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Friday 20 October 2023 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

October 20 Events

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October 20, year 2023; October 20, year 2024 see also: October 20, year 2016; October 20, year 2017; October 20, year 2018; October 20, year 2019; October 20, year 2020; October 20, year 2021; October 20, year 2022 calendar
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Holidays and observances


  • In 2016 researchers at James Cook University in Australia report that adding a type of dried seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) to the diet of cattle could reduce their emissions of methane by 50-70%.
  • 1973 – "Saturday Night Massacre": United States President Richard Nixon fires U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork.
  • 1968 – Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
  • 1961 – The Soviet Union performs the first armed test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, launching an R-13 from a Golf-class submarine.
  • 1952 – Governor Evelyn Baring declares a state of emergency in Kenya and begins arresting hundreds of suspected leaders of the Mau Mau Uprising, including Jomo Kenyatta, the future first President of Kenya.
  • 1947 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of the cinema of the United States, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years.
  • 1947 – The United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan establish diplomatic relations for the first time.
  • 1944 – American general Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he commands an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.
  • 1939 – Pope Pius XII publishes his first major encyclical, entitled Summi Pontificatus.
  • 1873 – Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Rutgers universities draft the first code of American football rules.
  • 1818 – The Convention of 1818 is signed between the United States and the United Kingdom, which settles the Canada–United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length.
  • 1803 – The United States Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1781 – The Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, is approved in Habsburg Monarchy.
  • 1548 – The city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace) is founded by Alonso de Mendoza by appointment of the king of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.


  • 1989 – Colin Wilson, Canadian-American ice hockey player, was an English writer, philosopher and novelist. He also wrote widely on true crime, mysticism and the paranormal, eventually writing more than a hundred books.
  • 1985 – Alphonso Smith, American football player, was a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons. Smith played college football for Wake Forest University, and received consensus All-American honors.
  • 1985 – Dominic McGuire, American basketball player. Dominic Rashad McGuire (born October 20, 1985) is an American professional basketball player who plays for Real Estelí Baloncesto.
  • 1985 – Jennifer Freeman, American actress. She is best known for playing the role of Claire Kyle in the sitcom My Wife and Kids.
  • 1984 – Mitch Lucker, American singer-songwriter (d. 2012), was an American singer, songwriter and bassist who was best known as the lead vocalist for the American deathcore band Suicide Silence.
  • 1982 – Katie Featherston, American actress. She is known for playing Katie in the Paranormal Activity series.
  • 1979 – John Krasinski, American actor, director, and producer. He also served as a producer and occasional director of the series throughout its nine-season run.
  • 1979 – Paul Terek, American decathlete. His personal best in decathlon is 8312 points, achieved in July 2004 in Sacramento at the United States Olympic Trials.
  • 1977 – Leila Josefowicz, Canadian-American violinist. Leila Bronia Josefowicz (born October 20, 1977) is an American-Canadian classical violinist.
  • 1976 – Dan Fogler, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He has appeared in films Balls of Fury, Good Luck Chuck, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and done voice acting for Kung Fu Panda and Horton Hears a Who! He currently stars on The Walking Dead as Luke.
  • 1974 – Bashar Rahal, Emirati-American actor and producer. Bashar Mounzer Rahal (Bulgarian: Башар Мунзер Рахал, Arabic: بشار رحال‎) is a Bulgarian actor of Lebanese descent, known for his role in the TV show It Can't Be equivalent of Saturday Night Live.
  • 1974 – Ed Hale, American singer-songwriter, writer and socio-political activist. Ed Hale (born October 20, 1974) is a writer, singer-songwriter-recording artist best known for his last solo album Ballad On Third Avenue and the three hit singles it produced, "I Walk Alone", "New Orleans Dreams" and "Scene in San Francisco", which all landed in the Billboard Top 40 Charts in the Adult Contemporary radio format.
  • 1972 – Brian Schatz, American academic and politician, 11th Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii. Brian Emanuel Schatz (/ʃɑːts/; born October 20, 1972) is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Hawaii, a seat he has held since 2012.
  • 1971 – Snoop Dogg, American rapper, producer, and actor. Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), known professionally as Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, media personality, entrepreneur, and actor.
