On This Day in History

This database is a source for anniversaries of world interest, searchable by day or keyword, built up by Graphic News over many year for the On This Day series of graphics.

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Event
Anniversary
20 Jan
1265
The first English Parliament met at Westminster Hall under Simon de MontfortThe first English Parliament met at Westminster Hall under Simon de Montfort
753 years ago
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20 Jan
1320
Wladyslaw I, also known as Wladislaw the Short, was crowned king of Poland. In defeating the Knights of the Teutonic Order in the later years of his reign he created strong…Wladyslaw I, also known as Wladislaw the Short, was crowned king of Poland. In defeating the Knights of the Teutonic Order in the later years of his reign he created strong foundations for one Polish nation
698 years ago
20 Jan
1327
King Edward II of England was forced to abdicate by powerful barons in favour of his son Edward IIIKing Edward II of England was forced to abdicate by powerful barons in favour of his son Edward III
691 years ago
20 Jan
1612
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor from 1576, died; he was unable to reconcile Roman Catholic and Protestant factions which eventually led to the Thirty Years WarRudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor from 1576, died; he was unable to reconcile Roman Catholic and Protestant factions which eventually led to the Thirty Years War
406 years ago
20 Jan
1649
Britain’s King Charles I was brought before a high court of justice at Westminster Hall on charges of treason following the civil war against parliamentarian forcesBritain’s King Charles I was brought before a high court of justice at Westminster Hall on charges of treason following the civil war against parliamentarian forces
369 years ago
20 Jan
1745
Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor from 1742, died; he was also elector of BavariaCharles VII, Holy Roman Emperor from 1742, died; he was also elector of Bavaria
273 years ago
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20 Jan
1763
Wolfe Tone, Irish Nationalist, born. He made several attempts to overthrow English rule in Ireland and was captured in Donegal after leading French forces. Condemned to be hanged,…Wolfe Tone, Irish Nationalist, born. He made several attempts to overthrow English rule in Ireland and was captured in Donegal after leading French forces. Condemned to be hanged, he cut his own throat in prison
255 years ago
20 Jan
1839
The confederation of Peru and Bolivia invaded Chile but was heavily beaten by Chilean forces at the battle of Yungay. The defeat led to the break-up of the confederationThe confederation of Peru and Bolivia invaded Chile but was heavily beaten by Chilean forces at the battle of Yungay. The defeat led to the break-up of the confederation
179 years ago
20 Jan
1841
After lengthy talks between Britain and China concerning the Opium Wars, the convention of Chuanbi was signed by which Hong Kong island was ceded to the BritishAfter lengthy talks between Britain and China concerning the Opium Wars, the convention of Chuanbi was signed by which Hong Kong island was ceded to the British
177 years ago
20 Jan
1882
A draper’s shop in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, became the first shop in the world to be lit by electric lightA draper’s shop in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, became the first shop in the world to be lit by electric light
136 years ago
20 Jan
1887
Part of the Reciprocity Treaty between the United States and Hawaii formally gave the U.S. the right to enter and run a coaling station at Pearl Harbour in HawaiiPart of the Reciprocity Treaty between the United States and Hawaii formally gave the U.S. the right to enter and run a coaling station at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii
131 years ago
20 Jan
1896
U.S. entertainer and comedy actor George Burns was born as Nathan Birnbaum; he won an Oscar for the 1975 film "The Sunshine Boys"U.S. entertainer and comedy actor George Burns was born as Nathan Birnbaum; he won an Oscar for the 1975 film "The Sunshine Boys"
122 years ago
20 Jan
1900
English novelist Richard Doddridge Blackmore, author of "Lorna Doone", diedEnglish novelist Richard Doddridge Blackmore, author of "Lorna Doone", died
118 years ago
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20 Jan
1903
The stage musical The Wizard of Oz opened on Broadway. Much of the original music has been forgotten but it was still well-remembered in the late 1930s, when MGM’s classic film…The stage musical The Wizard of Oz opened on Broadway. Much of the original music has been forgotten but it was still well-remembered in the late 1930s, when MGM’s classic film version, starring Judy Garland, was made
115 years ago
20 Jan
1918
The German light cruiser Breslau was sunk by mines outside the Dardanelles. Only 162 of her complement of 370 survivedThe German light cruiser Breslau was sunk by mines outside the Dardanelles. Only 162 of her complement of 370 survived
100 years ago
20 Jan
1920
Italian film director Federico Fellini was born. His best known films include the controversial La Dolce Vita, La Strada, and Otto e Mezzo (8-1/2)Italian film director Federico Fellini was born. His best known films include the controversial La Dolce Vita, La Strada, and Otto e Mezzo (8-1/2)
98 years ago
20 Jan
1929
In Old Arizona, the first major Western to use the new technology of sound and the first talkie to be filmed outdoors, was released by Fox Film CorporationIn Old Arizona, the first major Western to use the new technology of sound and the first talkie to be filmed outdoors, was released by Fox Film Corporation
89 years ago
20 Jan
1936
King George V of Britain died. He was succeeded by Edward VIII, who caused a crisis later the same year by abdicatingKing George V of Britain died. He was succeeded by Edward VIII, who caused a crisis later the same year by abdicating
82 years ago
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20 Jan
1942
Nazi leaders of the security police and various ministries met at the Wannsee conference to set up the bureaucratic apparatus for the Final Solution and complete the systematic…Nazi leaders of the security police and various ministries met at the Wannsee conference to set up the bureaucratic apparatus for the Final Solution and complete the systematic destruction of the Jews
76 years ago
20 Jan
1944
In a short air raid on Berlin, the British air force dropped some 2,300 tons of bombsIn a short air raid on Berlin, the British air force dropped some 2,300 tons of bombs
74 years ago
20 Jan
1945
Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his fourth term as U.S. president, a record that will go unbroken as there is now a limit of two elected termsFranklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his fourth term as U.S. president, a record that will go unbroken as there is now a limit of two elected terms
73 years ago
20 Jan
1958
Dr Vivian Fuchs, leader of the 11-member Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic expedition, arrived at the South Pole, the half-way point of the journeyDr Vivian Fuchs, leader of the 11-member Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic expedition, arrived at the South Pole, the half-way point of the journey
60 years ago
20 Jan
1961
John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States. He was elected by the closest ever vote and at 43 was the youngest presidential nominee electedJohn F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States. He was elected by the closest ever vote and at 43 was the youngest presidential nominee elected
57 years ago
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20 Jan
1964
The Great Train Robbers went on trial in Britain. The seven men were eventually found guilty of the £2.6 million heist from the Glasgow-London mail train in August 1963 and…The Great Train Robbers went on trial in Britain. The seven men were eventually found guilty of the £2.6 million heist from the Glasgow-London mail train in August 1963 and sentenced to a total of 307 years in prison
54 years ago
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