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Saturday 20 April 2024 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

April 20 Events

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Holidays and observances


  • 2008 – Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.
  • 1916 – The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park (currently Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7–6 in 11 innings.
  • 1898 – President William McKinley signed a joint resolution to Congress for declaration of War against Spain, beginning the Spanish-American War.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.
  • 1828 – René Caillié becomes the second non-Muslim to enter, and the first to return from, Timbuktu, following Major Gordon Laing.
  • 1826 – Major Gordon Laing becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbuktu.
  • 1809 – Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four-day campaign that ended in a French victory.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: The Siege of Boston begins, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.
  • 1535 – The sun dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting Vädersolstavlan.
  • 1534 – Jacques Cartier begins his first voyage to what is today the east coast of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador.


  • 1988 – Brandon Belt, American baseball player. Brandon Kyle Belt (born April 20, 1988) is an American professional baseball first baseman for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • 1985 – Curt Hawkins, American wrestler. Brian Myers (born April 20, 1985) is an American professional wrestler and promoter.
  • 1984 – Jenna Shoemaker, American triathlete. Jenna Shoemaker (born 20 April 1984 in Concord, Massachusetts) is an actor, writer, former professional US triathlete and former member of the USA National Team.
  • 1983 – Danny Granger, American basketball player. Danny Granger Jr. (born April 20, 1983) is an American former professional basketball player who played ten seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
  • 1979 – Nate Marquardt, American mixed martial artist. Nathan Joel "Nate" Marquardt (born April 20, 1979) is an American retired mixed martial artist who competed in the middleweight and welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
  • 1973 – Lamond Murray, American basketball player. Lamond Maurice Murray Sr. (born April 20, 1973) is an American former professional basketball player.
  • 1972 – Carmen Electra, American model and actress. Tara Leigh Patrick (born April 20, 1972), known professionally as Carmen Electra, is an American model, actress, television personality, singer and dancer.
  • 1971 – Allan Houston, American basketball player and manager. Houston made the NBA All-Star Team twice and also won a gold medal as a member of the U.S. men's basketball team at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
  • 1970 – Shemar Moore, American actor. From 2002 to 2003 he was a regular in the television series Birds of Prey.
  • 1967 – Mike Portnoy, American drummer and songwriter. Michael Stephen Portnoy (born April 20, 1967) is an American drummer and songwriter primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater.
  • 1966 – David Filo, American businessman, co-founded Yahoo!. His Filo Server Program, written in the C programming language, was the server-side software used to dynamically serve variable web pages, called Filo Server Pages, on visits to early versions of the Yahoo! website.
  • 1964 – Crispin Glover, American actor. Crispin Hellion Glover (born April 20, 1964) is an American actor and director.
  • 1964 – Rosalynn Sumners, American figure skater. National champion in 1982, 1983 and 1984, World champion in 1983, and won a silver medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics (second to Katarina Witt).
  • 1961 – Don Mattingly, American baseball player, coach, and manager. Donald Arthur Mattingly (born April 20, 1961) is an American former professional baseball first baseman, coach, and current manager for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • 1955 – Donald Pettit, American engineer and astronaut. As of 2018, at age 64, he is NASA's oldest active astronaut.
  • 1951 – Luther Vandross, American singer-songwriter and producer (d. 2005), was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. Throughout his career, Vandross was an in-demand background vocalist for several different artists including Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Ben E.
  • 1950 – Steve Erickson, American author and critic. The recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he is the only Southern California novelist to win the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 1949 – Jessica Lange, American actress. Additionally, she is the second actress in history to win the Academy Award for Best Actress after winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the third actress and first performer since 1943 to receive two Oscar nominations within the same year, the fifth actress and ninth performer to win Oscars in both the lead and supporting acting categories, and is tied as the sixth most Oscar-nominated actress in history.
  • 1949 – Veronica Cartwright, English-American actress. She is best known for her roles in the 1970s science fiction films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alien, for which she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
  • 1948 – Gregory Itzin, American actor. Gregory Martin Itzin (born April 20, 1948) is an Emmy nominated American film and television actor.
  • 1947 – Andrew Tobias, American journalist and author. He is also known for writing The Best Little Boy in the World, a 1973 memoir – originally pseudonymous – about life as a gay man.
  • 1946 – Gordon Smiley, American race car driver (d. 1982), was an American race car driver who was killed in a single-car crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2000.
  • 1946 – Tommy Hutton, American baseball player and sportscaster. Thomas George Hutton (born April 20, 1946), is an American former professional baseball infielder-outfielder who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, and Montreal Expos.
  • 1945 – Michael Brandon, American actor and director. His theatre credits include the original Broadway production of Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? (1969), and playing Jerry Springer in the West End production of Jerry Springer: The Opera (2003–04).
  • 1945 – Steve Spurrier, American football player and coach. He attended the University of Florida, where he won the 1966 Heisman Trophy as a college football quarterback with the Florida Gators.
  • 1943 – Edie Sedgwick, American model and actress (d. 1971), was an American socialite, actress and fashion model. She is best known for being one of Andy Warhol's superstars.
  • 1941 – Ryan O'Neal, American actor. In 1964, he landed the role of Rodney Harrington on the ABC nighttime soap opera Peyton Place.
  • 1940 – James Gammon, American actor (d. 2010), was an American actor, known for playing grizzled "good ol' boy" types in numerous films and television series. Gammon is best known as Lou Brown, the manager in the movies Major League and Major League II, which portrayed a fictitious version of the Cleveland Indians.
  • 1939 – Johnny Tillotson, American singer-songwriter. He also sang "Yellow Bird", an adaptation of the Haitian song.
  • 1939 – Peter S. Beagle, American author and screenwriter. Nebula Award 2007 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement 2011
