Born on November 20

270 Maximinus II Roman Emperor from 308 to 313. He became embroiled in the Civil wars of the Tetrarchy between rival claimants for control of the empire, in which he was defeated by Licinius. A committed pagan, he engaged in one of the last persecutions of Christians
763 Domnall Midi High King of Ireland. He belonged to the Clann Cholmáin branch of the Uí Néill. Clann Cholmáin's pre-eminence among the southern Uí Néill, which would last until the rise of Brian Bóruma and the end of the Uí Néill dominance in Ireland, dates from his lifetime
855 Theoktistos an influential senior Byzantine official during the reigns of Michael II and his son Theophilos, and the de facto head of the regency for the underage Michael III from 842 until his dismissal and murder in 855. He is noted for his administrative and political competence, for ending the Byzantine Iconoclasm, and for helping the ongoing renaissance in education within the Empire
939 Emperor Taizong of Song the 2nd emperor of imperial China's Song Dynasty, reigning from 976 until his death. He succeeded his elder brother Emperor Taizu
1602 Otto von Guericke a German scientist, inventor, and politician. His major scientific achievements were the establishment of the physics of vacuums, the discovery of an experimental method for clearly demonstrating electrostatic repulsion, and his advocacy of the reality of "action at a distance" and of "absolute space"
1603 Fasilides emperor of Ethiopia from 1632 to 18 October 1667, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. His throne name was ʿAlam Sagad , meaning "to whom the world bows". He was the son of Emperor Susenyos I and Empress Sultana Mogassa, born at Magazaz in Shewa before 10 November 1603. His paternal grandfather's name was also Fasilides
1620 Avvakum a Russian protopope of Kazan Cathedral on Red Square who led the opposition to Patriarch Nikon's reforms of the Russian Orthodox Church. His autobiography and letters to the tsar, to Boyarynya Morozova and other Old Believers are considered masterpieces of 17th-century Russian literature
1625 Paulus Potter a Dutch painter who specialized in animals within landscapes, usually with a low vantage point.
1629 Ernest Augustus Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruled over the Principality of Calenberg subdivision of the duchy. He was appointed prince-elector, but died before the appointment became effective. He was also Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück
1660 Daniel Ernst Jablonski German theologian and reformer of Czech origin, known for his efforts to bring about a union between Lutheran and Calvinist Protestants.
1699 Antun Kanižlić a Croatian Jesuit and poet.
1715 Pierre Charles Le Monnier a French astronomer. His name is sometimes given as Lemonnier
1717 Grigory Teplov a Russian academic administrator of lowly birth who managed the Petersburg Academy of Sciences and wielded influence over Little Russia in his capacity as the secretary and advisor to Kirill Razumovsky. He was also an amateur musician and printed in 1751 the collection of his songs entitled Idle Hours Away from Work
1739 Jean-François de La Harpe a French playwright, writer and critic.
1748 Jean-François de Bourgoing a French diplomat, writer and translator. A commander of the légion d'honneur, he was also a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences, a member of the Copenhagen Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences from 1810, a knight then a baron de l'Empire, and a knight of the Swedish Order of the Polar Star
1750 Tipu Sultan a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and a scholar, soldier, and poet. Tipu was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore and his wife Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa. Tipu introduced a number of administrative innovations during his rule, including his coinage, a new Mauludi lunisolar calendar, and a new land revenue system which initiated the growth of Mysore silk industry. Tipu expanded the iron-cased Mysorean rockets and wrote the military manual Fathul Mujahidin, considered a pioneer in the use of rocket artillery. He deployed the rockets against advances of British forces and their allies in their 1792 and 1799 Siege of Srirangapatna
1752 Thomas Chatterton an English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He committed suicide, dying of arsenic poisoning. His works and death were much discussed posthumously and had an influence on the Romantic movement
1753 Charles Joseph Mathieu Lambrechts a Belgian-born lawyer who became Minister of Justice in France during the French Revolution. Later he was a deputy from 1819 to 1824
1761 Pope Pius VIII born Francesco Saverio Castiglioni, reigned from 31 March 1829 to his death in 1830.
1765 Thomas Fremantle (Royal Navy officer) a British naval officer in the Royal Navy whose list of accolades includes action in three separate fleet actions, a close personal friendship with Lord Nelson and a barony in Austria.
1781 Karl Friedrich Eichhorn a German jurist.
1782 Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os a 19th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands.
