Holidays Calendar for July 20, 2016

The Republic of Colombia annually celebrates its Independence Day on July 20. This holiday commemorates the day in 1810, when Colombia gained independence from Spain.

Vassa, also referred to as Buddhist Lent or Rains Retreat, is the three-month annual retreat observed by the practitioners of Theravada Buddhism. The first day of Vassa is a public holiday in Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.


International Chess Day is annually observed on July 20 around the world. This international observance was created under initiative of the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

Engineer's Day is annually celebrated in Costa Rica on July 20. This holiday marks the foundation anniversary of the Pan American Union of Engineering Association in 1949.

The forests of the Central African Republic have been dramatically reduced during 20 years to provide the ground for charcoal production. In 2006 the government of the CAR introduced National Tree Planting Day, an annual event that would help restore forests of the CAR.

Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay celebrate Friend's Day every year on July 20. This holiday was initiated by Dr. Enrique Ernesto Febbraro.

Birthdays of the members of the Norwegian Royal House (the king, the queen, the heir apparent and their spouse, and the hair apparent's eldest child) are official flag flying days in Norway. For instance, the birthday of Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, is celebrated on July 20.

On July 20, National Lollipop Day is celebrated. This food holiday is devoted to candies on stick that come in various shapes, flavors, sizes, and colors.

This Day in History

  • 2013 Died: Pierre Fabre, French pharmacist, founder of Laboratoires Pierre Fabre. His company is represented in over130 countries around the world, employing about 10,000 people. It's best known for vinorelbine (Navelbine), an anicancer drug.
  • 2003 Died: Nicolas Freeling, English author, best known for series of detective novels about Van der Valk. A television series based on his novels were produced in Britain by Thames Television during the 1970s and revived again in the 1990s.
  • 1999 Died: Sandra Gould, American actress, mainly appeared in television shows. One of her greatest roles was as Gladys Kravitz on the sitcom Bewitched.
  • 1999 The Chinese Communist Party began a persecution campaign against Falun Gong, Chinese spiritual practice for mind and body. The Communists saw in Falun Gong a potential threat due to its size and independence from the state, that is why they arrested thousands of its followers across China.
  • 1988 Born: Julianne Hough, American dancer, singer, and actress. She is a two-time professional champion of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
  • 1980 Born: Gisele Bündchen, Brazilian model and actress, the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. Gisele was the first Brazilian model to find international success, she starred in Taxi and The Devil Wears Prada. Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell stated, that Bündchen is the only remaining true supermodel.
  • 1977 The Central Intelligence Agency of the USA released documents under the Freedom of Information Act, revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments.
  • 1976 The American Viking 1 spacecraft successfully landed on Mars.
  • 1973 Died: Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist, widely considered to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century.
  • 1973 Born: Omar Epps, American actor, rapper, and producer. He starred in many films, including Major League II, Juice, Higher Learning, Scream 2, The Wood, In Too Deep, and Love and Basketball. He is also known for role as Dr. Eric Foreman on the medical drama series House.
  • 1969 Apollo 11's crew successfully made the first landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon.
  • 1968 The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, USA. About 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities participated.
  • 1965 Died: Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan, reigned from May 25, 1946 till his death.
  • 1951 Died: Wilhelm, German Crown Prince, the last Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. His surviving descendants are in the line of succession to the British throne.
  • 1949 Israel and Syria signed a truce to end their 19-month war.
  • 1947 Born: Carlos Santana, Mexican-American singer-songwriter and guitarist, leader of the Latin American rock band Santana.
  • 1945 Died: Paul Valéry, French author. He is best known for his poetry and sometimes considered to be the last of the French symbolists. His masterpiece of whole life is La Jeune Parque, that was published, when Valéry was 64. This masterpiece immediately brought him fame and it's considered to be one of the greatest French poems of the 20th century.
  • 1944 German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The attempt failed.
  • 1940 Denmark left the League of Nations.
  • 1938 Born: Natalie Wood, American actress and singer, best known for roles In Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass and West Side Story.
  • 1937 Died: Guglielmo Marconi, Italian physicist and engineer, developer of radio telegraph system. He is often credited with invention of radio and this brought him Nobel Prize in 1909, that he shared with Karl Ferdinand Braun.
  • 1922 The League of Nations awarded mandates to Tanganyika to the United Kingdom and Togoland to France.
  • 1903 Died: Pope Leo XIII, born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci. Pope Leo XIII,was the oldest pope and had the third longest pontificate. He is well known for his intellectualism and development of social teachings.
  • 1903 The Ford Motor Company shipped its first car.
  • 1897 Born: Tadeusz Reichstein, Polish-Swiss chemist, Nobel Prize laureate for work on hormones of the adrenal cortex, culminated in isolation of cortisone.
  • 1866 Died: Bernhard Riemann, German mathematician and academic, remembered for lasting contributions to analysis, number theory, and differential geometry, some of them enabling the later development of general relativity.
  • 1864 Born: Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Swedish poet, known for highly symbolic poetry masquerading as regionalism. His works won him a Nobel Prize in 1931.
  • 1822 Born: Gregor Mendel, Czech geneticist and botanist, founder of modern science of genetics. He coined the terms of recessive and dominant in reference to certain traits and demonstrated the actions of invisible factors (now called genes) in providing for visible traits in predictable ways.
  • 1804 Born: Richard Owen, English biologist, anatomist, and paleontologist, best remembered for coining the word Dinosauria (Terrible reptile). He is also known for his outspoken opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.
  • 1304 Born: Francesco Petrarca, commonly anglicized as Petrarch, Italian poet and scholar of the Renaissance era. His sonnets were admired and imitated throughout Europe and became a model for lyrical poetry. He is often called the Father of Humanism.