  • 1937 – George Takei, American actor. George Hosato Takei (/təˈkeɪ/; born Hosato Takei, April 20, 1937) is an American actor, author, and activist.
  • 1937 – Harvey Quaytman, American painter and educator (d. 2002), was a geometric abstraction painter best known for large modernist canvases with powerful monochromatic tones, in layered compositions, often with hard edges - inspired by Malevich and Mondrian. He had more than 60 solo exhibitions in his career, and his works are held in the collections of many top public museums.
  • 1936 – Pat Roberts, American captain, journalist, and politician. Charles Patrick Roberts (born April 20, 1936) is an American politician of the Republican Party serving as the senior United States Senator from Kansas, a position he has held since 1997.
  • 1930 – Dwight Gustafson, American composer and conductor (d. 2014), was an American composer, conductor, and dean of the School of Fine Arts at Bob Jones University.
  • 1929 – Bobby Hollander, American film director, actor, and magazine publisher (d. 2002), was an American adult film director, performer, and magazine publisher. He directed 59 pornographic movies between 1979 and 1995.
  • 1929 – Harry Agganis, American baseball and football player (d. 1955), was an American college football player and professional baseball player. After passing up a potential professional football career, he played in Major League Baseball as a first baseman from 1954 to 1955 for the Boston Red Sox.
  • 1927 – Phil Hill, American race car driver (d. 2008), was an American automobile racer and the only American-born driver to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (Mario Andretti, an Italian American driver, won the World Drivers' Championship in 1978, but was not born in the United States). He also scored three wins at each of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring sports car races.
  • 1925 – Elena Verdugo, American actress (d. 2017), was an American actress who began in films at the age of five in Cavalier of the West (1931). Her career in radio, television, and film spanned six decades.
  • 1925 – Ernie Stautner, German-American football player and coach (d. 2006), was an American football coach and defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Boston College.
  • 1924 – Nina Foch, Dutch-American actress (d. 2008). After signing a contract with Columbia Pictures at age 19, Foch became a regular in the studio's horror pictures and films noir before establishing herself as a leading lady in the mid-1940s through the 1950s, often playing roles as cool, aloof sophisticates.
  • 1923 – Irene Lieblich, Polish-American painter and illustrator (d. 2008), was a Polish-born artist and Holocaust survivor noted for illustrating the books of Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer and for her paintings highlighting Jewish life and culture. She is also a distant cousin of noted Yiddish language author and playwright Isaac Leib Peretz.
  • 1923 – Mother Angelica, American nun and broadcaster, founded Eternal Word Television Network (d. 2016), was a Catholic American Poor Clare nun best known for her television personality. She was also the founder of the internationally broadcast cable television network Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and the radio network WEWN.
  • 1923 – Tito Puente, American drummer and producer (d. 2000), was an American musician, songwriter and record producer. The son of Ernest and Felicia Puente, native Puerto Ricans living in New York City's Spanish Harlem, Puente is often credited as "The Musical Pope", "El Rey de los Timbales" (The King of the Timbales) and "The King of Latin Music".
  • 1920 – John Paul Stevens, American lawyer and jurist, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1975 until his voluntary retirement in 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the second-oldest-serving justice in the history of the court and the third-longest-serving justice.
  • 1920 – Ronald Speirs, American colonel (d. 2007). In the award-winning television miniseries Band of Brothers, he was portrayed by Matthew Settle.
  • 1915 – Joseph Wolpe, South African-American psychotherapist and physician (d. 1997), was a South African psychiatrist and one of the most influential figures in behavior therapy.
  • 1914 – Betty Lou Gerson, American actress (d. 1999), was an American actress, predominantly active in radio, but also in film and television, and as a voice actress. She is best known as the voice of the villainous, selfish socialite Cruella de Vil from Walt Disney's animated film, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) for which she was named a Disney Legend in 1996.
  • 1908 – Lionel Hampton, African-American vibraphone player, pianist, bandleader, and actor (d. 2002), was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, and bandleader. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, and Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Quincy Jones.
  • 1904 – Bruce Cabot, American actor (d. 1972), was an American film actor, best remembered as Jack Driscoll in King Kong (1933) and for his roles in films such as The Last of the Mohicans (1936), Fritz Lang's Fury (1936) and the western Dodge City (1939). He was also known as one of "Wayne's Regulars", appearing in a number of John Wayne films beginning with Angel and the Badman (1947), and concluding with Big Jake (1971).
  • 1895 – Emile Christian, American trombonist and composer (d. 1973), was an early jazz trombonist; he also played cornet and string bass. He also wrote a number of tunes, including "Meet Me At the Green Goose", "Satanic Blues", and "Mardi Gras Parade".
  • 1893 – Harold Lloyd, American actor, comedian, and producer (d. 1971), was an American actor, comedian, and stunt performer who appeared in many silent comedy films.
  • 1891 – Dave Bancroft, American baseball player and manager (d. 1972). He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins between 1915 and 1930.
  • 1884 – Oliver Kirk, American boxer (d. 1960), was an American bantamweight and featherweight professional boxer who won two gold medals in Boxing at the 1904 Summer Olympics.
  • 1882 – Holland Smith, American general (d. 1967), was a general in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He is sometimes called the "father" of modern U.S. amphibious warfare.
  • 1851 – Siegmund Lubin, Polish-American businessman, founded the Lubin Manufacturing Company (d. 1923), was a German-American motion picture pioneer who founded the Lubin Manufacturing Company (1902–1917) of Philadelphia.
  • 1850 – Daniel Chester French, American sculptor, designed the Lincoln statue (d. 1931). Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931), one of the most prolific and acclaimed American sculptors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, is best known for his design of the monumental statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC.
  • 1818 – Heinrich Göbel, German-American mechanic and engineer (d. 1893), was a precision mechanic and inventor. In 1848 he emigrated to New York City, where he resided until his death.
  • 1723 – Cornelius Harnett, American merchant, farmer, and politician (d. 1781), was an American merchant, farmer, and statesman from Wilmington, North Carolina. He was a leading American Revolutionary statesman in the Cape Fear region, and a delegate for North Carolina in the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1779.
  • 1718 – David Brainerd, American missionary (d. 1747), was an American missionary to the Native Americans who had a particularly fruitful ministry among the Delaware Indians of New Jersey. During his short life he was beset by many difficulties.


