on this day 9/20


1519 – Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan left Spain to find a route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Magellan was killed during the trip, but one of his ships eventually made the journey.

1870 – The Papal States came under the control of Italian troops, leading to the unification of Italy.

1881 – Chester A. Arthur became the 21st president of the U.S. President James A. Garfield had died the day before.

1884 – The Equal Rights Party was formed in San Francisco, CA

1921 – KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, started a daily radio newscast. It was one of the first in the U.S.

1946 – The first Cannes Film Festival premiered. The original premier was delayed in 1939 due to World War II.

1946 – WNBT-TV in New York became the first station to promote a motion picture. Scenes from “The Jolson Story” were shown.

1953 – Jimmy Stewart debuted on the radio western “The Six Shooter” on NBC.

1962 – James Meredith, a black student, was blocked from enrolling at the University of Mississippi by Governor Ross R. Barnett. Meredith was later admitted. 

1963 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy proposed a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition to the moon in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

1967 – The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) was launched. It went out of service on November 27, 2008.

1977 – The first of the “boat people” arrived in San Francisco from Southeast Asia under a new U.S. resettlement program.

1982 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced that the U.S., France, and Italy were going to send peacekeeping troops back to Beirut.

1988 – The United Nations opened it 43rd General Assembly. 

1989 – F.W. de Klerk was sworn in as president of South Africa.

1991 – U.N. weapons inspectors left for Iraq in a renewed search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

1992 – French voters approved the Maastricht Treaty.

1995 – AT&T announced that it would be splitting into three companies. The three companies were AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and NCR Corp.

1995 – The U.S. House of Representatives voted to drop the national speed limit. This allowed the states to decide their own speed limits.

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