33 fun facts for October, 20

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
October 20th is filled with significant events, births, and celebrations around the globe – from the US Senate's ratification of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty to International Sloth Day, the birth of jazz drummer Cozy Cole, and the first public performance of a young Béla Bartók. With cultural, political, sports, and entertainment milestones, this day offers a diverse array of fun facts.
33 Fun facts
  1. On October 20, 1803, the US Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, essentially doubling the size of the United States and providing vast territories for westward expansion.
  2. The first recorded parachute jump was made by André-Jacques Garnerin on October 20, 1797, in Paris, France. He descended from a height of 3,200 ft using a silk parachute, paving the way for modern skydiving.
  3. International Sloth Day is celebrated on October 20th globally to raise awareness about the lives of sloths and their tropical forest habitat in Central and South America.
  4. On October 20, 1973, Queen Elizabeth II opened the iconic Sydney Opera House in Australia, a masterpiece of late modern architecture, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  5. October 20, 1968, witnessed the closing ceremony of the 19th Summer Olympics held in Mexico City, famous for the iconic "Black Power" salute by African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their medal ceremony.
  6. Born on October 20, 1632, Sir Christopher Wren was an influential English architect known for rebuilding 52 churches after the Great Fire of London, including the renowned St. Paul's Cathedral.
  7. South African folk singer and anti-apartheid activist Miriam Makeba was born on October 20, 1932. She became the first African woman to win a Grammy and was later awarded the Polar Music Prize in 2002.
  8. The International Chefs Day is celebrated on October 20th globally to pay tribute to the culinary professionals whose artistry and passion delight and nourish people worldwide.
  9. On October 20, 1977, a plane crash took the lives of several members of the American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, including their lead singer Ronnie Van Zant.
  10. American retail giant Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton on October 20, 1962, in Rogers, Arkansas. It has since grown to become the largest private employer and retailer in the world.
  11. October 20, 1970, saw the release of Black Sabbath's second studio album "Paranoid," which features the iconic track "Iron Man" and is now considered a pioneering classic in heavy metal music.
  12. Born on October 20, 1971, American rapper Snoop Dogg (Calvin Broadus) has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and has received multiple music awards, making him a major celebrity in the entertainment industry.
  13. National Brandied Fruit Day is celebrated every year on October 20th in the United States to promote the consumption and enjoyment of fruit preserved in brandy.
  14. On October 20, 1947, American animator and director Walter Lantz released the first Woody Woodpecker cartoon, titled "Knock Knock," which became a popular and enduring character.
  15. Poland's National Good Day (also called Day of Good News) is celebrated on October 20th, with the concept of sharing only good news in both media and interpersonal communication.
  16. On October 20, 1891, comedian and writer Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was born in the United Kingdom. He is best known for his humorous fiction featuring the lovable English characters Jeeves and Wooster.
  17. National Suspenders Day is observed in the United States on October 20th, celebrating the practical and stylish fashion accessory for supporting trousers.
  18. October 20, 1976, marked the founding of the Council of Haida Nations in British Columbia, Canada, focusing on the defense of Haida territories and rights, and the promotion of their culture and traditions.
  19. Born on October 20, 1978, American mixed martial artist Paul O'Connell earned the nickname "The Irish Hand Grenade" and has held multiple titles in the sport.
  20. Greenpeace co-founder Robert Hunter was born on October 20, 1941, in Winnipeg, Canada. He became an influential figure in the modern environmental movement and authored numerous books.
  21. October 20, 1916, marked the birth of Indian film director, actor, and playwright K. Asif, known for the epic historical drama "Mughal-E-Azam," considered one of the great classics of Indian cinema.
  22. On October 20, 1942, Elizabeth Cotten, an American folk singer and guitarist, released her well-known song "Freight Train," one of the most recognized tunes in the fingerpicking world of guitarists.
  23. Japanese novelist Moto Hagio, known for her contributions to the manga art form, was born on October 20, 1949. She is regarded as a pioneer in the shōjo (girls') manga genre.
  24. On October 20, 1962, The Beatles made their first national television appearance in the UK, performing "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You" on the program "The People and Places."
  25. Born on October 20, 1918, Australian track and field athlete John Winter won a gold medal in the high jump at the 1948 Summer Olympics, becoming the first West Australian to win an Olympic gold.
  26. Turkmenistan Carpets Day, dedicated to the rich history and artistry of handwoven Turkmen carpets, is celebrated on October 20th.
  27. October 20, 1931, marked the birth of American baseball player Mickey Mantle, who played for the New York Yankees for 18 seasons and is considered one of the greatest switch hitters in baseball history.
  28. On October 20, 1864, the Campina Grande National Telegraph in Brazil was inaugurated, allowing communication between Campina Grande and the coastal capital of João Pessoa.
  29. Born on October 20, 1909, acclaimed jazz drummer Cozy Cole had a successful career as a sideman and bandleader. He is best remembered for his 1958 instrumental hit "Topsy."
  30. National Community Media Day is celebrated every year on October 20th in the United States, promoting the importance of free public access to media tools, training, and platforms.
  31. On October 20, 1913, French actor Jean Arthur Dujardin was born. He reached international fame as the lead actor in the award-winning silent film "The Artist" (2011), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor.
  32. On October 20, 1882, Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist Béla Bartók played his first public recital in Nagyszőllős, now Vynohradiv, Ukraine, at just 11 years old.
  33. National Day on Writing is observed in the United States on October 20th. Established by the National Council of Teachers of English, it aims to celebrate the joy, challenges, and importance of writing.