|September 20 in recent years
September 20 is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 102 days remaining until the end of the year.
- 451 - The Battle of Chalons, in North Eastern France. Flavius Aetius' victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, considered and believed to be the largest battle in the ancient world.
- 1187 - Saladin begins the Siege of Jerusalem.
- 1378 - Cardinal Robert of Geneva, called by some the Butcher of Cesena, is elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.
- 1519 - Ferdinand Magellan - set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.
- 1596 - Diego de Montemayor founded the city of Monterrey in New Spain.
- 1633 - Galileo Galilei is tried before the Inquisition for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun.
- 1737 - Runner Edward Marshall completes his journey in the Walking Purchase forcing the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony.
- 1792 - French troops stop allied invasion of France, during the War of the First Coalition at Valmy.
- 1835 - Farroupilha's Revolution begins in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
- 1848 - The American Association for the Advancement of Science was created.
- 1854 - Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeat Russians in the Crimea.
- 1857 - The Indian Mutiny ends with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company.
- 1860 - The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of the United Kingdom) visits the United States.
- 1863 - American Civil War: The Battle of Chickamauga ends.
- 1870 - Bersaglieri corps enters Rome through Porta Pia and completes the unification of Italy; see capture of Rome.
- 1871 - Bishop John Coleridge Patteson martyred on the island of Nukapu a Polynesian outlier island now in the Temotu province of the Solomon Islands. He was the first bishop of Melanesia.
- 1879 - Cliftonville Football Club, the oldest club in Ireland, is founded.
- 1881 - Chester A. Arthur is inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States.
- 1891 - The first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, United States.
- 1906 - Cunard Line's RMS Mauretania is launched at the Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson shipyard in Newcastle.
- 1917 - Paraguay becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
- 1920 - Foundation of the Spanish Legion.
- 1930 - Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was formed by Archbishop Mar Ivanios
- 1939 - A German Messerschmitt Bf 109 is shot down by Fairey Battle gunner Sgt. F. Letchard during a patrol near Aachen. This is the RAF's first aerial victory of the Second World War.
- 1942 - Holocaust in Letychiv, Ukraine. In the course of two days German SS murders at least 3,000 Jews
- 1946 - The first Cannes Film Festival is held.
- 1954 - New Zealand's Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents reports just ten days after concluding hearings.
- 1962 - James Meredith, an African-American, is barred from entering the University of Mississippi.
- 1967 - The RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched at John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland. It is operated by the Cunard Line.
- 1970 - Syrian tanks roll into Jordan in response to continued fighting between Jordan and the fedayeen. The Jordanians knock out 30 of the Syrian tanks.
- 1973 - Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in battle-of-sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome in Houston.
- 1977 - The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is admitted to the United Nations
- 1979 - Lee Iacocca is elected president of the Chrysler Corporation.
- 1979 - A coup d'état in the Central African Empire overthrows Emperor Bokasa I.
- 1979 - The Punjab wing of the Unity Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India formally splits and constitutes a parallel UCCRI(ML).
- 1979 - Assassination of French left-wing militant Pierre Goldman.
- 1984 - A suicide bomber in a car attacks the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing twenty-two people.
- 1990 - South Ossetia declares its independence from Georgia.
- 2000 - The British MI6 Secret Intelligence Service building was attacked by a Russian-built Mark 22 anti-tank missile
- 2001 - In an address to a joint session of Congress and the American People president George W. Bush declares "war on terror".
- 2002 - Kolka-Karmadon rock/ice slide started.
- 2003 - A referendum is held in Latvia to decide the country's accession to the European Union.
- 2003 - Maldives civil unrest: the death of prisoner Hassan Evan Naseem sparks a day of rioting in Malé.
