Julie Tomaszewski

Julie Tomaszewski

Modified & Updated: 07 Sep 2023

Source: Facts.net

Every day in history is filled with significant events and notable facts that have shaped the world we live in today. September 20th is no exception. From groundbreaking discoveries to major historical moments, this date has witnessed a wide range of impactful events throughout the years. Whether it be breakthrough scientific achievements, key political developments, or cultural milestones, September 20th has played a role in shaping our past and influencing our future. Join us as we delve into the rich tapestry of history and uncover all the fascinating facts and events that have taken place on this day. From defining moments to lesser-known happenings, we will explore the significance of September 20th in the annals of history.

Table of Contents


  • 1863: The Battle of Chickamauga, the second bloodiest battle of the American Civil War, begins in Georgia, United States.
  • 1909: The British military officer and archaeologist Leonard Woolley discovers the ancient city of Ur in present-day Iraq.
  • 1962: The United States launches the spacecraft “OSO 7” as part of the Orbiting Solar Observatory program.
  • 1977: The first prototype of the Apple II computer, one of the most successful personal computers in history, is unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco, California.
  • 2008: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 60 years old, commemorating its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.


  • 1878: Thomas Edison patents the phonograph, a device capable of recording and playing back sound.
  • 1954: The atomic scientist Lord Kelvin’s prediction of a “heat death” for the universe based on the second law of thermodynamics is proved incorrect by the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation.
  • 1973: The Mars 6 spacecraft is launched by the Soviet Union on a mission to study the atmosphere and surface of Mars.
  • 1991: The Hubble Space Telescope captures its first images of the planet Neptune, providing valuable insights into its atmospheric composition.
  • 2012: The discovery of the Higgs boson, often referred to as the “God particle,” is announced by scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.


  • 1519: Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set sail from Spain on an expedition to find a western sea route to the Spice Islands, leading to the first circumnavigation of the Earth.
  • 1792: The French National Convention abolishes the monarchy and declares France a republic.
  • 1946: The first Cannes Film Festival takes place in Cannes, France, showcasing the best of international cinema.
  • 1951: The Treaty of San Francisco, officially ending World War II for Japan, is signed by 49 countries in San Francisco, California.
  • 1984: The Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombs the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, in an attempt to assassinate British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.


  • 1519: Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is welcomed by Aztec emperor Montezuma II in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) amidst lavish celebrations.
  • 1934: Norwegian painter Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream” is recovered two years after it was stolen from the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway.
  • 1968: The premiere of the science fiction TV series “Star Trek” airs on NBC in the United States, introducing the world to the adventures of the starship USS Enterprise.
  • 1984: Prince releases his album “Purple Rain,” which becomes one of the best-selling albums of all time and establishes him as a global music icon.
  • 2003: The cult TV series “Firefly” created by Joss Whedon premieres on Fox, gaining a dedicated fan following despite its cancellation after only one season.


  • 1934: Sophia Loren, Italian actress and Oscar winner known for her roles in films such as “Two Women” and “Marriage Italian Style.”
  • 1948: George R. R. Martin, American author and screenwriter famous for creating the fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” which inspired the TV series “Game of Thrones.”
  • 1968: Van Jones, American political commentator, author, and environmental advocate.
  • 1976: Jon Bernthal, American actor known for his roles in TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and as the Punisher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • 1984: Bruna Marquezine, Brazilian actress known for her performances in telenovelas and her appearances in international fashion events.


  • 1973: Jim Croce, American singer-songwriter known for hits like “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle,” dies in a plane crash.
  • 1998: Ted Hughes, English poet and former Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom.
  • 2004: Skeeter Davis, American country music singer known for her hit songs like “The End of the World” and “I Can’t Stay Mad at You.”
  • 2013: Ken Norton, American professional boxer and former heavyweight champion who famously defeated Muhammad Ali in their first fight.
  • 2019: Ric Ocasek, American musician, lead vocalist, and frontman of the new-wave band The Cars, known for hits like “Drive” and “Just What I Needed.”


The events that took place on September 20th throughout history are diverse and significant. From historic battles and technological advancements to political milestones and cultural achievements, this date has witnessed a wide array of remarkable events. This day serves as a reminder of the progress made in various fields and the contributions of individuals that have shaped our world. Thus, it is essential to recognize the importance of studying history and celebrating the achievements of those who have come before us.


Q: What is the significance of studying historical events?

A: Studying historical events allows us to understand our past, learn from our mistakes, and appreciate the achievements and struggles of those who came before us. It enables us to gain perspective on our present and shape a better future.

Q: Why are scientific breakthroughs important?

A: Scientific breakthroughs contribute to advancements in technology, medicine, and our understanding of the world. They pave the way for innovation and improve the quality of life for individuals and society as a whole.

Q: How do political milestones shape the course of history?

A: Political milestones, such as the abolishment of monarchies or the signing of treaties, can reshape nations, governments, and international relationships. They define the course of history, alter power dynamics, and have far-reaching implications for societies.

Q: Why are cultural events noteworthy?

A: Cultural events, including art exhibitions, film festivals, and music releases, reflect the creative expressions and cultural heritage of a society. They contribute to social cohesion, inspire creativity, and offer insights into the values and beliefs of a particular time period.

Q: What is the significance of births and deaths?

A: Births introduce individuals who will go on to make contributions in various fields, from arts and sciences to politics and entertainment. Deaths mark the end of a journey and often provide an opportunity to reflect on the impact someone had on society during their lifetime.