#TodayInHistory – September 20
September 20 – Some important events on this day.
451 👉🏼 Roman General Flavius Aetius defeats Attila the Hun at The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains (Chalons-sur-Marne), halting Hun invasion of Roman Gaul
622 👉🏼 Islamic Prophet Muhammed/Abu Bakr arrives in Jathrib (Medina)
1066 👉🏼 Battle of Fulford, Yorkshire: Harald III Hardrada of Norway defeats Northern Saxon Earls Edwin and Morcar
1187 👉🏼 1st sultan of Egypt and Syria Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem.
1519 👉🏼 Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sets off on the 1st successful circumnavigation of the globe (Magellan killed on route)
1664 👉🏼 Maryland passes 1st anti-amalgamation law to stop intermarriage of English women & black men
1839 👉🏼 1st railroad in Netherland opens (Amsterdam-Haarlem)
1854 👉🏼 Battle of the Alma: first major battle of Crimean War. British and French alliance defeat the Russians.
The Crimean War was a complex conflict that had its roots in the long-term decline of the Ottoman Empire, which had become known as the “sick man of Europe.” The alliance of France, Britain and the Ottomans fought against Russia as they did not want the latter gaining from the Ottoman decline.
The war commenced in October 1853 but it would not be until September 1854 that the Allies landed in Crimea. Shortly after their landing they engaged the Russians at the Battle of the Alma and inflicted a defeat. The Russians would later counterattack at the Battle of Balaclava (where the famous Charge of the Light Brigade took place).
Eventually the Russians would admit defeat in Crimea. It was the catalyst for them to begin widespread reforms in all aspects of their military and society in order to keep pace with the rapidly developing European nations.
1870 👉🏼 Capture of Rome by Italian army, Pope Pius IX surrenders to King Victor Emmanuel which unifies Italy and ends 1,116 year reign of Papal States
1946 👉🏼 First Cannes Film Festival.
The first annual Cannes Film Festival opens at the resort city of Cannes on the French Riviera. The festival had intended to make its debut in September 1939, but the outbreak of World War II forced its cancellation.
The world’s first annual international film festival was inaugurated at Venice in 1932. By 1938, the Venice Film Festival had become a vehicle for Fascist and Nazi propaganda, with Benito Mussolini’s Italy and Adolf Hitler’s Germany dictating the choices of films and sharing the prizes among themselves. Outraged, France decided to organize an alternative film festival. In June 1939, the establishment of a film festival at Cannes, to be held from September 1 to 20, was announced in Paris. Cannes, an elegant beach city, lies southeast of Nice on the Mediterranean coast, and one of the resort town’s casinos agreed to host the event.
The 1948 and 1950 festivals were canceled for economic reasons. In 1952, the Palais des Festivals was dedicated as a permanent home for the festival, and in 1955, the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award for best film of the festival was introduced, an allusion to the palm-planted Promenade de la Croisette that parallels Cannes’ celebrated beach. In the 1950s, the Festival International du Film de Cannes came to be regarded as the most prestigious film festival in the world. It still holds that allure today and, though many have criticized it as overly commercial, more than 30,000 people come to Cannes each May to attend the festival.
1979 👉🏼 Coup in Central African Republic as David Dacko overthrows Emperor Bokassa I
1990 👉🏼 Both East and West Germany ratify reunification
2001 👉🏼 In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American people, US President George W. Bush declares a “war on terror”
2011 👉🏼 “Call Me Maybe”, single by Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen, is released
2019 👉🏼 Batman Day – 80th anniversary of the first Batman comic
2019 👉🏼 The MOSAiC expedition, the greatest Arctic research expedition ever, sets sail from Norway, aims to stay trapped in ice for a year to study climate change