This Day in History — November 20

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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Today is the 324th day of 2018. There are 41 days left in the year.


1992: A fire at Windsor Castle destroys one of Britain's biggest attractions, but rescuers help save the castle's art treasures.


1616: Cardinal Richelieu becomes France's minister of state for foreign affairs and war.

1637: Peter Minuit and the first Swedish settlers to the New World set sail for Delaware.

1789: New Jersey becomes the first US state to ratify the Constitution's Bill of Rights.

1818: Simon Bolivar formally declares Venezuela independent of Spain.

1873: Rival cities of Buda and Pest are united to form the capital of Hungary.

1901: Second Hay-Pauncefoot Treaty provides for construction of the Panama Canal by the United States.

1910: Revolution breaks out in Mexico, led by Francisco I Madero.

1917: The Ukrainian Republic is proclaimed.

1924: Kurdish Revolt in Turkey is crushed.

1929: Spanish artist Salvador Dali has his first one-man show.

1945: International War Crimes Tribunal begins as 24 accused Nazi World War II criminals go on trial in Nuremberg, Germany.

1947: England's Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten are married in London's Westminster Abbey.

1959: Britain, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Sweden meet to form European Free Trade Association.

1969: The Nixon Administration in United States announces a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase-out.

1975: General Francisco Franco dies. Two days later Alfonso XIII's grandson, Juan Carlos, becomes King of Spain.

1977: Egypt's President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to speak before the Israeli Parliament, telling them Egypt seeks peace.

1980: A special tribunal begins the two-month trial of “the Gang of Four”, led by Jiang Qing, Chairman Mao Tse-tung's wife, for masterminding the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution in China.

1990: Saddam Hussein orders another 250,000 Iraqi troops into Kuwait.

1993: Macedonian jetliner carrying 116 people crashes into mountain, only one person survives.

1994: Angola's Government and rebels sign a peace accord.

1995: Polish President Lech Walesa loses to Aleksander Kwasniewski in the presidential run-off.

1996: Flames roar through a high-rise in Hong Kong, killing 39 people and injuring at least 81.

1997: Twenty-nine industrialised nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development agree to outlaw bribing of foreign officials.

1998: Israeli occupation forces pull back from nine per cent of the Palestinian West Bank in the first of a three-tiered redeployment outlined in the Wye Memorandum, an interim agreement signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation in late October.

1999: Anti-US protests rock Greece as US President Bill Clinton is due to arrive. He says the United States was wrong to back the military junta that took control in 1967.

2000: Leaders of Japan's governing party reach a last-minute compromise to avert the removal of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori in a no-confidence vote, and ward off a protracted internal power struggle.

2001: Colleagues identify the bodies of four international journalists forced from their cars by armed men and killed in an ambush on the road to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

2002: Turkey's broadcasting authority authorises State radio and television to air limited programmes in the once-banned Kurdish language, a step toward meeting EU membership requirements.

2003: Car bombs explode outside the British consulate and the offices of London-based bank HSBC in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 27 people and wounding nearly 450.

2004: President Chandrika Kumaratunga declares that Sri Lanka will lift a 28-year moratorium on the death penalty after a high court judge was gunned down at his home.

2005: Widespread violence mars the second round of Egypt's parliamentary vote as clashes break out nationwide between Muslim Brotherhood supporters, ruling party supporters and police. At least one person is killed.

2007: More than 3,000 people jailed in Pakistan under emergency rule are released, the latest sign that President Gen Pervez Musharraf was rolling back some of the harsher measures taken against his opponents.

2008: The UN Security Council votes unanimously to impose new sanctions aimed at reducing the arms flowing into Somalia and the lawlessness and piracy that have flourished there.

2010: Pope Benedict XVI opens the door on the previously taboo subject of condoms as a way to fight HIV, saying male prostitutes who use condoms may be beginning to act responsibly. It's a stunning comment for a pontiff who has blamed condoms for making the AIDS crisis worse.

2011: Spain's opposition conservatives sweep commandingly into power and into the hot seat, as voters enduring a 21.5 per cent jobless rate and stagnant economy dump the Socialists — the third time in as many weeks Europe's debt crisis has claimed a government.

2012: The Church of England's governing body blocks a move to permit women to serve as bishops, in a vote so close it fails to settle the question of female leadership and likely condemns the institution to years more debate on the issue.

2014: US weather experts say the globe is rushing hell-bent toward its warmest year on record.


Robert F Kennedy, American politician and US attorney general (1925-1968); Albert Kesselring German General field marshall during World War II; Edwin Powell Hubble, US astronomer (1889-1953); Chester Gould, Americn cartoonist (1900- 1985); Alexandra Danilova, Russian ballerina (1903- 1997)

— AP

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