This Day In History : November 20

1998 United States

First module of the International Space Station launched

On November 20, 1998, the first module of the International Space Station (ISS), named Zarya (also known as the Functional Cargo Block), was launched into space. This marked the beginning of construction for the ISS, a collaborative effort involving multiple countries and space agencies to establish a long-term human presence in space for scientific research and international cooperation.

Also on This Day in History November 20

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

Births on This Day, November 20
  • 1925 Robert F. Kennedy

    American politician, 64th United States Attorney General

  • 1892 James Bertram Collip

    Canadian biochemist who co-discovered insulin

  • 1889 Edwin Hubble

    American astronomer (discoverer of galaxies, red shift)

  • 1910 Willem Jacob van Stockum

    Dutch physicist and mathematician

  • 1924 Benoit Mandelbrot

    Polish-French-American mathematician (proved Zipf's law, discovered the Mandelbrot set)

Deaths on This Day, November 20
  • 1954 Clyde Vernon Cessna

    American aviator and airplane manufacturer

  • 1996 Bert Geoffrey Achong

    Trinidadian pathologist and inventor (electron microscopist)

  • 2000 Mike Muuss

    American computer programmer (Ping)

  • 2003 David Dacko

    First President of the Central African Republic

  • 1945 Francis William Aston

    British chemist and physicist who won a Nobel laureate for his work with isotopes and the whole number rule


United Nations Adopts Declaration of the Rights of the Child

On November 20, 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. This landmark document outlined fundamental rights and principles for children worldwide, emphasizing their right to special protection, education, and healthcare, laying the groundwork for subsequent international efforts to protect and promote children's rights globally.

Microsoft Releases Windows 1.0

On November 20, 1985, Microsoft released Windows 1.0, marking the company's debut into the graphical personal computer operating system market. Windows 1.0 introduced a graphical user interface (GUI) and paved the way for future versions that would dominate the PC operating system landscape worldwide.

New Jersey is the first U.S. state that ratifies the Bill of Rights

On November 20, 1789, New Jersey became the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. This historic act affirmed individual rights and freedoms, laying the foundation for the protection of civil liberties in the newly formed United States of America.

McDonald's makes its 50 billionth hamburger

On November 20, 1984, McDonald's celebrated the milestone of serving its 50 billionth hamburger. This achievement highlighted the global popularity and widespread impact of the fast-food chain, which had become synonymous with fast, convenient dining around the world.
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