  • 1970 – Michelle Malkin, American blogger and author. Michelle Malkin (/ˈmɔːlkɪn/; née Maglalang; born October 20, 1970) is an American conservative blogger, political commentator, author and businesswoman.
  • 1966 – Patrick Volkerding, American computer scientist and engineer, founded Slackware. Volkerding is Slackware's "Benevolent Dictator for Life" (BDFL), and is also known informally as "The Man".
  • 1965 – Jonathan I. Schwartz, American businessman. He is currently president, and CEO of CareZone, a firm devoted to lowering the price of prescription drugs for those facing chronic illness.
  • 1965 – William Zabka, American actor and producer. In 2004, he was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing and producing the short film Most.
  • 1964 – Kamala Harris, American lawyer and politician, 32nd Attorney General of California. She ran as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 election, before dropping out on December 3, 2019.
  • 1962 – David M. Evans, American director and screenwriter. A baseball fan, Evans directed and co-wrote The Sandlot (1993).
  • 1958 – Dave Krieg, American football player. David Michael Krieg (/ˈkreɪɡ/ KRAYG; born October 20, 1958) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL).
  • 1958 – Lynn Flewelling, American author and academic. Lynn Flewelling (born Lynn Elizabeth Beaulieu on October 20, 1958) is an American fantasy fiction author.
  • 1958 – Scott Hall, American wrestler. He is best known for his work with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) as Razor Ramon and with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under his real name.
  • 1958 – Valerie Faris, American director and producer. Jonathan Dayton (born July 7, 1957) and Valerie Faris (born October 20, 1958) are a team of American film and music video directors who received critical acclaim for their feature film directorial debut, Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
  • 1958 – Viggo Mortensen, American actor and producer. Viggo Peter Mortensen Jr. (/ˈviːɡoʊ ˈmɔːrtənsən/; Danish: ; born October 20, 1958) is a Danish-American actor, author, musician, photographer, poet, and painter.
  • 1957 – Hilda Solis, American academic and politician, 25th United States Secretary of Labor. Hilda Lucia Solis (/soʊˈliːs/; born October 20, 1957) is an American politician and a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the 1st district.
  • 1955 – Aaron Pryor, American boxer, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1976 to 1990. He was a two-time light welterweight world champion, having held the WBA title from 1980 to 1983, and the IBF title from 1984 to 1985.
  • 1955 – Thomas Newman, American composer and conductor. Thomas Montgomery Newman (born October 20, 1955) is an American composer best known for his many film scores.
  • 1954 – Steve Orich, American composer and conductor. Steve Orich (born October 20, 1954 in Valley Stream, New York) is a Composer, Orchestrator and Musical Director.
  • 1953 – Keith Hernandez, American baseball player and sportscaster. Hernandez was a five-time All-Star who shared the 1979 NL MVP award, and won two World Series titles, one each with the Cardinals and Mets.
  • 1953 – Richard McWilliam, American businessman and philanthropist, co-founded the Upper Deck Company (d. 2013). McWilliam (October 20, 1953 – January 5, 2013) was the chairman and co-founder of Upper Deck Company, a successful and award-winning Carlsbad-based collectibles business that specializes in trading cards for Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, National Football League and Major League Soccer.
  • 1952 – Melanie Mayron, American actress and director. In 2018, the Santa Fe Film Festival honored Mayron for her outstanding contributions to film and television.
  • 1951 – Al Greenwood, American keyboard player, was a founding member and keyboardist of the rock band Foreigner from 1976 to 1980. He performed on the albums Foreigner (1977), Double Vision (1978) and Head Games (1979).
  • 1951 – Ken Ham, Australian-American evangelist. Kenneth Alfred Ham (born 20 October 1951) is an Australian Christian fundamentalist, young Earth creationist and apologist, living in the United States.
  • 1950 – Tom Petty, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2017), was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976.
  • 1950 – William Russ, American actor and director. He played Alan Matthews on the sitcom Boy Meets World (1993–2000) and appeared in the television series Wiseguy, the soap operas Another World and The Young and the Restless and the feature films The Right Stuff (1983), Pastime (1990) and American History X (1998).
  • 1948 – Sandra Dickinson, American-English actress and composer. She has often played characters who fell into the trope of a dumb blonde with a high-pitched voice in the UK, notably in the Birds Eye Beefburger TV advertisements, directed by Alan Parker, in the early 1970s.
