Jonell Tovar

Jonell Tovar

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


December 20th is a significant date in history, marked by various important facts and events that have shaped the world we live in today. From significant milestones in science and technology to notable occurrences in politics, arts, and culture, December 20th holds a treasure trove of historical significance. This day serves as a reminder of the achievements, inventions, and impactful moments that have played a role in shaping our society. Join us as we delve into the annals of history and explore the fascinating facts and events that took place on December 20th. From iconic discoveries to pivotal moments, this article will provide you with a glimpse into the past and the lasting legacy of this momentous day.

Table of Contents


  • 1917: The Soviet Union is established under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin.
  • 1803: The United States formally takes possession of the Louisiana Territory from France.
  • 1860: South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the Union, leading to the American Civil War.
  • 1924: Adolf Hitler is released from Landsberg Prison, marking the start of his rise to power in Nazi Germany.
  • 1973: The Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, is assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA.


  • 1803: The molecular structure of carbon dioxide is discovered by the French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac.
  • 1907: The first controlled, powered, and sustained flight in a helicopter is achieved by the French engineer Paul Cornu.
  • 1944: The atomic nucleus is first split by scientists at the University of Chicago, leading to the development of nuclear power.
  • 1951: The first artificial diamond is created by General Electric researchers using a high-pressure, high-temperature process.
  • 1996: The first cloning of a mammal, a sheep named Dolly, is successfully accomplished by scientists in Scotland.


  • 1804: Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned Emperor of France, establishing the First French Empire.
  • 1928: The first female member of the British Parliament, Lady Nancy Astor, takes her seat in the House of Commons.
  • 1989: The United States invades Panama and captures the country’s leader, General Manuel Noriega.
  • 2001: Argentina’s President Fernando De la Rúa resigns amid the country’s economic and political crisis.
  • 2011: The United States officially ends its military mission in Iraq, marking the end of the Iraq War.


  • 1808: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 premieres in Vienna, Austria.
  • 1946: Frank Capra’s beloved Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life” is released in theaters.
  • 1989: “The Simpsons,” created by Matt Groening, premieres on Fox, becoming the longest-running animated series in history.
  • 2009: James Cameron’s epic film “Avatar” is released, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time.
  • 2015: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton” opens at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City, receiving widespread critical acclaim.


  • 1868: Harvey Firestone, American businessman and founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.
  • 1946: Uri Geller, Israeli illusionist and self-proclaimed psychic.
  • 1975: Jay Kay, British musician and lead vocalist of the band Jamiroquai.
  • 1980: David Cook, American singer-songwriter and winner of the seventh season of “American Idol.”
  • 1990: JoJo, American singer, songwriter, and actress.


  • 1568: Roger Ascham, English scholar and tutor to Queen Elizabeth I.
  • 1898: William Ewart Gladstone, British statesman and four-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • 1973: Bobby Darin, American singer, songwriter, and actor.
  • 2004: Patsy Mink, American politician and the first Asian American woman elected to the United States Congress.
  • 2016: Michèle Morgan, French actress and one of the leading stars of French cinema during the 1930s and 1940s.


The events that took place on December 20th throughout history have had significant impacts across various fields including politics, science, culture, and more. From the establishment of the Soviet Union to scientific breakthroughs like the cloning of a mammal and the discovery of artificial diamonds, December 20th has witnessed remarkable achievements.

Politically, this date saw milestones such as Napoleon Bonaparte being crowned Emperor of France and the end of the United States’ military mission in Iraq. Culturally, notable events include the premieres of iconic works like Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

Birthdays of prominent figures like Harvey Firestone and Uri Geller also add to the significance of December 20th. Similarly, the day marks the passing of influential individuals like William Ewart Gladstone and Michèle Morgan.

Overall, December 20th holds a rich tapestry of historical events that have shaped the world we live in.


Q: What other significant historical events happened on December 20th?

A: Some other significant historical events that happened on December 20th include the signing of the Louisiana Purchase treaty in 1803 and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in South Africa in 1990.

Q: Are there any famous personalities born on December 20th?

A: Yes, notable personalities born on December 20th include actor Jonah Hill, singer and actress Jennifer Beals, and baseball legend David Wright.

Q: What scientific advancements have been made on December 20th?

A: On December 20th, major scientific breakthroughs have included the successful cloning of a sheep named Dolly in 1996 and the discovery of the molecular structure of carbon dioxide in 1803.

Q: Have there been any significant political developments on December 20th?

A: Yes, some significant political developments on December 20th include the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1917 and the United States invading Panama and capturing General Manuel Noriega in 1989.

Q: Are there any cultural events associated with December 20th?

A: Yes, cultural events on December 20th include the release of the beloved Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life” in 1946 and the premiere of the hit animated series “The Simpsons” in 1989.