On this day: Eagle lunar module landed on the Moon

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 20 July

Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon on this day in 1969  minutes after Neil Armstrong had become the first to do so. Picture: Getty
Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the Moon on this day in 1969  minutes after Neil Armstrong had become the first to do so. Picture: Getty

National day of Colombia.

1304: King Edward I of England took Stirling Castle, the last rebel stronghold of the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

1651: At the Battle of Inverkeithing, the royalist force supporting Charles II failed to stop the advance of Oliver Cromwell’s army towards Perth.

1654: British-Portuguese Treaty placing Portugal under British control was signed.

1705: An Act of the Scottish Parliament established herring fishing in and around Scotland.

1712: The Riot Act came into effect in Britain.

1773: Scottish settlers arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

1836: Charles Darwin climbed Green Hill on Ascension Island.

1837: London’s first railway station, Euston, opened.

1881: Sioux indian chief Sitting Bull surrendered to US federal troops.

1890: Gibbons Stamp Monthly began publication.

1914: Armed resistance against British rule began in Ulster.

1917: Finland declared independence from Russia.

1926: A convention of the Methodist Church voted to admit women priests.

1933: Vatican state secretary signed an accord with Hitler.

1933: Half a million people took part in an anti-Semitic march in London.

1938: Finland was awarded the 1940 Olympic Games after Japan withdrew as hosts.

1940: Singles-record charts were first published in America, by Billboard. I’ll Never Smile Again by Tommy Dorsey was the first No 1.

1944: An assassination attempt on Hitler was made by a German staff officer, Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg. He and 1,000 others implicated in the plot were executed.

1945: US flag raised over Berlin as US troops prepared to take part in occupation government.

1946: The Peace Conference began in Paris.

1951: Jordan’s King Abdullah was assassinated in Jerusalem.

1956: Great Britain refused to lend money to Egypt to help build the Aswan Dam.

1957: At a meeting in Bradford, prime minister Harold Macmillan said: “Let’s be frank about it. Most of our people have never had it so good.” He later repeated it in the House of Commons.

1960: Sirima Bandaranaike became premier of Ceylon and the world’s first female head of government.

1967: Race riots rook place in Memphis, Tennessee.

1968: Jane Asher broke off her engagement to Paul McCartney.

1969: Eagle, the lunar module of Apollo 11, landed on the Moon, on the Sea of Tranquillity.

1974: Turkey invaded Cyprus.

1976: Viking 1, the American unmanned spacecraft, touched down on Mars after an 11-month journey and began sending back clear pictures.

1980: Tom Watson won the Open Championship at Muirfield.

1982: IRA bombs killed ten soldiers and seven army horses at Hyde Park and Regents Park, London. Fifty-three were injured.

1989: The government of Burma placed author Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.

1992: Nick Faldo won the Open Championship at Muirfield.

1993: The king of Thailand pardoned Patricia Cahill and Karyn Smith, two British women convicted of heroin smuggling in 1990 and jailed for 18 years and 25 years respectively.

2005: Canada legalised same-sex marriages, the fourth country in the world to do so.

2012: A gunman opened fire at the premiere of movie The Dark Knight at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 59 others.


Dame Diana Rigg, actress, 77; Gisele Bündchen, supermodel, 35; Kim Carnes, singer, 70; Paul Cook, drummer (Sex Pistols), 59; Jacques Delors, president, European Commission 1985-95, 90; Sally Ann Howes, actress, 85; Roger Hunt MBE, footballer, 77; John Lodge, bassist (Moody Blues), 70; Charlie Magri, former WBC British flyweight boxing champion, 59; Jonathon Morris, actor, 55; Jeff Rawle, actor, 64; Carlos Santana, musician, 68; Sandra Oh, actress, 44; Stone Gossard, musician, 49; Terri Irwin, author and TV naturalist (widow of Steve), 51.


Births: 356 BC Alexander the Great, king of Macedon; 1889 Lord Reith, first director-general of the BBC; 1919 Sir Edmund Hillary, first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest; 1920 6th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, artist and critic; 1938 Natalie Wood, actress.

Deaths: 1819 John Playfair, Scottish geologist and mathematician; 1923 Pancho Villa, revolutionary leader; 1937 Guglielmo Marconi, physicist and wireless telegraphy pioneer; 1945 Paul Valéry, poet, essayist and philosopher;1962 George Macauley Trevelyan, historian; 1970 Iain MacLeod Chancellor of the Exchequer; 1973 Bruce Lee, kung-fu actor; 2011 Lucian Freud artist.