  • 1946 – Diana Gittins, American-English sociologist, author, and academic. Diana Gittins (born 20 October 1946), is a former associate lecturer in creative writing for the Open University and a published writer of fiction and non-fiction books.
  • 1946 – Lewis Grizzard, American comedian and author (d. 1994), was an American writer and humorist, known for his Southern demeanor and commentary on the American South. Although he spent his early career as a newspaper sports writer and editor, becoming the sports editor of the Atlanta Journal at age 23, he is much better known for his humorous newspaper columns in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • 1944 – David Mancuso, American party planner, created The Loft (d. 2016), was an American disc jockey who created the popular "by invitation only" parties in New York City, which later became known as "The Loft". The first party, called "Love Saves The Day", was in 1970.
  • 1942 – Earl Hindman, American actor (d. 2003), was an American film and television actor, best known for his role as the kindly unseen neighbor Wilson W. Wilson Jr. on the television sitcom Home Improvement (1991–99).
  • 1940 – Robert Pinsky, American poet and critic. Pinsky is the author of nineteen books, most of which are collections of his poetry.
  • 1937 – Wanda Jackson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Wanda Lavonne Jackson (born October 20, 1937) is a retired American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers, and a pioneering rock-and-roll artist.
  • 1936 – Bobby Seale, American activist, co-founded the Black Panther Party. Anti-war and civil rights movements
  • 1935 – Jerry Orbach, American actor and singer (d. 2004), was an American actor and singer, described at the time of his death as "one of the last bona fide leading men of the Broadway musical and global celebrity on television" and a "versatile stage and film actor".
  • 1934 – Bill Chase, American trumpet player (d. 1974), was an American trumpeter and leader of the jazz-rock band Chase.
  • 1934 – Eddie Harris, American saxophonist (d. 1996), was an American jazz musician, best known for playing tenor saxophone and for introducing the electrically amplified saxophone. He was also fluent on the electric piano and organ.
  • 1933 – Barrie Chase, American actress and dancer. Barrie Chase (born October 20, 1933) is an American actress and dancer originally from Kings Point, New York.
  • 1932 – Rosey Brown, American football player and coach (d. 2004). He was an offensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants from 1953 to 1965.
  • 1932 – William Christopher, American actor and singer (d. 2016), was an American actor and comedian, best known for playing Private Lester Hummel on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. from 1965 to 1968 and Father Mulcahy on the television series M*A*S*H from 1972 to 1983 and its spinoff AfterMASH from 1983 to 1985.
  • 1931 – Mickey Mantle, American baseball player and sportscaster (d. 1995), was an American professional baseball player. Mantle played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career (1951–1968) with the New York Yankees as a center fielder, right fielder, and first baseman.
  • 1931 – Richard Caliguiri, American lawyer and politician, 54th Mayor of Pittsburgh (d. 1988). Caliguiri (October 20, 1931 – May 6, 1988) was an American politician who served as the mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1977 until his death in 1988.
  • 1927 – Joyce Brothers, American psychologist, author, and actress (d. 2013), was an American psychologist, television personality and columnist, who wrote a daily newspaper advice column from 1960 to 2013. In 1955, she became the only woman to win the top prize on the American game show The $64,000 Question, answering questions on the topic of boxing, which was suggested as a stunt by the show's producers.
  • 1925 – Art Buchwald, American soldier and journalist (d. 2007), was an American humorist best known for his column in The Washington Post. At the height of his popularity, it was published nationwide as a syndicated column in more than 500 newspapers.
  • 1925 – Tom Dowd, American record producer and engineer (d. 2002), was an American recording engineer and producer for Atlantic Records. He was credited with innovating the multitrack recording method.
  • 1924 – Robert Peters, American poet, playwright, and critic (d. 2014), was an American poet, critic, scholar, playwright, editor, and actor born in an impoverished rural area of northern Wisconsin in 1924. He held a Ph.D in Victorian literature.
  • 1923 – Robert Craft, American conductor and musicologist (d. 2015), was an American conductor and writer. He is best known for his intimate professional relationship with Igor Stravinsky, on which Craft drew in producing numerous recordings and books.