- 1486 - Arthur, son of King Henry VII of England (d. 1502)
- 1599 - Christian the Younger, German Protestant military leader (d. 1623)
- 1744 - Thomas Grosvenor, American Revolutionary War hero (d. 1825)
- 1746 - Móric Beňovský, Slovak officer and explorer, King of Madagaskar (d. 1786)
- 1778 - Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Russian naval officer and explorer (d. 1852)
- 1833 - Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, Italian pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1918)
- 1842 - James Dewar, Scottish chemist (d. 1923)
- 1844 - William H. Illingworth, American photographer (d. 1893)
- 1853 - Rama V, King of Thailand (d. 1910)
- 1861 - Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress (d. 1955)
- 1872 - Maurice Gamelin, French army general (d. 1958)
- 1873 - Sidney Olcott, Canadian film director (d. 1949)
- 1873 - Ferenc Szisz, Hungarian race car driver (d. 1944)
- 1878 - Upton Sinclair, American writer (d. 1968)
- 1880 - Louise Peete, American murderess (d. 1947)
- 1884 - Maxwell Perkins, American editor and publisher (d. 1947)
- 1885 - Jelly Roll Morton, American jazz pianist, bandleader and composer (d. 1941)
- 1886 - Charles Williams, British author (d. 1945)
- 1889 - Charles Reidpath, American athlete (d. 1975)
- 1899 - Leo Strauss, German-born philosopher (d. 1973)
- 1902 - Stevie Smith, British poet (d. 1971)
- 1911 - Shriram Sharma Acharya, Indian spiritual leader (d. 1991)
- 1914 - Kenneth More, English actor (d. 1982)
- 1916 - Malik Meraj Khalid, Former Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan (d. 2003)
- 1917 - Red Auerbach, American basketball coach (d. 2006)
- 1917 - Fernando Rey, Spanish-born actor (d. 1994)
- 1920 - Jay Ward, American animated cartoonist (d. 1989)
- 1920 - Alberto de Lacerda, Portuguese poet (d. 2007)
- 1922 - William Kapell, American pianist (d. 1953)
- 1923 - Geraldine Clinton Little, Irish-born poet (d. 1997)
- 1924 - Gogi Grant, American singer
- 1925 - Ananda Mahidol, King of Thailand (d. 1946)
- 1925 - Bobby Nunn, American singer (The Coasters) (d. 1986)
- 1926 - Donald Hall, American poet and US Poet Laureate
- 1927 - Johnny Dankworth, English musician and composer
- 1927 - Rachel Roberts, English actress (d. 1980)
- 1928 - Joyce Brothers, American psychologist and advice columnist
- 1928 - Kirsten Rolffes, Danish actress (d. 2000)
- 1929 - Anne Meara, American comic and actress
- 1931 - Cherd Songsri, Thai filmmaker (d. 2006)
- 1933 - Dennis Viollet, English former footballer (d. 1999)
- 1934 - Sophia Loren, Italian actress
- 1935 - Jim Taylor, National Football League player
- 1935 - Keith Roberts, British science fiction author (d. 2000)
- 1935 - David Pegg, English footballer (d. 1958)
- 1937 - Birgitta Dahl, Swedish politician
- 1937 - Monica Zetterlund, Swedish actress and singer (d. 2005)
- 1939 - Robert L. Gerry III, American businessman
- 1941 - Dale Chihuly, American glass artist
- 1942 - Gérald Tremblay, Québec politician
- 1947 - Mia Martini, Italian singer (d. 1995)
- 1947 - Bruce Pasternack, American CEO
- 1948 - George R. R. Martin, American writer
- 1948 - Chuck Panozzo and John Panozzo (d. 1996), American musicians (Styx)
- 1949 - John W. Henry, American MLB team owner
- 1949 - Mahesh Bhatt. Indian film director
- 1951 - Guy Lafleur, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1951 - Javier Marías, Spanish author, translator and academic
- 1954 - Henry Samueli, American NHL team owner
- 1956 - Gary Cole, American actor
- 1957 - Alannah Currie, New Zealander musician (Thompson Twins)
- 1958 - Arn Anderson, American wrestler
- 1959 - Danny Devos, Belgian artist
- 1960 - Deborah Roberts, American journalist and TV reporter
- 1961 - Lisa Bloom, American lawyer and television personality
- 1964 - Maggie Cheung, Hong Kong actress
- 1965 - Robert Rusler, American actor
- 1966 - Nuno Bettencourt, Portuguese rock musician
- 1967 - Kristen Johnston, American actress
- 1967 - Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, American musicians (Nelson)
- 1968 - Leah Pinsent, Canadian actress
- 1968 - Darrell Russell, American race car driver (d. 2004)
- 1968 - Tim Rogers, Australian singer / songwriter
- 1969 - Victoria Dillard, American actress
- 1969 - Megumi Kudo, Japanese pro-wrestler
- 1970 - Moon Bloodgood, American actress and model
- 1971 - Henrik Larsson, Swedish footballer
- 1971 - Masashi Hamauzu, Japanese composer
