21 fun facts for December, 20

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
December 20th has been an important day in history, marking significant events such as the completion of the Louisiana Purchase, the invention of the crossword puzzle, and the premiere of "It's A Wonderful Life." It also includes the birthdays of notable figures like Jonah Hill and Mahershala Ali, as well as the temporary opening of the Berlin Wall.
21 Fun facts
  1. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed with the United States officially taking possession of the massive territory from France. It doubled the nation's size adding 828,000 square miles for just $15 million.
  2. December 20th is considered the birthday of the crossword puzzle, invented by Arthur Wynne in 1913. His first puzzle was published in the New York World newspaper, and since then, crosswords have become a popular pastime across the globe.
  3. On this day in 1892, Alexander Brown Paterson was granted a US patent for inventing the pneumatic automobile tire. His tire was made of layers of cotton fabric, rubber, and steel, and helped revolutionize transportation.
  4. The comedian and actor Jonah Hill was born on December 20, 1983. Hill rose to fame with his roles in acclaimed movies like "Superbad" and "Moneyball," earning him two Oscar nominations.
  5. In 1928, Harry Ramsden opened the first fish and chips shop in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, England. This famous shop became the foundation for the establishment of a national chain of restaurants that still operates today.
  6. On this day in 1968, John Steinbeck, the acclaimed American author known for novels such as "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men," passed away of heart disease.
  7. In 1999, Macau, a small peninsula in Southeast China, was returned to Chinese rule after being controlled by Portugal for over 400 years. Portugal handed over the administration of Macau to the People's Republic of China, ending its status as a colony.
  8. On December 20, 1880, New York's Broadway was first lit by electric streetlights. This groundbreaking technological achievement showcased the power of electric lighting and helped transform the city's bustling thoroughfare.
  9. In 1945, the Nuremberg Trials for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals began. Conducted over a period of 218 days, the trials marked a significant milestone in international criminal law.
  10. Composer George Frideric Handel premiered his opera "Radamisto" on December 20, 1720. This masterpiece contributed to solidifying Handel's status as a renowned composer during the Baroque period.
  11. On December 20, 1946, the beloved Christmas movie "It's A Wonderful Life," directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart, premiered in New York City.
  12. In 1966, the Soviet Union launched Luna 13, the second spacecraft to successfully land on the Moon and return data back to Earth. The mission was an important step for the USSR in space exploration and the Cold War competition.
  13. December 20th is National Sangria Day in the United States. Sangria is a popular alcoholic beverage originating from Spain, typically made from red wine, fruits, a sweetener, and a splash of brandy.
  14. In 1996, the British Government announced that a toxic brain disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), could be transmitted through human consumption of beef infected with mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
  15. Native American activist and two-time vice-presidential nominee, Winona LaDuke, was born on December 20, 1959. LaDuke is a dedicated advocate for Indigenous environmental and economic rights.
  16. On this day in 1850, Hawaii's first post office opened in Honolulu. It was a significant development for the island, connecting it to the rest of the world through mail services.
  17. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II became Britain's oldest reigning monarch, surpassing the age of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.
  18. On December 20, 1835, the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico was drafted, setting the stage for the Texas Revolution and the eventual establishment of an independent Republic of Texas.
  19. In 1963, the Berlin Wall was temporarily opened for the first time. For 48 hours, more than 4,000 people were allowed to visit their West Berlin relatives under a one-time agreement.
  20. Actor Mahershala Ali, who has won two Academy Awards for his roles in "Moonlight" and "Green Book," was born on December 20, 1977.
  21. In 1973, the Spanish Prime Minister, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated by Basque nationalist group ETA.