  • 2017 – Cuba Gooding Sr., American singer and actor (b. 1944)
  • 2016 – Chyna, American wrestler (b. 1969)
  • 2014 – Rubin Carter, American-Canadian boxer (b. 1937)
  • 2010 – Dorothy Height, American educator and activist (b. 1912)
  • 2002 – Alan Dale, American singer (b. 1925)
  • 1999 – Casualties of the Columbine High School massacre: - Cassie Bernall, American student (b. 1981)
  • 1999 – Casualties of the Columbine High School massacre: - Dylan Klebold, American student and murderer (b. 1981)
  • 1999 – Casualties of the Columbine High School massacre: - Eric Harris, American student and murderer (b. 1981)
  • 1999 – Casualties of the Columbine High School massacre: - Rachel Scott, American student, inspired the Rachel's Challenge (b. 1981)
  • 1991 – Don Siegel, American director and producer (b. 1912)
  • 1982 – Archibald MacLeish, American poet, playwright, and lawyer (b. 1892)
  • 1968 – Rudolph Dirks, German-American illustrator (b. 1877)
  • 1944 – Elmer Gedeon, American baseball player and pilot (b. 1917)
  • 1918 – Karl Ferdinand Braun, German-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1850)
  • 1874 – Alexander H. Bailey, American lawyer, judge, and politician (b. 1817)
  • 1873 – William Tite, English architect, designed the Royal Exchange (b. 1798)
  • 1769 – Chief Pontiac, American tribal leader (b. 1720)
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