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Today’s anniversaries, September 20, 2023: What happened on September 20?

Featured events on September 20

World Paella Day, International University Sports Day, World Day for Freedom of Expression of Thought

1519.- Five ships commanded by Ferdinand Magellan leave the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) in search of a new route to the spice market, an expedition that Juan Sebastián Elcano completed three years later as the first circumnavigation of the world.

1867.- The Spanish frigate “Numancia” finishes its trip around the world in Cádiz, after 2 years and 7 months of navigation. She becomes the first armored ship to circumnavigate the Earth.

1900.- Dissolution of the Papal States, which were under papal authority since 751, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the occupation of Rome.

1920.- The Tercio de Extranjeros, a shock force of the Spanish Army in Morocco promoted by Millán Astray, was founded, later called the Spanish Legion.


1961.- The UN “blue helmets” take over Elisabethville, capital of the province of Katanga, ending its secession from the Congo and avoiding a civil war.

1970.- The Soviet probe “Luna 16”, the first unmanned spacecraft to successfully land on the Moon to collect rocks and bring them to Earth.

1974.- Hurricane “Fifi”, with winds of up to 208 km/h, leaves 10,000 dead in Honduras.

1974.- The Frelimo liberation movement forms a transitional government in Mozambique.

1979.- The president of the Central African Republic, Bokassa I, who had proclaimed himself emperor, was overthrown by a coup d’état.

1984.- Suicide attack against the US Embassy in Beirut (Lebanon) that causes 20 deaths and is attributed to Islamic Jihad.

1990.- The Parliaments of the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany ratify the Treaty of Political Unification of the two Germanys.

1992.- The French approve in a referendum the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty of the EU, with the support of 51.05 percent of the votes.

1999.- An international UN force arrives in East Timor after the victory in the popular consultation of the option of independence against the continued Indonesian occupation.

2003.- Latvia votes “yes” in the referendum for entry into the EU, with 67 percent support.

2006.- The discovery in Ethiopia of the fossil of a girl from 3.3 million years ago is published.

2008.- Suicide attack with a truck bomb against the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad (Pakistan): 53 dead and 266 injured.

2009.- World leaders meet at UN headquarters in New York to review compliance with the Millennium Development Goals.

2011.- The former president of Afghanistan Burhanudin Rabbani, the main mediator with the Taliban, and five other people die in an attack by a suicide with an explosive vest at his home in Kabul.

2015.- The leftist Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, wins the early general elections in Greece and reaches an absolute majority.

2015.- The series “Game of Thrones” breaks the Emmy record with 12 statuettes.

2017.- The Civil Guard arrests fourteen senior officials of the Government of Catalonia by court order. The central government assumes budgetary control of the Community and the Constitutional Court annuls the agreements to call the illegal 1-O referendum.

Featured births on September 20

1903.- Marcial Lalanda, Spanish bullfighter.

1917.- Fernando Rey, Spanish actor.

1929.- Vittorio Taviani, Italian film director.

1934.- Sofía Loren, Italian actress.

1951.- Javier Marías Franco, writer, translator and academic of the RAE.

1955.- José “Pepín” Rivero, Spanish golf player.

1959.- Maribel Atiénzar, Spanish bullfighter.

1961.- Erwin Koema, Dutch former footballer and coach.

1975.- Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombian racing driver.

1981.- Feliciano López, Spanish tennis player.

Deaths highlighted on September 20

1908.- Pablo Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer.

1908.- Nicolás Salmerón, university professor and former president of the First Spanish Republic.

1957.- Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer.

1971.- George Seferis, Greek writer, diplomat and Nobel Prize in Literature in 1963.

1979.- Ludvík Svoboda, former president of Czechoslovakia.

1981.- Josefina Carabias, Spanish writer and journalist.

1999.- Raisa Gorbachova, wife of Mijail Gorbachev.

2004.- Brian Clough, English football legend.

2005.- Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian, the best-known “Nazi hunter” in history.

2011.- Burhanudin Rabbani, former Afghan president.

2020.- Gerardo Vera, Spanish theater director. EFE



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