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20th May


1759 * William Thornton, US architect of the Capitol building, Washington.

1867 Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the Royal Albert Hall in London.

1895 Income tax was declared unconstitutional in the US.

1908 * James Stewart, US actor who won an Oscar for The Philadelphia Story (1940).

1927 Charles Lindbergh began the first solo non-stop transatlantic flight, departing from Long Island aboard the Spirit of Saint Louis.

1932 Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

1944 * Joe Cocker, English singer and drummer.

1945 * Cher (Cherilyn Sakasian La Pierre), US singer, songwriter and actress.

1956 The US dropped the first H-bomb over Bikini Atoll in the mid-Pacific in a test.

1958 Citizens of the English town of High Wycombe witness a unique ceremony at which the mayor is weighed in public. The annual custom dates back to medieval times and is unique to this Buckinghamshire market town.

1965 Britain's police are to be armed with tear gas guns and grenades for use against dangerous criminals, the Chief Inspector of Constabularies said that it will not be used for crowd control.

1973 Britain sends in Royal Navy ships to protect fishing boats in the disputed Icelandic 50-mile zone. The Icelandic ambassador in London. Niel Siguurdsson, said that he was "surprised and disappointed" by the move.

1993 American TV comedy series Cheers ended after 275 episodes and 11 years.

2000 The British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie celebrated the birth of their fourth child, Leo.

2002 East Timor became the newest nation.


xxxx * = Date of birth

 
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