February 20 in history

February 20 events chronologically

1339 The Milanese army and the St. George's (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti clashed in the Battle of Parabiago
1472 Orkney and Shetland are pawned by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark
1547 Edward VI of England is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey
1685 René-Robert Cavelier establishes Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France's claim to Texas
1792 The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by President George Washington
1798 Louis Alexandre Berthier removes Pope Pius VI from power
1810 Andreas Hofer, Tirolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon's forces, is executed

Top 7 most famous people born on February 20

1844 Ludwig Boltzmann an Austrian physicist and philosopher whose greatest achievement was in the development of statistical mechanics, which explains and predicts how the properties of atoms determine the physical properties of matter.
1925 Robert Altman an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. A five time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era, Altman was considered a "maverick" in making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective unlike most Hollywood films. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in history
1927 Sidney Poitier a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author and diplomat.
1951 Gordon Brown a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007. Brown has been a Member of Parliament since 1983, first for Dunfermline East and currently for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
1963 Charles Barkley a retired American professional basketball player and current analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. Nicknamed "Chuck", "Sir Charles", and "The Round Mound of Rebound", Barkley established himself as one of the National Basketball Association's most dominating power forwards. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 5th pick of the 1984 NBA Draft. He was selected to the All-NBA First Team five times, the All-NBA Second Team five times, and once to the All-NBA Third Team. He earned eleven NBA All-Star Game appearances and was named the All-Star MVP in 1991. In 1993, he was voted the league's Most Valuable Player and during the NBA's 50th anniversary, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. He competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games and won two gold medals as a member of the United States' "Dream Team". Barkley is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2006 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team"
1967 Kurt Cobain an American musician who was best known as the lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989
1988 Rihanna a Barbadian singer, actress, and fashion designer. Born in Saint Michael, Barbados, her career began upon meeting record producer Evan Rogers in late 2003 through mutual friends; she recorded demo tapes with his guidance. Her tape was sent to several record labels, and she subsequently signed a contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for its then-president, hip-hop producer and rapper Jay-Z. Both her debut album, Music of the Sun and its follow-up A Girl Like Me peaked in the top ten on the US Billboard 200; the former featured the commercially successful song "Pon de Replay" while the latter produced her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, "SOS"

Top 7 most famous people died on February 20

1790 Joseph II Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I, and was the brother of Marie Antoinette. He was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine, styled Habsburg-Lorraine. Joseph was a proponent of enlightened absolutism; however, his commitment to modernizing reforms subsequently engendered significant opposition, which eventually culminated in an ultimate failure to fully implement his programmes. He has been ranked, with Catherine II of Russia and Frederick II of Prussia, as one of the three great Enlightenment monarchs. His policies are now known as Josephinism. He died with no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother, Leopold
1895 Frederick Douglass an African-American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave
1920 Robert Peary an American explorer who claimed to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909. Peary's claim was widely credited for most of the 20th century, rather than the competing claim by Frederick Cook, who said he got there a year earlier. Both claims were widely debated in newspapers until 1913
1966 Chester W. Nimitz a fleet admiral of the United States Navy. He played a major role in the naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet , for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas , for U.S. and Allied air, land, and sea forces during World War II
1972 Maria Goeppert-Mayer a German-born American theoretical physicist, and Nobel laureate in Physics for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. She was the second female Nobel laureate in physics, after Marie Curie
2005 Hunter S. Thompson an American journalist and author. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, to a middle-class family, Thompson had a turbulent youth after the death of his father left the family in poverty. He was unable to formally finish high school as he was incarcerated for 60 days after abetting a robbery. He subsequently joined the United States Air Force before moving into journalism. He traveled frequently, including stints in California, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, before settling in Aspen, Colorado, in the early 1960s
2010 Alexander Haig a United States Army general who served as the United States Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He also served as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, the second-highest ranking officer in the Army, and as Supreme Allied Commander Europe commanding all U.S. and NATO forces in Europe