Today In History July 20


July 20 is a historic day, and in the words of Neil Armstrong, it is a day of ‘a giant leap for mankind’ because, for the first time, a human walked on the moon’s surface. Not only that, but space exploration also attained a new high when spacecraft ‘Viking 1 Lander’ became the first to successfully land on the surface of Mars in the year 1976. It was a golden day for sports because on July 20, the first international ‘Special Olympics Summer Games’ was held. Aside from this, the Football Association legalized professionalism in football, and Czechoslovakia’s Emil Zatopek won the 10,000-meter race in the Olympics and broke his record. The U.S and Cuba agreeing to normalize relations between them make July 20 a landmark in the history of politics because, after 54 years, this step was taken. Several agreements like the Corfu Declaration and Montreux Convention were signed on this date. This day is also special because Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the 1st woman prime minister in the world, the ‘Ford Motor Company’ sold its first car, and ‘G-men’ or ‘Gangbusters’ show made its debut. Intellectual property was given due right, even in Napolean’s time, as the Pyréolophore was granted a patent then. Also, Mahlon Loomis was granted the first patent in wireless telegraphy. These immense achievements make this day purely unforgettable.

Let’s discuss a few major historical events that happened on July 20:

1984: Historic York Minster engulfed by flames

A massive fire has devastated large parts of York Minster, causing an estimated £1m damage. Shortly after 0200 BST, the alarm was raised, and 150 firefighters from across North Yorkshire spent two hours bringing the blaze in check.

The fire was concentrated within the 13thCentury South Transept and left its roof destroyed. The cause of this massive fire was unclear, but early suggestions are that the medieval cathedral was struck by lightning.

Staff braved heavy smoke and flames to salvage the Minster’s priceless artifacts while the building was still ablaze. The Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie has praised rescue efforts and the goodwill of people who have come forward to offer help and money.

He was at the scene this morning, after giving service at the Minster yesterday, he said: “there is a particularly obvious poignancy which makes one a bit lost for words, immediate reactions, and slick comments.”

There are fears that the 16thCentury stained glass rosette has been badly damaged, but experts are optimistic that it is often repaired. Fire investigators estimate that repair bills will total £1m, but the government has already pledged assistance.

2001: Scientists discover why we are here

A Californian university has thrown more light on why the Big Bang works after nearly 40 years of worldwide research. Most scientists accept that the universe began with the Big Bang and, therefore, the existence in equal amounts of matter and anti-matter.

The theory has been complicated because if matter and anti-matter were present in equal amounts, they would cancel each other out, and there wouldn’t be a universe.

Experiments by Stanford University’s international team of physicists have provided the foremost substantial proof that matter and anti-matter decay at different rates explain the continued predominance of matter.

This process is named Charge-Parity (CP) violation and derives from research within the 1950s and 1960s by theorists like Andrei Sakharov.