June 20, 1597 – Dutch cartographer and explorer Willem Barentsz, who was around 46 years old, died at sea in the Arctic region. He went on three expeditions to the far north in search for a Northeast passage. During his third expedition, the crew was stranded on Nova Zembla for almost a year, and he died on the return voyage.
June 20, 1776 - Archibald Bulloch was elected the first president and commander in chief of Georgia's temporary government.
June 20, 1782 – The U.S. Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States.
June 20, 1783 - The Battle of Cuddalore took place between the British and French navies. It was after peace had been signed in Europe but prior to the news reaching India.
June 20, 1787 – Oliver Ellsworth moved at the Federal Convention to call the government the “United States.”
June 20, 1837 - Queen Victoria ascended the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV.
June 20, 1858 – Writer Charles Waddell Chesnutt was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His most famous book, “The Conjure Woman,” was published in 1891.
June 20, 1861 – Nobel Prize-winning English biochemist Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born in Eastbourne, Sussex.
June 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, Union forces captured Ship Island, Mississippi.
June 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Des Allemands, Louisiana and at New Bridge and Gill's Bluff, Virginia.
June 20, 1863 - During the Civil War, West Virginia was admitted into the Union as the 35th U.S. state, or the 24th state if the secession of the 11 Southern states were taken into account. The same day, Arthur Boreman was inaugurated as West Virginia’s first state governor.
June 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, an engagement was fought at La Fourche Crossing, Louisiana. Skirmishes were also fought at Rocky Ford, Senatobia, Mud Creek, and Matthew's Ferry in Mississippi and at Middletown, Maryland.
June 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege at Vicksburg, Miss. entered Day 33.
June 20, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Buford's Gap, White House and at King and Queen Court House in Virginia and at White's Station, Tennessee.
June 20, 1893 - A jury in New Bedford, Mass. found Lizzie Borden innocent of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
June 20, 1899 - A fire in Fort Pickens' Bastion D reached the bastion's magazine, which contained 8,000 pounds of powder. The resulting explosion killed one soldier and obliterated Bastion D. The force of the explosion was so great that bricks from Bastion D's walls landed across the bay at Fort Barrancas, more than 1-1/2 miles away.
June 20, 1900 – Baron Eduard Toll, leader of the Russian Polar Expedition of 1900, departed Saint Petersburg in Russia on the explorer ship Zarya, never to return.
June 20, 1905 - Alabama author Lillian Hellman was born in New Orleans, La.
June 20, 1912 - The New York Giants and the Boston Braves combined for 17 runs in the ninth inning. The Giants scored seven to the Braves' 10 runs. The Giants won the game, 21-12.
June 20, 1915 – The weather bureau thermometer in Evergreen, Ala. on this Sunday reached 100 degrees during a heat wave that hit Conecuh County.
June 20, 1918 - Author Marie Downs Chitwood was born in Boaz, Ala.
June 20, 1924 – Guitarist Chet Atkins was born Chester Burton Atkins outside Luttrell, Tenn.
June 20, 1930 - Author Philip James McFarland was born in Birmingham, Ala.
June 20, 1935 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson was born in Alliance, Ohio. He went on to play for Purdue, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.
June 20, 1936 - Alabama author James Agee and photographer Walker Evans departed New York for Alabama to gather the material that will be used in their book “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.”
June 20, 1936 – Oakville, Ala. native Jesse Owens set a 100-meter record at 10.2 seconds.
June 20, 1937 – Evergreen’s baseball team lost to Century (Fla.), 9-5, at Gantt Field in Evergreen, Ala. on this Sunday. Jim Lane, Al Hansen and Doc Jones all pitched for Evergreen. Lane hit a home run in the eighth inning, and Hansen hit one in the second. Century’s Lefty Adams was the winning pitcher and also led his team with a three-for-five showing at the plate.
June 20, 1941 - The U.S. Army Air Forces was established, replacing the Army Air Corps. The Army Air Forces were abolished with the creation of the United States Air Force in 1947.
June 20, 1942 – During the Holocaust, Kazimierz Piechowski and three others, dressed as members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände, stole an SS staff car and escaped from the Auschwitz concentration camp.
June 20, 1945 – The United States Secretary of State approved the transfer of Wernher von Braun and his team of Nazi rocket scientists to America.
June 20, 1946 – The Evergreen Greenies baseball team was scheduled to play Niceville in Evergreen, Ala. at 3 p.m. on this Thursday afternoon.
June 20, 1946 – Evergreen’s golf team was scheduled to play Monroeville’s golf team at the Evergreen Golf Club on this day around 1:30 p.m. Monroeville’s team included 16 golfers led by Lucian Jones and Hotch, while Evergreen’s team was led by Deming Jones and McGehee.
