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On this day in history - June 20

What Happened On This Day – June 20

  • 1991 The German parliament moves to Berlin

    Bonn had been the capital of West Germany until the country's reunification in 1990. The “Hauptstadtbeschluss” (capital decision) stipulated that the seat of government and the parliament also be moved to the “new” capital Berlin.

  • 1975 The film Jaws is premiered

    Steven Spielberg's thriller about a rogue great white shark terrorizing a summer resort town is often regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.

  • 1963 The “Red Telephone” is instituted

    The hotline between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was established following Cuban Missile Crisis. Contrary to popular belief, communications between the two superpowers occurred via teletype or fax, and today, via email.

  • 1942 Kazimierz Piechowski and three others escape from Auschwitz concentration camp

    In a feat of “exceptional courage and gallantry”, as stated by the Polish author Kazimierz Smoleń, the four prisoners left via the front gate in a stolen SS staff car, dressed as SS officers. During World War II, the Nazi regime murdered 1.1 million people in Auschwitz. Only 144 are known to have escaped.

  • 1837 Victoria becomes Queen of the United Kingdom

    During the 64 years of her regency, the United Kingdom became one of the world's most potent powers. The British Empire soon encompassed large parts of the planet. Queen Victoria died in 1901.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
June 20

  • 1978 Frank Lampard

    English footballer

  • 1942 Brian Wilson

    American singer-songwriter, musician, producer

  • 1905 Lillian Hellman

    American playwright

  • 1887 Kurt Schwitters

    German painter, writer

  • 1819 Jacques Offenbach

    German/French composer

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
June 20

  • 1999 Clifton Fadiman

    American game show host, author

  • 1966 Georges Lemaître

    Belgian priest, astronomer, cosmologist

  • 1947 Bugsy Siegel

    American gangster

  • 1837 William IV of the United Kingdom

  • 1820 Manuel Belgrano

    Argentinian economist, lawyer, politician