Today in History: December 20

Today in History: December 20

Pick a day:

December 19 December 21

0069

Vespians's supporters enter Rome and discover Vitellius in hiding. He is dragged through the streets before being brutally murdered.

1355

Stephen Urosh IV of Serbia dies while marching to attack Constantinople.

1802

The United States buys the Louisiana territory from France.

1860

South Carolina secedes from the Union.

1861

English transports loaded with 8,000 troops set sail for Canada so that troops are available if the "Trent Affair" is not settled without war.

1924

Adolf Hitler is released from prison after serving less than one year of a five year sentence for treason.

1930

Thousands of Spaniards sign a revolutionary manifesto.

1933

The German government announces 400,000 citizens are to be sterilized because of hereditary defects.

1938

First electronic television system is patented.

1941

The Flying Tigers, American pilots in China, enter combat against the Japanese over Kunming.

1943

Soviet forces halt a German army trying to relieve the besieged city of Stalingrad.

1946

Viet Minh and French forces fight fiercely in Annamite section of Hanoi.

1948

U.S. Supreme Court announces that it has no jurisdiction to hear the appeals of Japanese war criminals sentenced by the International Military Tribunal.

1960

National Liberation Front is formed by guerrillas fighting the Diem regime in South Vietnam.

1962

In its first free election in 38 years, the Dominican Republic chooses leftist Juan Bosch Gavino as president.

1963

Four thousand cross the Berlin Wall to visit relatives under a 17-day Christmas accord.

1989

U.S. troops invade Panama to oust General Manuel Noriega and replace him with Guillermo Endara.

1995

NATO begins peacekeeping operation in Bosnia.

1996

NeXT merges with Apple Computer, leading to the development of groundbreaking Mac OS X.

2007

Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch in the history of the UK; previously, that honor belonged to Queen Victoria.