May 20th: Surprisingly Significant

by Aine Moriarty


Almost every day of the year has more to it than just numbers. Pick a day, any day, May 20th, for example. Chances are, at least a hundred events and celebrations fall on it. Let’s see…

  • 325: The First Council of Nicaea, the first universal council of the Christian Church, is opened.
  • 526: An earthquake occurs in what is now Syria and Antiochia, killing about 250,000 people.
  • 1498: Vasco da Gama discovers the sea route to India.
  • 1862: President Lincoln signs the Homestead Act.
  • 1902: Cuba gains independence from the United States.
  • 1932: Amelia Earhart begins her flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1940: The first prisoners of the Holocaust arrive at a concentration camp.
  • 1956: The first United States airborne hydrogen bomb is dropped over Bikini Atoll.
  • 1958: Ron Reagan, former radio host and son of Ronald Reagan, is born.
  • 1983: First publications about the discovery of HIV, which causes AIDS.
  • 1996: The Supreme Court overrules a law that would have prevented action to protect homosexuals.
  • 2012: A 6.0-magnitude earthquake strikes Italy, killing at least 27 people.
  • 2013: An EF5 tornado destroys the Oklahoma City suburb, killing 24 people.


There are also quite a few holidays…

  • Christian feast day
  • Day of Remembrance (Cambodia)
  • Emancipation Day
  • European Maritime Day
  • Independence Day (Cuba and East Timor)
  • Josephine Baker Day (NAACP)
  • National Awakening Day (Indonesia)
  • National Day (Cameroon)
  • World Metrology Day

In conclusion, May 20th is awesome!

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