Holidays Calendar for December 20, 2016

Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day is celebrated every year on December 20. This holiday was established to mark the universality of transition of Macau from the colony of Portugal to a special administrative division of the People's Republic of China.

Abolition Day is a public holiday in Réunion, the overseas department of France. This holiday celebrates abolition of slavery on December 20, 1848.

Security Service Workers' Day is observed in the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Armenia and the Kyrgyz Republic on December 20. This professional day was “inherited” by these countries from the Soviet Union, where the same holiday was observed on December 20.

People of Panama commemorate the events of December 20, 1989, when the United States conducted Operation Just Cause and invaded Panama. Anniversary of this day is known in Panama as Mourning Day.

Students were one of the driving forces of the Myanmar independence movement and observation of Bo Aung Kyaw Day is connected with the events, when then-Burma was controlled by Britain. Today this is one of the official memorial days in Myanmar.

The National Sangria Day is celebrated on December 20. It is somewhat ironic as sangria is a fruity wine punch usually drank as a refreshing beverage.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed International Human Solidarity Day in 2005 and designated December 20 to be the date of this observance. This international observances was established to remind people about the important role that solidarity plays in realization of all international agreements and programs.


This Day in History

  • 2009 Died: Brittany Murphyf, American actress and singer. She is known for roles in films 8 Mile, Just Married, King of the Hill.
  • 2007 Elizabeth II became the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 month and 29 days.
  • 2007 Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Suzanne Bloch and Cândido Portinari's O Lavrador de Café were stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil. Two paintings were found on January 8, 2008.
  • 2004 Thieves stole £26.5 million worth of currency from the Donegall Square West headquarters of Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This was one of the largest bank robberies in British history.
  • 2001 Died: Léopold Sédar Senghor, Senegalese politician and poet. He served as President of Senegal for 20 years from 1960 to 1980.
  • 1999 Died: Riccardo Freda, Italian film director, best known for his horror and thriller movies. His greatest horror films were The Horrible Dr. Hichcock and The Ghost.
  • 1998 Died: Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, English physiologist and biologist. In 1991 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane.
  • 1996 Died: Carl Sagan, American astronomer and author, known for his contributions to discovery of the high surface temperatures of Venus and research of extraterrestrial life. He also assembled the first physical messages that could potentially be understood by any extraterrestrial intelligence that might find them.
  • 1996 NeXT merged with Apple Computer, that started the path to Mac OS X.
  • 1987 An estimated 4,000 people killed (only 1,749 officially) when the passenger ferry Doña Paz sank after colliding with the oil tanker Vector in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines. The accident became the worst peacetime sea disaster in history.
  • 1984 A freight train carrying over 1 million liters of gasoline derailed near the town of Todmordern, England, causing the largest underground fire in history.
  • 1983 Born: Jonah Hill, American actor, filmmaker, a two-time Academy Award nominee. He is best known for performances in the films Moneyball and The Wold of Wall Street.
  • 1982 Died: Arthur Rubinstein, Polish-born American classical pianist, one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. He received international acclaim for his performances of the music written by other composers. Many regard him as the greatest Chopin interpreter of his time.
  • 1968 Died: John Steinbeck, American author, widely known for his comic novels Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat and a Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath. In 1962 he became the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • 1961 Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) in Arco, Idaho became the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity was used to power 4 light bulbs.
  • 1955 Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales, the United Kingdom.
  • 1948 Born: Alan Parsons, English engineer, songwriter and musician. He was involved with the production of several significant albums,including The Beatles' Let It Be and Abbey Road and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
  • 1946 Born: Uri Geller, Israeli-English magician and psychic. He is well known for his television performances of spoon bending and other supported physic effects.
  • 1946 Born: Dick Wolf, American producer. He specializes in crime dramas such as Miami Vice and the Law & Order franchise.
  • 1945 Born: George Peter John Criscuola, better known as Peter Criss, American musician and actor, co-founder and original drummer of hard rock band Kiss.
  • 1937 Died: Erich Ludendorff, German general and politician. He took part in the unsuccessful coups of Wolfgang Kapp in 1920 and the Beer Hall Putsch of Adolf Hitler in 1923, but soon he was disappointed in Nazis.
  • 1929 Died: Émile Loubet, French politician, serving as the 8th President of France. His presidency lasted fro February 18, 1899 to February 18, 1906.
  • 1927 Born: Kim Young-sam, South Korean politician. He served as the 7th President of South Korea from February 25, 1993 to February 25, 1998.
  • 1917 Died: Eric Campbell, British actor, who was a key member of Charlie Chaplin's film ensemble. He played an intimidating bully and appeared in 11 Chaplin's films before he was killed in a car crash at the age of 38.
  • 1905 Born: Bill O'Reilly, Australian cricketer, one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game. After retirement from playing he became a well-known cricket writer and broadcaster.
  • 1901 Born: Robert J. Van de Graaff, American physicist, known for his design and construction of high voltage generators.
  • 1890 Born: Jaroslav Heyrovský, Czech chemist and inventor, best known for invention of the polarographic method and as the father of the electroanalytical method. In 1959 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
  • 1860 South Carolina made an attempt to secede from the United States, becoming the first state to do so.
  • 1841 Born: Ferdinand Buisson, French academic and politician. In 1927 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1192 Richard I of England was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria on his way home to England after signing a treaty with Saladin ending the Third Crusade.