#TodayInHistory – October 20
October 20 – Some important events on this day.
1097 👉🏼 1st Crusaders arrive in Antioch during the First Crusade
1603 👉🏼 Chinese uprising in the Philippines fails after 23,000 killed
1803 👉🏼 US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase
1817 👉🏼 1st Mississippi “Showboat” leaves Nashville on maiden voyage
1827 👉🏼 Battle at Navarino: Engl/Russ/French fleet beat Turk/Egyptian fleet
1864 👉🏼 US President Abraham Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday
1918 👉🏼 In order to secure a WWI armistice, Germany agrees to further concessions.
At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918, the First World War came to an end. The armistice, the fourth of three armistices which had already taken Germany’s three main allies out of the war, meant total victory for the Allies and the collapse of Germany. The armistice was not a formal surrender (this would come later with the Treaty of Versailles) but it ended all the active fighting. Celebrations occurred across the world after its announcement as the “war to end all wars” had finally come to an end. Of course this peace would only last twenty-some years. The rise of the Nazi Party gave rise to the stab in the back myth that the German Army was betrayed by the “November Criminals” who signed the armistice.
1935 👉🏼 Communist forces end their Long March at Yan’an, in Shaanxi, China, bringing Mao Zedong to prominence
1944 👉🏼 US forces under General Douglas MacArthur return to the Philippines with the landing of the US 6th army on Leyte.
“I came through and I shall return,” those were the famous words announced by General Douglas MacArthur on March 20, 1942, as he arrived in Australia, following an audacious escape from Japanese-occupied Philippines. Their island in the Philippines – which had been an American territory until the Japanese occupation – had been surrounded by the Japanese. MacArthur’s defense and escape captured the imagination of Americans back home and he became a symbol of resistance. His escape from near certain capture was welcomed by most, though Joseph Goebbels named him the “fleeing general” and Benito Mussolini called him a coward. Nevertheless MacArthur promised to return, and after being awarded the Medal of Honor was put in charge of all American activities in the South West Pacific.
Over the next two years, bitter fighting would allow MacArthur’s promise to come true. On this day, 1944 MacArthur waded ashore in Leyte after his troops had invaded and secured a beachhead. He then declared triumphantly: “People of the Philippines: I have returned.”
MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, pictured here, was opened in 1977 and the statues, sculpted by Anastacio Caedo, were inaugurated in 1981.
1944 👉🏼 In Milan, Italy, this day is sadly remembered as the day of the Gorla massacre, an event that not everyone, not even the Milanese, knows. ✔️READ THE ARTICLE!
1955 👉🏼 Publication of “The Return of the King”, the 3rd and final volume of “The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien by George Allen and Unwin in London
1957 👉🏼 Lester B. Pearson is the first Canadian to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his aid in resolving the Suez Crisis
1967 👉🏼 A purported bigfoot is filmed at Bluff Creek by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin in Northern California
1973 👉🏼 Queen Elizabeth II opens the Sydney Opera House.
The design of the Sydney Opera House was the result of a worldwide competition, won by then little know Danish architect Jorn Utzon. It was a design ahead of its time, more expressive than the more strictly modernist buildings of the time. Utzon’s design with its soaring roofs evoked the sails of Sydney Harbor and made full use of its prominent position on Bennelong Point. Construction began in 1959 was dodged throughout by problems with its design and difficult relations between Utzon and authorities, which led to the architect’s resignation from the project in 1966. The Opera House was finally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, the year it was completed. Today it is Australia’s biggest tourist attraction and one of the most recognisable buildings of the 20th century.
2017 👉🏼 “Coco” Pixar animated film, the first nine-figure budget film with all-Latino cast premieres at Morelia film festival
2018 👉🏼 12,000 year old fossil called “Luzia”, oldest known fossil in South America announced found mostly intact after devastating fire at Brazil’s National Museum