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20th July in History

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1592 – During the first Japanese invasion of Korea, Japanese forces led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi captured Pyongyang, although they were ultimately unable to hold it.

1807 – Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.

1810 – Colombia declared independence from Spain.

1917 – The draft lottery in World War I went into operation.

1917 – World War I: The Corfu Declaration, which leads to the creation of the post-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia, is signed by the Yugoslav Committee and Kingdom of Serbia.

1942 – The first detachment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, (WACS) began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

1944 – An attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler failed. The bomb exploded at Hitler’s Rastenburg headquarters. Hitler was only wounded.

1944 – U.S. President Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

1949 – Israel and Syria sign a truce to end their nineteen-month war.

1951 – King Abdullah I of Jordan is assassinated by a Palestinian while attending Friday prayers in Jerusalem.
1954 – Germany: Otto John, head of West Germany’s secret service, defects to East Germany.

1960 – Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) elects Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world’s first elected female head of government.

1960 – The Polaris missile is successfully launched from a submarine, the USS George Washington, for the first time.

1961 – French military forces break the Tunisian siege of Bizerte.

1964 – Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attack the capital of Định Tường Province, Cái Bè, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of whom are children).

1969 – Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon.

1969 – A cease fire is announced between Honduras and El Salvador, six days after the beginning of the “Football War”.

1974 – Turkish forces invaded Cyprus.

1976 – America’s Viking I robot spacecraft made a successful landing on Mars.

1977 – The Central Intelligence Agency releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind-control experiments.

1982 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan pulled the U.S. out of comprehensive test ban negotiations indefinitely.

1989 – Burma’s ruling junta puts opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

1992 – Václav Havel resigns as president of Czechoslovakia.

1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrates its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

1997 – Sri Lankan Civil War: Sri Lankan MP M. E. H. Maharoof is shot dead.

1999 – The Chinese Communist Party begins a persecution campaign against Falun Gong, arresting thousands nationwide.

2012 – James Holmes opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and injuring 70 others.

2013 – Seventeen government soldiers are killed in an attack by FARC revolutionaries in the Colombian department of Arauca.

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