Oh October 20th you seem a bit dull compared to other days!
1548 The city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) is founded by Alonso de Mendoza by appointment of the king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.
1572 Relief of Goes, Cristóbal de Mondragón with 3000 soldiers of the Spanish Tercios, release the siege of the city.
1720 Caribbean pirate Calico Jack is captured by the Royal Navy.
1740 Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refuse to honour the Pragmatic Sanction and the War of the Austrian Succession begins.
1781 Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, is approved in Habsburg Monarchy.
1803 The United States Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase.
1818 The Convention of 1818 signed between the United States and the United Kingdom which, among other things, settles the Canada–United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.
1827 A combined Turkish and Egyptian armada is defeated by British, French, and Russian naval force in the port of Navarino in Pylos, Greece.
1873 Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Rutgers universities draft the first code of American football rules.
1883 Peru and Chile sign the Treaty of Ancón, by which the Tarapacá province is ceded to the latter, bringing an end to Peru’s involvement in the War of the Pacific.
1904 Chile and Bolivia sign the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, delimiting the border between the two countries.
1910 The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1935 The Long March, a mammoth retreat undertaken by the armed forces of the Chinese Communist Party a year prior, ends.
1939 Pope Pius XII publishes his first major encyclical entitled Summi Pontificatus.
1941 Thousands of civilians in Kragujevac in German-occupied Serbia are murdered in the Kragujevac massacre.
1943 The cargo vessel Sinfra is attacked by Allied aircraft at Souda Bay, Crete, and sunk. 2,098 Italian prisoners of war drown with it.
1944 The Soviet Army and Yugoslav Partisans liberate Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia
1944 Liquid natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland, then explodes; the explosion and resulting fire level 30 blocks and kill 130.
1944 American general Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he commands an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.
1946 Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam decides that October 20 is Vietnam Women’s Day.
1947 The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years.
1947 United States of America and Islamic Republic of Pakistan establish diplomatic relations for the first time.
1951 The “Johnny Bright incident” occurs in Stillwater, Oklahoma
1952 Governor Evelyn Baring declares a state of emergency in Kenya and begins arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya.
1961 The Soviet Union performs the first armed test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, launching an R-13 from a Golf-class submarine.
1962 People’s Republic of China launches simultaneous offensives in Ladakh and across the McMahon Line, igniting the Sino-Indian War.