#TodayInHistory – June 20
June 20 – Some important events on this day.
451 👉🏼 Battle of the Catalaunian Plains: Roman and Visigoths forces defeat Attila the Hun in north east France
1214 👉🏼 The University of Oxford receives its charter
1756 👉🏼 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
1789 👉🏼 Tennis Court Oath (for a new constitution) in France made at Versailles
1791 👉🏼 King Louis XVI and the French royal family are caught during an attempt to flee Paris during the French Revolution, severely undermining their credibility
1819 👉🏼 320 ton Savannah becomes 1st steamship to cross any ocean (Atlantic) 🚢
1840 👉🏼 Samuel Morse patents his telegraph
1867 👉🏼 US President Andrew Johnson announces the Alaska Purchase.
As Russia completed its eastward expansion through Siberia, the country inevitably crossed the Bering Strait and established a presence in the northern Americas. This territory, first settled in the early 17th century, was known as Alaska, but very few Russians ever moved there.
Russia was damaged militarily by its defeat in the Crimean War, in which Britain and its ally France defeated the Empire. Russian Tsar Alexander II began looking for ways to sell Alaska to America, especially as the territory would be impossible to defend if Britain decided to attack it. (Britain held Canada as a colony at the time of the sale.)
After the American Civil War concluded, negotiations began on selling Alaska to America, though opinion in both countries was against the deal. Many Russians did not want to give away a territory where gold had been discovered, and Americans did not want an ‘ice-box’ where very few people lived.
On March 30, 1867, the two countries agreed on a purely symbolic sum of $7.2 million ($109 million in 2018), about 2 cents an acre. America had purchased 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of territory. Alaska would not be admitted as a state to the Union until 1959, and it remained sparsely populated until a gold rush in the late 19th century.
1895 👉🏼 1st female PhD from an American University, earned by Caroline Willard Baldwin (in Science) at Cornell University
1919 👉🏼 150 die at the Teatro Yaguez fire, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 🔥
1949 👉🏼 Tennis star Gussie Moran shocks Wimbledon by wearing a short dress “to look good and “move more freely on the court” 🎾