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20th September

1842 * Sir James Dewar, Scottish physicist and chemist who invented the vacuum flask.

1870 Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of modern Italy, seized the Papal States from the French.

1878 * Upton Sinclair, US author of the novel The Jungle (1906).

1881 Chester A. Arthur the 21st president of the United States, succeeding assassinated James A. Garfield.

1914 * Kenneth More, English actor who starred in the film Reach for the Sky (1956).

1928 In Rome, the Fascists took over the supreme legislative body.

1931 Britain came off the gold standard to stop foreign speculation.

1934 * Sophia Loren (Sofia Scicolone), Italian actress who won an Oscar for Two Women (1960).

1967 The new Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was launched at Clydebank, Scotland.

1970 The Russian space probe, Luna 16, was the first to land on the Moon and collect rock samples to bring back to Earth.

1978 Police launched a massive manhunt for the killers of a young paperboy at an isolated farmhouse near Stourbridge in Staffordshire.

1984 The US Embassy in Beirut was attacked by a suicide bomber killing 40 people.

1999 A multinational peacekeeping force landed in East Timor in an attempt to restore law and order to the territory.

2000 Independent Counsel Robert Ray announced the end of the White-water investigation, saying there was insufficient evidence to charge President Clinton and his wife, Hillary.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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