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20th February


1811 Austria informed the world it was bankrupt.

1925 * Robert Altman, US film director who made his name directing the film M* A* S* H (1969).

1927 * Sydney Poitier, the first black film actor to win an Oscar (Lilies of the Field - 1963).

1940 * Jimmy Greaves, English soccer player and TV commentator.

1947 * Peter Strauss, US film actor.

1947 Lord Louis Mountbatten appointed the last Viceroy of India.

1958 The government announced that Sheerness docks one the oldest naval dockyards in the UK will be shut down.

1962 John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.

1982 John de Lorean's sports car company went into receivership owing 17 million.

1983 Hundreds of people were killed in Assam in fierce fighting in the run-up to Indian elections.

1986 The Soviets launched the world's biggest space station, Mir.

1988 Torrential rain in Rio de Janeiro caused flooding with 10,000 people reported homeless.

1993 Two 10-year-old boys were charged with the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool.


xxxx * = Date of birth

 
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