- 1974 - Michael Waddington, American defense lawyer
- 1975 - Asia Argento, Italian actress
- 1975 - Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombian race car driver
- 1976 - Yui Horie, Japanese seiyuu
- 1976 - Enuka Okuma, Canadian actress
- 1976 - Reuben Singh, British entrepreneur
- 1977 - Namie Amuro, Japanese pop singer
- 1978 - Jason Bay, Canadian baseball player
- 1978 - Patrizio Buanne, Italian singer
- 1978 - Sarit Hadad, Israeli singer
- 1978 - T.J. Tucker, American baseball player
- 1979 - Sean Davis, English footballer
- 1980 - Mariacarla Boscono, Italian fashion model
- 1980 - Jonathan Le Billon, British actor
- 1980 - Vladimir Karpets, Russian cyclist
- 1980 - Luke Munns, Australian singer / songwriter
- 1981 - Joanie Dodds, America's Next Top Model contestant
- 1981 - Feliciano López, Spanish tennis player
- 1983 - Yuna Ito, Japanese singer and actress
- 1985 - David Allen, American composer and writer
- 1990 - John Tavares, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1990 - Marilou, Quebec pop singer
- 1991 - Spencer Locke, American actress
- 1993 - Taylor Parks, American actress
- 1995 - Sammi Hanratty, American actress
- 1246 - Mikhail of Chernigov, ruler of Kiev
- 1384 - King Louis I of Naples (b. 1339)
- 1460 - Gilles Binchois, Flemish composer
- 1586 - Chidiock Tichborne, English conspirator and poet (executed) (b. 1558)
- 1590 - Lodovico Agostini, Italian composer (b. 1534)
- 1625 - Heinrich Meibom, German historian and critic (b. 1555)
- 1627 - Jan Gruter, Dutch critic (b. 1560)
- 1630 - Claudio Saracini, Italian composer (b. 1586)
- 1639 - Johannes Meursius, Dutch classical scholar (b. 1579)
- 1643 - Lucius Cary, English politician and writer
- 1721 - Thomas Doggett, Irish actor
- 1803 - Robert Emmet, Irish patriot (b. 1780)
- 1815 - Nicolas Desmarest, French geologist (b. 1725)
- 1852 - Philander Chase, American university founder (b. 1775)
- 1863 - Jacob Grimm, German folklorist (b. 1785)
- 1884 - Leopold Fitzinger, Austrian zoologist (b.1802)
- 1898 - Theodor Fontane, German writer (b. 1819)
- 1906 - Robert R. Hitt, American politician (b. 1834)
- 1908 - Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer (b. 1844)
- 1932 - Wovoka, Paiute visionary
- 1933 - Annie Besant, women's rights activist (b. 1847)
- 1939 - Paul Bruchési, French Canadian Catholic archbishop of Montreal (b. 1855)
- 1945 - William Buehler Seabrook, Writer, journalist, occultist and explorer (b. 1884)
- 1945 - Eduard Wirths, Nazi physician at Auschwitz concentration camp (b. 1909)
- 1946 - Raimu, French actor (b. 1883)
- 1947 - Fiorello LaGuardia, Mayor of New York City (b. 1882)
- 1957 - Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer (b. 1865)
- 1971 - Giorgos Seferis, Greek poet, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1900)
- 1973 - Jim Croce, American singer and songwriter (b. 1943)
- 1975 - Saint-John Perse, French diplomat and writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
- 1979 - Ludvík Svoboda, President of Czechoslovakia (b. 1895)
- 1980 - Sanpei Hayashiya, Japanese comedian (b. 1925)
- 1984 - Steve Goodman, American folk music singer-songwriter (b. 1948)
- 1989 - Richie Ginther, American racing driver (b. 1930)
- 1993 - Erich Hartmann, German pilot (b. 1922)
- 1994 - Jule Styne, American songwriter (b. 1905)
- 1994 - Abioseh Nicol, Sierra Leonean diplomat and noted author (b. 1924)
- 1996 - Paul Erdős, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1913)
- 1999 - Raisa Gorbachyova, wife of Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1932)
- 1999 - Robert Lebel, Quebec ice hockey administrator (b. 1905)
- 2000 - Gherman Titov, cosmonaut (b. 1935)
- 2003 - Lord Williams of Mostyn, British politician (b. 1941)
- 2003 - Gordon Mitchell, American actor (b. 1923)
- 2003 - Simon Muzenda, Zimbabwe politician (b. 1922)
- 2004 - Brian Clough, English footballer and football manager (b. 1935)
- 2004 - Townsend Hoopes, American politician (b. 1922)
- 2005 - Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian-Polish Nazi hunter (b. 1908)
- 2006 - Armin Jordan, Swiss conductor (b. 1932)
- 2006 - John W. Peterson, American songwriter (b. 1921)
- 2007 - Johnny Gavin, Irish footballer (b. 1928)
Holidays and observances
124 Familypedia people were born on September 20
127 Familypedia people died on September 20
89 Familypedia people were first married on September 20