1783 Georgios Sinas a Greek entrepreneur, banker and national benefactor. He was the founder of the Athens National Observatory
1784 Marianne von Willemer an Austrian actress and dancer best known for her relationship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and her appearance in his poetry. At the age of 14 she moved to Frankfurt am Main, where she became the third wife of Frankfurt banker Johann Jakob von Willemer. He introduced her to Goethe, who met Marianne in 1814 and 1815. Goethe immortalised her in the Buch Suleika of his late work West-östlicher Diwan; she later revealed that several of its poems were authored by her
1787 Johann Nicolaus von Dreyse a German firearms inventor and manufacturer. He is most famous for submitting the Dreyse needle gun in 1836 to the Prussian army, which was adopted for service in December 1840 as the Leichte Perscussions-Gewehr M 1841 – a name deliberately chosen to mislead about the rifle's mechanism – later renamed Zündnadelgewehr M 1841 in 1855
1794 Eduard Rüppell a German naturalist and explorer. Rüppell is occasionally transliterated to "Rueppell" for the English alphabet
1809 William Chappell (writer) an English writer on music, a partner in the London musical firms of Chappell & and later, Cramer & Co.
1811 Ernst Merck a German businessman and politician.
1813 Franc Miklošič a Slovene philologist.
1814 Valentin Eduard Becker a German composer.
1818 Karol Szajnocha a Polish writer, historian, and independence activist. Self-taught, he would nonetheless become a notable Polish historian of the partitions period
1830 Sigismond Jaccoud a Swiss physician.
1834 Princess Marie of Baden (1834–1899) the third daughter and seventh child of Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden and his wife Princess Sophie of Sweden. She was Princess of Leiningen through her marriage with Ernst Leopold, 4th Prince of Leiningen
1839 Christian Wilberg a German painter.
1841 Victor D'Hondt a Belgian lawyer, salesman, jurist of civil law at Ghent University, and mathematician. He devised a procedure, the D'Hondt method, which he first described in 1878, for allocating seats to candidates in party-list proportional representation elections. The method has been adopted by a number of countries, including Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Iceland, Uruguay and Wales. A modified D'Hondt system is used for elections to the London Assembly
1841 Wilfrid Laurier the seventh Prime Minister of Canada from 11 July 1896 to 6 October 1911.
1850 Charlotte Garrigue the wife of the Czechoslovak philosopher, sociologist, and politician, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first President of Czechoslovakia. She was born to a Unitarian family with Huguenot ancestry on her father's side and having a Mayflower passengers' descent on her mother's side. She was niece of Henry Jacques Garrigues and great-granddaughter of Christian Vilhelm Duntzfelt
1851 Mikhail Albov a Russian writer.
1851 Margherita of Savoy the Queen consort of the Kingdom of Italy during the reign of her husband, Umberto I.
1851 John Merle Coulter notable for serving as the president of Indiana University and Lake Forest College and the head of the Department of Botany at the University of Chicago.
1853 Oskar Potiorek an officer of the Austro-Hungarian Army, who served as Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1911 to 1914. He was a passenger in the car carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg when they were assassinated in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. In the following World War I, Potiorek commanded the Austro-Hungarian forces in the Serbian Campaign of 1914/15
1855 Mme. d'Esperance a British author and spiritualist medium who was exposed as a fraud.
1855 Josiah Royce an American objective idealist philosopher.
1858 Gerard De Geer a Swedish geologist who made significant contributions to Quaternary geology, particularly geomorphology and geochronology. De Geer is best known for his discovery of varves
1858 Selma Lagerlöf a Swedish author. She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and most widely known for her children's book Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige
1860 Raphael of Brooklyn born as Raphael Hawaweeny in Beirut, Lebanon, of Damascene Syrian parents of Greek Orthodox Antiochite-Byzantine origin. He was first educated at the Damascus Patriarchal School that had become the leading Greek Orthodox institution of higher learning in the Levant under the leadership of Saint Joseph of Damascus. He furthered his study of Christian theology at the Patriarchical Halki seminary in Turkey, and at the Theological Academy in Kiev, Russian Empire
1860 José Figueroa Alcorta President of Argentina from 12 March 1906 to 12 October 1910.
1861 Camillo Laurenti an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites from 1929 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1921
1862 Edvard Westermarck a Finnish philosopher and sociologist. Among other subjects, he studied exogamy and the incest taboo
1862 Georges Palante a French philosopher and sociologist.