Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is killed
On October 20, 2011, Moammar Gadhafi, the longest-serving leader in Africa and the Arab world, is captured and killed by rebel forces near his
hometown of Sirte.
General MacArthur returns to the Philippines
After advancing island by island across the Pacific Ocean, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte, fulfilling
his promise to return to the area .
Dick Fosbury flops to an Olympic high jump record
On October 20, 1968, 21-year-old Oregonian Dick Fosbury wins gold—and sets an Olympic record—when he high-jumps 7 feet 4 1/4 inches at the Mexico
Sydney Opera House opens
After 15 years of construction, the Sydney Opera House is dedicated by Queen Elizabeth II. The $80 million structure, designed by Danish architect
Jørn Utzon .
Mao’s Long March concludes
Just over a year after the start of the Long March, Mao Zedong arrives in Shensi Province in northwest China with 4,000 survivors and sets up Chinese
Watergate special prosecutor dismissed, starting "Saturday Night Massacre"
On October 20, 1973, solicitor General Robert Bork dismisses Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox; Attorney General Richardson and Deputy
Attorney General Ruckelshaus resign in protest.
Kennedy secretly plans blockade of Cuba
On October 20, 1962, the White House press corps is told that President John F. Kennedy has a cold; in reality, he is holding secret meetings with
advisors on the eve of ordering a blockade of Cuba.
U.S. Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase
On October 20, 1803, the U.S. Senate approves a treaty with France providing for the purchase of the territory of Louisiana, which would double the
size of the United States.
Three members of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd die in a Mississippi plane crash
In the summer of 1977, members of the rock band Aerosmith inspected an airplane they were considering chartering for their upcoming tour—a Convair
240 operated out of Addison, Texas