: The Queen opens Sydney Opera House.

1977: Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines from the band Lynyrd Skynyrd were all killed along with manager Dean Kilpatrick when their rented plane ran out of fuel and crashed into a densely wooded thicket in the middle of a swamp in Gillsburg, Mississippi.

1991: Ayrton Senna wins the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship for the third time.

1994: Death of film star Burt Lancaster aged 80.

2003: A jury found Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy guilty of assaulting a nightclub worker.

2011: Former leader of Lybia, Muammar Gaddafi is killed after being discovered by NTC fighters.

2015: US vice president Joe Biden confirms he will not run for president.

BIRTHDAYS: Timothy West, actor, 85; Claudio Ranieri, football manager,68; Danny Boyle, director, 63; Mark King, musician (Level 42), 61; Viggo Mortensen, actor, 61; Mark Little, actor/comedian, 60; Ian Rush, former footballer, 58; Susan Tully director/former actress, 52; Dannii Minogue, singer/actress 48; Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus), rapper, 48; John Krasinski, actor/director/writer 40; Jess Glynne, singer, 30.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]