  • 1922 – Franco Ventriglia, American opera singer (d. 2012), was an opera singer who sang bass in every major European opera house during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. He returned to the U.S. in 1978, where he continued to perform at venues including Carnegie Hall, and traveled to perform in southeast Asia, until his retirement in 2001 at age 79.
  • 1921 – Manny Ayulo, American racing driver (d. 1955), was an American racecar driver. His efforts, along with those of friend and teammate Jack McGrath, helped establish track roadsters as viable race cars.
  • 1920 – Nick Cardy, American illustrator (d. 2013), was an American comics artist best known for his DC Comics work on Aquaman, the Teen Titans and other major characters. Cardy was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005.
  • 1919 – Tracy Hall, American chemist and academic (d. 2008), was an American physical chemist and the first person who grew a synthetic diamond by a reproducible, verifiable, and witnessed process, using a press of his own design.
  • 1918 – Robert Lochner, American-German soldier and journalist (d. 2003). Lochner (October 20, 1918 - September 21, 2003) was a journalist who helped to revive the free media in West Germany after World War II and who is most well known for assisting John F.
  • 1914 – Fayard Nicholas, American actor, dancer, and choreographer (d. 2006), was an American choreographer, dancer and actor. He and his younger brother Harold Nicholas made up the Nicholas Brothers tap dance duo, who starred in the MGM musicals An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), Stormy Weather (1943), The Pirate (1948), and Hard Four (2007).
  • 1913 – Grandpa Jones, American singer-songwriter and banjo player (d. 1998), was an American banjo player and "old time" country and gospel music singer. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
  • 1910 – Bob Sheppard, American sportscaster (d. 2010), was the long-time public address announcer for numerous New York area college and professional sports teams, in particular the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (1951–2007), and the New York Giants (1956–2006) of the National Football League. Between 1958-1961, he also served as a substitute announcer on the TV game show Beat the Clock.
  • 1909 – Carla Laemmle, American actress and photographer (d. 2014), was an American actress of German Jewish descent, and the niece of Universal Pictures studio founder Carl Laemmle. She was a movie actress in the 1920s and 1930s, and one of the longest surviving actors of the silent film era.
  • 1907 – Arlene Francis, American actress and television personality (d. 2001), was an American actress, radio and television talk show host, and game show panelist. She is known for her long-standing role as a panelist on the television game show What's My Line?, on which she regularly appeared for 25 years, from 1950–1975 on both the network and syndicated versions of the show.
  • 1904 – Enolia McMillan, American educator and activist (d. 2006), was an African American educator, civil rights activist, and community leader and the first female national president of the NAACP.
  • 1901 – Adelaide Hall, American-English singer, actress, and dancer (d. 1993), was an American-born UK-based jazz singer and entertainer. Her long career spanned more than 70 years from 1921 until her death and she was a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
  • 1901 – Frank Churchill, American film composer (d. 1942). He wrote most of the music for Disney's 1937 movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, including "Heigh-Ho", "Whistle While You Work", and "Some Day My Prince Will Come".
  • 1900 – Wayne Morse, American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician (d. 1974), was an American attorney and United States Senator from Oregon, known for his proclivity for opposing his party's leadership, and specifically for his opposition to the Vietnam War on constitutional grounds.
  • 1895 – Morrie Ryskind, American writer/director (d. 1985), was an American dramatist, lyricist and writer of theatrical productions and motion pictures, who became a conservative political activist later in life.
  • 1894 – Olive Thomas, American model and actress (d. 1920). Duffy; October 20, 1894 – September 10, 1920) was an American silent-film actress and model.
  • 1893 – Charley Chase, American actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1940), was an American comedian, actor, screenwriter and film director best known for his work in Hal Roach short film comedies. He was the elder brother of comedian/director James Parrott.
  • 1891 – Samuel Flagg Bemis, American historian and author (d. 1973), was an American historian and biographer. For many years he taught at Yale University.
  • 1885 – Jelly Roll Morton, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (Red Hot Peppers and New Orleans Rhythm Kings) (d. 1941), was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who started his career in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1882 – Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-American actor (d. 1956), was a Hungarian-American actor best remembered for portraying Count Dracula in the 1931 film and for his roles in other horror films.
  • 1882 – Margaret Dumont, American actress (d. 1965), was an American stage and film actress. She is best remembered as the comic foil to the Marx Brothers in seven of their films.
