20 December: On This Day In History | What Special Day Is Today?

“20 December: What Happened On This Day In History?”


20 December: In a year, the 20th of December is the 354th day as per the Gregorian Calendar. In a leap year, it is the 355th day of the year.

What special day is today?

On this day, the Boeing 707 made its very first flight; Incandescent light was demonstrated privately by Thomas Alva Edison in New Jersey, and Macau became a part of the People’s Republic of China.

Famous birthdays include Kim Young-Sam, Sandra Cisneros, and Billy Bragg.

December 20 also marks International Human Solidarity Day.

Let’s explore what happened today.

20 December: On This Day In History | What Special Day Is Today?

What Happened Today? On This Day in History: 20 December

Art & Artists

  • 1946The premiere of It’s a Wonderful Life. The Jimmy Stewart starred and Frank Capra-directed movie became a holiday classic.
  • 1996 Release of ‘Wes Craven’, the horror classic across theatres in America. The movie was known for its comic effect which was in vogue at that time.

Science & Technology

  • 1951 Arco, Idaho-based breeder reactor, the EBR-1 started to generate electricity. It became the first nuclear power plant in the world to do so.
  • 1957 The early manufacture edition of the Boeing 707 made its very first flight.

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Leaders & Politics

  • 1999 Macau became a part (an administrative region) of the People’s Republic of China. It was under Portuguese rule for many centuries which ended on this day.
  • 2007 Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom reigned for 70 years and 214 days (the longest-reigning Monarch of Britain). She became the longest-reigning British Monarch.

People & Society

  • 1917 Cheka was founded in the Soviet Union. It was the first secret police force of the Union.
  • 2007 Paintings of Pablo Picasso (The Portrait of Suzanne Bloch, 1904) and Cândido Portinari (O Lavrador de Café) were stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil.

Disasters: Natural & Man-made

  • 1946 A high-magnitude earthquake struck Nankaidō, Japan. The resulting tsunami destroyed around 30,000 homes and killed more than 1,000 people.
  • 1987 Dona Paz (a passenger ferry) sank after a crash with MT Vector (an oil tanker) in the Tablas Strait (the Philippines). The incident took the lives of approximately 4,000 people.

Discoveries & Explorations

  • 1879 Incandescent light was demonstrated privately by the scientist Thomas A. Edison in New Jersey (at Menlo Park).

Leisure & Sports

  • 1962 A world record was set in the indoor pole vault by Don Meyers when he jumped 16 feet, 1-1/4 inches.
  • 1973 Henri Richard (center player) from Montreal Canadien scored 1,000th point in NHL.

Birth Anniversaries (20 December)

  • 1898 Irene Dunne (Actress, America)
  • 1917 David Bohm (Physicist, America)
  • 1927 Kim Young-Sam (Former President, South Korea)
  • 1954 Sandra Cisneros (Author, America)
  • 1957 Billy Bragg (Singer, Britain)

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Death Anniversaries (20 December)

  • 1937 Erich Ludendorff (General, German)
  • 1968 John Steinbeck (Novelist, America)
  • 1982 Arthur Rubinstein (Musician, America)
  • 1997 Dick Spooner (Cricketer, England)
  • 2020  Ezra Vogel (Sociologist, America)

What Special Day is Today: (20 December)

  • International Human Solidarity Day
  • Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (Macau)


The story of the day (20 December) is based on facts and figures. The content indeed covers a wide range of topics from the spectrum of human development.

The day has been a tranquil bystander of what happened on this day in history.

We’ve endeavored to chronicle the changes that occurred across the globe.

Hope you have enjoyed reading the article. May we ask you to spend just two minutes sharing your thoughts on the content?



On This Day:

31 December30 December29 December28 December27 December | 26 December | 25 December24 December23 December22 December21 December19 December | 18 December | 17 December | 16 December | 15 December | 14 December | 13 December | 12 December | 11 December | 10 December | 9 December | 8 December | 7 December | 6 December | 5 December | 4 December | 3 December | 2 December | 1 December


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