1720: The Royal Navy captures infamous Caribbean pirate Calico Jack on this day.
1740: Maria Theresa ascends to the Austrian throne. The War of Austrian Succession starts.
1803: The U.S. Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase.
1818: The United States & Canadian border is fixed at the 49th parallel when the Convention of 1818 is signed by the United Kingdom and the United States.
1873: The first official code of American football rules is drafted between Columbia, Princeton, Yale, and Rutgers.
1944: American General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines and commands an Allied assault on the islands. This fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines and reclaims the islands from the Japanese.
1947: A “blacklist” is put into effect as the House Un-American Activities Committee starts its investigation of the Communist infiltration of the cinema.
1951: At an American college football game, the Johnny Bright Incident occurs in Stillwater, Oklahoma when African-American Johnny Bright is assaulted by a white player.
1977: The plane of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes. 20 people are injured and 6 people are killed – including lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, guitarist Steve Gaines and pilot Walter McCreary.
1981: During an armed robbery in Rockland County, New York, two police officers and a security guard are killed.
Famous Birthdays on October 20
French soldier and poet Arthur Rimbaud is born in 1854.
American psychologist and philosopher John Burns is born in 1858.
American composer Charles Ives is born in 1874.
American actor, screenwriter and director, Charley Chase is born in 1893.
American actor Rex Ingram is born in 1895.
American baseball player Mickey Mantle is born in 1931.
American actress Barrie Chase is born in 1933.
American trumpet player Bill Chase is born in 1934.
American rapper and producer, Snoop Dogg is born in 1971.