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20th May in History

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1506 – In Spain, Christopher Columbus died in poverty.

1520 – Hernando Cortez defeated Spanish troops that had been sent to punish him in Mexico.

1690 – England passed the Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II.

1674 – John Sobieski became Poland’s first King.

1774 – Britain’s Parliament passed the Coercive Acts to punish the American colonists for their increasingly anti-British behavior

1775 – North Carolina became the first colony to declare its independence. This is the date that is on the George state flag even though the date of this event has been questioned.

1784 – The Peace of Versailles ended a war between France, England, and Holland.

1830 – The fountain pen was patented by H.D. Hyde.

1902 – The U.S. military occupation of Cuba ended.

1902 – Cuba gained its independence from Spain.

1926 – The U.S. Congress passed the Air Commerce Act. The act gave the Department of Commerce the right to license pilots and planes.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh took off from New York to cross the Atlantic for Paris aboard his airplane the “Spirit of St. Louis.” The trip took 33 1/2 hours.

1930 – The first airplane was catapulted from a dirigible.

1932 – Amelia Earhart took off to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She became the first woman to achieve the feat.

1939 – The first regular air-passenger service across the Atlantic Ocean began with the take-off of the “Yankee Clipper” from Port Washington, New York.

1941 – Germany invaded Crete by air.

1942 – Japan completed the conquest of Burma.

1969 – U.S. and South Vietnamese forces captured Apbia Mountain, which was referred to as Hamburger Hill.

1980 – The submarine Nautilus was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

1985 – The FBI arrested U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer John Walker. Walker had begun spying for the Soviet Union in 1968.

1985 – Radio Marti was launched.

1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope sent back its first photographs.

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