Marybeth Jonas

Marybeth Jonas

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Welcome to a fascinating journey through time as we explore the significant events and interesting facts that have occurred on May 20th throughout history. From groundbreaking discoveries to momentous occasions, this date has left an indelible mark on our collective history. As we delve into the past, we will uncover historical milestones, memorable births, notable deaths, and everything in between. Join us as we unravel the tapestry of May 20th and discover the intricate connections between the past and the present. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply curious about the events that shaped our world, this article will provide a captivating exploration of May 20th’s rich historical tapestry.

Table of Contents


  • 1799: Napoléon Bonaparte establishes the French Consulate, becoming the First Consul.
  • 1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.
  • 1927: Charles Lindbergh takes off from Roosevelt Field in New York on the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight, reaching Paris in 33.5 hours.
  • 1949: The Armed Forces Security Agency, later renamed the National Security Agency (NSA), is established in the United States.
  • 2012: Facebook goes public, becoming one of the largest initial public offerings in history.


  • 1875: The International Bureau of Weights and Measures is established, leading to the creation of the metric system.
  • 1902: Marie and Pierre Curie successfully isolate radium for the first time.
  • 1927: Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic marks a significant milestone in aviation history.
  • 1990: The Hubble Space Telescope sends its first photographs from space, revolutionizing our understanding of the universe.
  • 2013: Astronaut Chris Hadfield becomes the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.


  • 325: The First Council of Nicaea is convened by Emperor Constantine, leading to the formation of the Nicene Creed.
  • 1862: President Abraham Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, granting free land to settlers in the western United States.
  • 1916: The Saturday Evening Post publishes its first cover featuring a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • 1949: The German Federal Republic, commonly known as West Germany, is established.
  • 1972: Japan and the Soviet Union sign a peace treaty, ending World War II hostilities between the two nations.


  • 1506: Christopher Columbus dies in Valladolid, Spain.
  • 1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.
  • 1932: Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1973: Stevie Wonder releases his album “Innervisions,” featuring the hit songs “Higher Ground” and “Living for the City.”
  • 2013: “The Great Gatsby,” a film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, directed by Baz Luhrmann, is released.


  • 1908: James Stewart, American actor and World War II veteran.
  • 1944: Joe Cocker, English singer-songwriter known for his distinctive voice.
  • 1969: Road Dogg (Brian James), American professional wrestler and musician.
  • 1972: Busta Rhymes, American rapper and actor.
  • 1988: Candice King, American actress and singer known for her role in “The Vampire Diaries.”


  • 1506: Christopher Columbus, Italian explorer who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1873: Levi Strauss, German-American businessman who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans.
  • 1946: John Maynard Keynes, British economist whose ideas had a profound impact on modern macroeconomics.
  • 1957: Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer and pianist known for his symphonies and ballets.
  • 1993: Sun Ra, American jazz composer and bandleader known for his innovative approach to music.


The events that have taken place on May 20th throughout history span a wide range of significant moments. From political milestones and scientific breakthroughs to cultural events and notable births and deaths, this date has witnessed remarkable occurrences that have shaped our world. Whether it’s the establishment of the French Consulate by Napoléon Bonaparte or the invention of blue jeans by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis, May 20th holds a place of historical significance. The solo transatlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh, the creation of the metric system, and the founding of the National Security Agency are among the many breakthroughs and achievements celebrated on this day. Additionally, the release of iconic films, the birth of influential individuals, and the passing of notable figures contribute to making May 20th a memorable date in history.


Q: Are these events specific to May 20th in any particular year?

A: Yes, these events represent notable occurrences that happened on May 20th throughout history, regardless of the specific year.

Q: How were these events selected?

A: These events were chosen based on their historical significance, impact on society, and cultural relevance. They aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the diverse events that have taken place on May 20th.

Q: Are there any famous people born on May 20th?

A: Yes, there are several notable individuals born on May 20th, including actor James Stewart, singer-songwriter Joe Cocker, rapper Busta Rhymes, and actress Candice King.

Q: Is May 20th a significant date in history?

A: While every date holds historical significance, May 20th has witnessed numerous important events across various fields such as politics, science, culture, and more. These events contribute to making May 20th an interesting and noteworthy day in history.