Monday 20 December 1999
Deaths: Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, AD 107; Ambroise Pare, surgeon, 1590; Emmerich von Vattel, jurist, 1767; Thomas Hill, literary patron, prototype of "Paul Pry", 1840; Henry Harland, novelist and editor, 1905; Emile-Francois Loubet, French statesman, 1929; Erich Friedrich Wilhelm von Ludendorff, German general, 1937; James Hilton, novelist, 1954; Moss Hart, playwright, 1961; John Ernst Steinbeck, novelist, 1968; Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, Spanish prime minister, assassinated 1973; Bobby Darin (Robert Walden Cassotto), singer, 1973; Artur Rubinstein, pianist, 1982; Gwen Berryman, actress, 1983; Bill Brandt, photographer, 1983.
On this day: the first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was held, 1560; Peter the Great's reformation of the Russian calendar was announced, 1699; the last issue of the original Spectator was published, 1714; the state of Texas was incorporated in the United States, 1845; the state of South Carolina seceded from the American Union, 1860; the first London performance of the operetta Madame Pompadour was presented, 1923; Karl Renner became the first president of the new Austrian republic, 1945; the first atomic ice- breaker, the Russian Lenin, began operating, 1959; Wladyslaw Gomulka, Polish Communist leader, resigned office after riots by workers, 1970; Romuald Spasowski, Polish ambassador to the United States, was granted political asylum in the United States, 1981; two Townsend Thoresen ferries collided off Harwich, with the loss of six lives, 1982.
Today is the Feast Day of St Ammon and his Companions, St Dominic of Silos, St Philogonius and St Ursicinus.
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Adam Levine's biggest fan had a panic attack upon meeting him, so the singer laid down on the floor to get a photo with him
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
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