Holidays Calendar for May 20, 2016

The Republic of Cameroon celebrates its National Day on May 20. It commemorates the creation of a unitary state in 1972.

Public holidays in East Timor can be divided into two groups: religious holidays associated with Christianity or Islam and holidays that commemorate important events in the country’s liberation struggle. Independence Restoration Day celebrated on May 20 belongs to the latter group.

World Metrology Day is an annual global observance that commemorates the signing of the Metre Convention on May 20, 1875. The Convention was crucial for the development and implementation of the metric system.

Day of Bank Employees (Bank Employee Day) is a Ukrainian professional holiday celebrated on May 20 each year. It was established in 2004 in order to highlight the important role of the banking system in the development of the country's economy and maintenance of financial stability.

Every third Friday of May is National Defense Transportation Day in the USA. This observance recognizes the contribution of men and women to the nation's well-being and defense.


Sign Language Interpreter Day is an annual professional holiday in Ukraine celebrated on May 20. It was established in 2009 by the Ukrainian Society of the Deaf (USD) and has been observed annually ever since.

European Maritime Day (EMD) is an annual observance held on May 20. It focuses on raising awareness of the seas of Europe and their importance.

The Volga Day is an ecological observance celebrated in Russia each year. The main events are held in the cities of the Volga basin, such as Nizhny Novgorod, Astrakhan, Volgograd, Kazan, Saratov and Yaroslavl.

May 20 is Day of Remembrance in Cambodia. It commemorates the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled the country from 1975 to 1979. The commemoration was originally called the National Day of Hatred.

National Awakening Day is an Indonesian observance annually held on May 20. It commemorates the creation of the first Indonesian nationalist group, Budi Utomo, in 1908. It is not observed as a public holiday.

May 20 is National Quiche Lorraine Day. This great dish is considered as French speciality, but it has got German origin.

May 20 is Josephine Baker Day. This observance was instituted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1951 to honor Josephine Baker, American-French dancer, singer, actress, and civil rights activist.

This Day in History

  • 2014 Two car bombs exploded in the city of Jos, Nigeria, killing at least 118 peoples. The terrorist attacks have been attributed to Islamist movement Boko Haram.
  • 2012 A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck in Emilia-Romania, Italy, killing 7 people. It destroyed all the churches and many of the factories in the area.
  • 2012 Died: Eugene Polley, American engineer and engineering manager primarily known as the inventor of the first wireless television remote control.
  • 2012 Died: Robin Gibb, English singer-songwriter and record producer best known as a member of the group Bee Gees, which he co-founded with his brothers.
  • 2002 Died: Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, historian of science, and widely read author of popular science.
  • 1989 Died: John Hicks, British economist who was awarded the 1972 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, sharing it with Kenneth Arrow.
  • 1965 Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705 (PK705) crashed during approach to Cairo International Airport, killing 121 of 127 people on board.
  • 1954 Rock and roll song "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets was first released as a single. It was re-released in May 1955.
  • 1948 Died: George Beurling, the most successful Canadian fighter pilot of the Second World War. He shot down 27 Axis aircraft in two weeks.
  • 1947 Died: Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard, German physicist who was awarded the 1905 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on cathode rays.
  • 1946 Born: Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian), American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer whose career in entertainment spans more than 50 years.
  • 1944 Born: Joe Cocker, English rock and blues singer and musician, Grammy Award winner. He was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers list.
  • 1940 Died: Verner von Heidenstam, Swedish poet and novelist, member of the Swedish Academy. He was awarded the 1916 Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • 1932 American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to begin the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic by a woman.
  • 1918 Born: Edward B. Lewis, American geneticist who was awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with two other scientists.
  • 1913 Born: William Redington Hewlett, American engineer and entrepreneur primarily remembered as co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company.
  • 1899 Died: Carlotta Grisi, Italian ballet dancer who is primarily remembered as the first ballerina to dance the title role in Adolphe Adam's Giselle.
  • 1895 Born: Reginald Joseph Mitchell, British aeronautical engineer who created the Supermarine Spitfire, iconic Second World War fighter.
  • 1882 Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. They promised each other mutual support in the event of an attack by any other great power.
  • 1880 Died: Ana Néri, Brazilian nurse, considered the first in her country. She is best known for her volunteer work during the Paraguayan war.
  • 1875 In Paris, representatives of 17 nations signed Metre Convention, which set up in institute for coordinating the development of the metric system.
  • 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a United States patent for blue jeans with copper rivets. The copper rivets were to reinforce the points of stress.
  • 1860 Born: Eduard Buchner, German chemist and zymologist who was awarded the 1907 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on fermentation.
  • 1830 Born: Hector Malot, French writer whose most famous book is Sans Famille (English title: Nobody's Boy or Alone in the World) published in 1878.
  • 1822 Born: Frédéric Passy, French economist, political activist and peacemaker who was awarded the 1901 Nobel Peace prize, sharing it with Henry Dunant.
  • 1806 Born: John Stuart Mill, British philosopher and political economist who made contributions to political economy, political theory and social theory.
  • 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte passed the law that reinstated slavery in the French colonies. However, many of the colonies refused to implement it.
  • 1799 Born: Honoré de Balzac, French novelist and playwright best known for his magnum opus La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy), a sequence of novels and short stories.
  • 1609 Shakespeare's sonnets were first published by Thomas Thorpe. This publication is considered the most important work of Thorpe's career.
  • 1506 Died: Christopher Columbus, Italian navigator and explorer who is credited with the discovery of the Americas. He made four voyages to the New World.