This Day In History : June 20

1990 United States

The Asteroid Eureka is discovered

The asteroid 5261 Eureka was discovered on June 20, 1990, by astronomer David H. Levy and Henry E. Holt at the Palomar Observatory in California, USA. Eureka is a Mars trojan, meaning it shares Mars's orbit around the Sun and is located at one of the stable Lagrange points of the Mars-Sun system​.

Also on This Day in History June 20

Discover what happened on June 20 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, June 20
  • 1894 Lloyd Augustus Hall

    American food chemist who invented food preservation methods

  • 1733 Betty Washington Lewis

    Sister of George Washington, 1st President of the United States

  • 1875 Othenio Able

    Austrian artist, fossil creator and founder of paleobiology

  • 1929 Edith Windsor

    American LGBT rights activist and a technology manager at IBM

  • 1933 Peter T. Kirstein

    British computer scientist 'European father of the internet' (Internet Protocol)

Deaths on This Day, June 20
  • 1972 Howerd Deering Johnson

    American businessman who founded Howard Johnson's

  • 1820 Manuel Belgrano

    Argentine politician and military leader who took part in the Argentine Wars of Independence and created the Flag of Argentina

  • 1837 William IV

    King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1830-37)

  • 1920 Dmitry Ivanovsky

    Russian Botanist who discovered the organisms that came to be known as viruses

  • 1966 Georges Lemaître

    Belgian Catholic Priest, astronomer and physics professor, who initially proposed the universe expansion and big-bang theories


The Great Seal of the United States is adopted by the U.S. Congress

The Great Seal of the United States was officially adopted by the U.S. Congress on June 20, 1782 after six years of discussion.

1st bank chartered in US (National Bank of Davenport Iowa)

The First National Bank of Davenport holds the distinction of being the first bank in the United States to be chartered under the National Banking Act of 1863. This historic event took place on June 20, 1863.

Central Intelligence Agency Act passes

The Central Intelligence Agency Act, also known as Public Law 110, was passed on June 20, 1949, in the United States. This act provided the legal foundation for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), establishing its authority to operate and outlining the framework for its activities and operations, including administrative and financial matters.

Space Shuttle STS 78 (Columbia 20), launches into space

Space Shuttle STS-78 (Columbia 20) was launched into space on June 20, 1996. The mission was primarily focused on life and microgravity sciences, with a payload that included the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS). This mission was notable for conducting a variety of experiments in life sciences, material sciences, and technology developments in the microgravity environment of space​.
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