  • 1874 – Charles Ives, American composer (d. 1954), was an American modernist composer, one of the first American composers of international renown. His music was largely ignored during his early life, and many of his works went unperformed for many years.
  • 1864 – James F. Hinkle, American banker and politician, 6th Governor of New Mexico (d. 1951), was an American politician and the sixth governor of New Mexico.
  • 1859 – John Dewey, American psychologist and philosopher (d. 1952), was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He is regarded as one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.
  • 1819 – Báb, Iranian religious leader, founded Bábism (d. 1850), was the founder of Bábism, and one of the central figures of the Baháʼí Faith.
  • 1801 – Melchior Berri, Swiss architect and educator, designed the Natural History Museum of Basel (d. 1854), was a well-known Swiss architect.
  • 1759 – Chauncey Goodrich, American lawyer and politician, 8th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut (d. 1815), was an American lawyer and politician from Connecticut who represented that state in the United States Congress as both a senator and a representative.
  • 1711 – Timothy Ruggles, American lawyer, jurist, and politician, (d. 1795), was an American colonial military leader, jurist and politician. He was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress of 1765, and later a loyalist during the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1632 – Christopher Wren, English physicist, mathematician, and architect, designed St Paul's Cathedral (d. 1723), was an English anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist, as well as one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. He was accorded responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710.


  • 2016 – Robert E. Kramek, former United States Coast Guard admiral (b. 1939)
  • 2014 – Oscar de la Renta, Dominican-American fashion designer (b. 1932)
  • 2013 – Larri Thomas, American actress and dancer (b. 1932)
  • 2013 – Lawrence Klein, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1920)
  • 2013 – Sid Yudain, American journalist, founded Roll Call (b. 1923)
  • 2012 – Dave May, American baseball player (b. 1943)
  • 2012 – E. Donnall Thomas, American physician and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1920)
  • 2012 – John McConnell, American activist, created Earth Day (b. 1915)
  • 2012 – Paul Kurtz, American philosopher and academic (b. 1925)
  • 2012 – Raymond Watson, American businessman (b. 1926)
  • 2010 – Bob Guccione, American publisher, founded Penthouse magazine (b. 1930)
  • 2008 – Gene Hickerson, American football player (b. 1935)
  • 2007 – Max McGee, American football player and sportscaster (b. 1932)
  • 2006 – Jane Wyatt, American actress (b. 1910)
  • 2005 – Shirley Horn, American singer and pianist (b. 1934)
  • 2004 – Anthony Hecht, American poet and educator (b. 1923)
  • 2004 – Chuck Hiller, American baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1934)
  • 2003 – Jack Elam, American actor (b. 1918)
  • 2001 – Ted Ammon, American financier and banker (b. 1949)
  • 1999 – Calvin Griffith, Canadian-American businessman (b. 1911)
  • 1994 – Burt Lancaster, American actor (b. 1913)
  • 1992 – Werner Torkanowsky, German-American conductor (b. 1926)
  • 1990 – Joel McCrea, American actor (b. 1905)
  • 1984 – Carl Ferdinand Cori, Czech-American biochemist and pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1896)
  • 1984 – Paul Dirac, English-American physicist and mathematician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1902)
  • 1983 – Merle Travis, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1917)
  • 1977 – Ronnie Van Zant, American singer-songwriter (b. 1948)
  • 1977 – Steve Gaines, American guitarist (b. 1949)
  • 1972 – Harlow Shapley, American astronomer and academic (b. 1885)
  • 1964 – Herbert Hoover, American engineer and politician, 31st President of the United States (b. 1874)
  • 1957 – Michalis Dorizas, Greek-American javelin thrower and football player (b. 1890)
  • 1950 – Henry L. Stimson, American colonel, lawyer, and politician, 46th United States Secretary of State (b. 1867)
  • 1940 – Gunnar Asplund, Swedish architect and academic, co-designed Skogskyrkogården (b. 1885)
  • 1936 – Anne Sullivan, American educator (b. 1866)
  • 1926 – Eugene V. Debs, American union leader and politician (b. 1855)
  • 1910 – David B. Hill, American lawyer and politician, 29th Governor of New York (b. 1843)
  • 1865 – Champ Ferguson, American guerrilla leader (b. 1821)
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