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20th July

1810 Colombia declared independence from Spain.

1875 Professional soccer was legalized in Great Britain.

1889 * Sir John Reith, the first General Manager of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).

1919 * Sir Edmund Hilary, New Zealand mountaineer, the first to reach the top of Mount Everest.

1935 * Ted Rodgers, English comedian and TV game-show host.

1938 * Diana Rigg, English actress best known as Emma Peel in the TV series The Avengers.

1940 The first music singles charts were published in the US journal Billboard.

1944 Adolf Hitler escapes death after a third assassination attempt on his life when a bomb exploded in Rastenberg.

1952 Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia won the gold medal at the Helsinki Olympic Games in Finland by breaking the 10,000 metres record.

1960 Sirima Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka (now Ceylon) became the world's first woman prime minister.

1969 Astronaut Neil A Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon.

1973 US martial arts star Bruce Lee died in Hong Kong aged 32.

1974 Thousands of Turkish troops invaded northern Cyprus after last-minute talks in the Greek capital, Athens, fail to reach a solution.

1976 The US Viking spacecraft landed on Mars and sent back pictures of the planet surface.

1982 Eight soldiers on ceremonial duty were killed in two IRA bomb blasts in Hyde Park and Regent's Park.

1985 Treasure hunters found the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank off the coast of Key West, Florida in 1622 during a hurricane. The ship contained over $400 million in coins and silver ingots.

1990 An IRA bomb blew a 10-foot hole in the London Stock Exchange. Fortunately Nobody was injured in the blast.

2004 British charities are making a massive effort to help a million people left homeless by years of fighting in Africa's largest country, Sudan.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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