This Day In History : October 20

1995 United States

STS 73 (Columbia 18) launched into orbit

STS-73, also known as Columbia 18, was a mission of the Space Shuttle Columbia launched on October 20, 1995. This mission was part of the United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML-2) series and focused on a variety of scientific experiments in microgravity. The crew of seven astronauts conducted research in materials science, fluid physics, biotechnology, and combustion science. The mission lasted for 15 days, 21 hours, and 52 minutes, concluding with a successful landing on November 5, 1995, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Also on This Day in History October 20

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

Births on This Day, October 20
  • 1927 Joyce Brothers

    American psychologist, advice columnist, author, and actress

  • 1891 James Chadwick

    British physicist (Nobel Prize, 1935; discovered neutron)

  • 1616 Thomas Bartholin

    Danish anatomist and mathematician who described fully the entire human lymphatic system (1652)

  • 1812 Austin Flint

    American physician and heart research pioneer

  • 1919 Tracy Hall

    American inventor (grew synthetic diamond)

Deaths on This Day, October 20
  • 1984 Paul Dirac

    English physicist (quantum electrodynamics, Nobel 1933)

  • 1984 Carl Cori

    American biochemist who, teamed with his wife Gerty Cori, discovered a phosphate

  • 1972 Harlow Shapley

    American astronomer who discovered the Sun's position in the galaxy

  • 1987 Andrey Nikolayevich Kolmogorov

    Russian mathematician (theory of probability)

  • 2013 Lawrence Klein

    American economist who created computer models to forecast economic trends, won 1980 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences


1962 War Between India and China

On October 20, 1962, war broke out between India and China, marking the beginning of the Sino-Indian War. The conflict primarily took place along the disputed Himalayan border and lasted until November 21, 1962, resulting in significant military and territorial consequences for both nations.

Monterey Bay Aquarium opened

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, located in Monterey, California, opened its doors to the public on October 20, 1984. Renowned for its focus on the marine habitats of the Monterey Bay, it features a variety of exhibits and species native to the region, including the iconic kelp forest and open sea galleries. The aquarium has played a significant role in marine conservation and education since its inception.

Zond 8 Launches to orbit the Moon

On October 20, 1970, the Soviet space probe Zond 8 was launched towards the Moon as part of the Soviet Union's lunar exploration program. Zond 8 was designed to conduct a flyby of the Moon and return to Earth with photographic and scientific data. It successfully captured images of the lunar surface and performed various scientific experiments during its mission. After completing its lunar flyby, Zond 8 re-entered Earth's atmosphere and safely landed in the Indian Ocean on October 27, 1970.

The Treaty of Peace and Friendship is signed by Chile and Bolivia

On October 20, 1904, Chile and Bolivia signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, ending their post-War of the Pacific dispute. The treaty defined their border, confirmed Bolivia's landlocked status, and provided Bolivia with commercial access to the Pacific via Chilean ports, shaping South American geopolitics.
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