May

May 20: Facts & Historical Events On This Day

Facts & Historic Events That Happened on May 20

May 20th is also known as World Bee Day & Pick Strawberries Day.

This day marks the 140th day of 2021, and there’s another 225 days to go.

Everyone who was born on May 20th shares the same zodiac sign, Taurus.

Check out all the biggest historical events from May 20th with our top facts on areas such as exploration, inventions, disasters, fashion and more.

Did you know that on this day in 1896, the chandelier of the Palais Garnier Opera House broke and its debris fell on a crowd? While several were injured there was only one death.

Keep reading for more facts about May 20th in history!

What Happened On May 20 In History?

1979

Elton John and his entourage flew into Moscow, making him the first western pop star to tour the USSR.

1972

Hard Job Being God, a Broadway musical, closed at the Edison Theater NYC after 6 performances.

Source Playbill
1932

Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland.

OTD in 1932: Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland.
When she left, she took a copy of the Telegraph-Journal as proof of date of the flight. After a flight lasting 14 hours and 56 minutes, she landed in Northern Ireland. This made her the first woman to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic.
1896

The chandelier of the Palais Garnier Opera House broke and its debris fell on a crowd.

OTD in 1896: The chandelier of the Palais Garnier Opera House broke and its debris fell on a crowd.
One of the chandelier's counterweights broke and fell through the ceiling into the auditorium, killing one person and injuring a few others. This event ended up a famous scene in the popular 1910 novel "Phantom of the Opera".
1891

The first public display of Thomas Edison’s prototype kinetoscope was shown to members of the National Federation of Women’s Club.

1873

Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patented the first blue jeans with copper rivets.

1862

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Acts into law.

These Acts were to provide cheap land in the West to settlers. Applicants could gain ownership of government land or the public domain. Over 160 million acres of public land were given away for free to 1.6 million people.
1609

Shakespeare’s Sonnets were first published in London.

The publisher, Thomas Thorpe, entered the book in the Stationers' Register. However, how he acquired the manuscripts is unconfirmed, and it may have been an illegal copy.
1498

After decades of failed attempts to reach the Indies, Vasco da Gama arrived in Calicut, India.

He was the first European to reach India by sea.
325

The first Christian ecumenical council opens at Nicaea, Asia Minor. It was the first attempt to achieve agreement in the church.

Did you know that on this day, May 20th 1896, the chandelier of the Palais Garnier Opera House broke and its debris fell on a crowd?