June 20, 1946 – The Evergreen Courant reported that 97-year-old John Cunningham, Evergreen’s oldest citizen, had been notified by the Montgomery Fair that he had won a $50 prize as the oldest father in a contest sponsored by the store for Fathers Day.
June 20, 1950 – National Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder Willie Mays graduated from Fairfield Industrial High School in Jefferson County, Ala. and immediately signed with the New York Giants. He would make his Major League debut on May 25, 1951 for the New York Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
June 20, 1951 – Poet Paul Muldoon was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland.
June 20, 1952 – Novelist Vikram Seth was born in Calcutta, India.
June 20, 1957 - The Red Sox took a better grip on second place as they defeated the Yankees, 12-9, on this Thursday night. Ray Granade, winning pitcher, and Ronnie Hayes, the loser, were hit freely as the Yanks blasted eight hits while the Sox collected five. The Red Sox hit for extra bases three times with ducks on the pond as Johnny Snowden belted a triple and a double. His teammate Bill Hammond hammered out a triple. Yankees Jerry Johnson, Jim Ward and Robert Rigsby banged out two hits apiece, one a double by Ward.
June 20, 1957 – In Evergreen, Ala., the Chicks and the Pelicans battled to a 15-15 deadlock on this Thursday night. Ronnie Jackson and Joe Glass hurled for the Chicks. William Patten, Mike Minninger and Steve Baggett took the mound for the Pelicans. A seven-run rally in the fifth by the Pelicans tied the game.
June 20, 1957 - Eddie Clyde Tuggle Jr., age 19, a former resident of Evergreen, Ala., drowned while water skiing near Tampa, Fla. on this Thursday morning. Tuggle graduated from Evergreen High School in 1955.
June 20, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that one of the leading contenders for the Monroeville Little League crown was the White Sox, coached by Allen Martin. Members of the team were Johnny Wiggins, Frank Martin, Joe Whatley, Mark Adams, Pete Black, William Crawford, Mitch Bayles, Gerald Skinner, Windell Simmons, Jim Haynes, Butch Nettles, Wayne McKenzie and Lee Lynch.
June 20, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that Joe Morris, principal of J.U. Blacksher High School in Uriah, Ala. for the previous year, resigned the position that week, reportedly to accept employment in private industry. The resignation was effective June 30. R.H. Vickery, county superintendent of education, said the resignation was to be submitted to the county board of education at the next scheduled meeting, which has been set for June 28. Morris, appointed principal to fill the vacancy created by the death of John Sawyer in 1962, previously had served as coach at the school for approximately three years.
June 20, 1964 – The Union Bank of Repton was robbed of $16,386. About two months later, FBI agents arrested two men from Brewton, Lawrence Earl Vonderau, 20, and Junior Wesley Bernard, 39, in connection with the robbery.
June 20, 1964 - Gen. William Westmoreland succeeded Gen. Paul Harkins as head of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV).
June 20, 1967 – During a meeting on this Tuesday night, the Evergreen City Council named City Clerk Miller Sellers as purchasing agent for the city. Sellers was named purchasing agent to comply with Alabama’s new bid law, which was to go into effect on July 1, 1967. The law required all governmental agencies (state, county and municipal) to seek bids on all purchases of $500 or more.
June 20, 1972 – In connection with the Watergate scandal, an 18½-minute gap appeared in the tape recording of the conversations between U.S. President Richard Nixon and his advisers regarding the recent arrests of his operatives while breaking into the Watergate complex.
June 20, 1972 - President Richard Nixon appointed General Creighton W. Abrams, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, to be U.S. Army Chief of Staff.
June 20, 1975 – “Jaws,” a film directed by Steven Spielberg that made countless viewers afraid to go into the water, opens in theaters. The story of a great white shark that terrorizes a New England resort town became an instant blockbuster and the highest-grossing film in movie history until it was bested by 1977’s “Star Wars.” “Jaws” was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and took home three Oscars, for Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound.
June 20, 1976 – The B&S Arena on Stacey’s Farm, 18 miles north of Evergreen, Ala., off State Highway 83, was scheduled to host its first ever rodeo on this Sunday afternoon, beginning at 2:30 p.m. The event was to include Bronco riding, bull riding, barrel racing and calf roping.
June 20, 1976 – Major League Baseball left fielder and first baseman Carlos Lee was born in Aguadulce, Panama. He went on to play for the Chicago White Sox, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Texas Rangers, the Houston Astros and the Miami Marlins.
June 20, 1976 – Major League Baseball outfielder and third baseman Rob Mackowiak was born in Oak Lawn, Ill. He went on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago White Sox, the San Diego Padres and the Washington Nationals.
June 20, 1977 – The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the largest construction project ever completed in U.S. history, began to pump oil for the first time.
June 20, 1978 – Temperatures reached 100 degrees in Evergreen, Ala., according to weather reporter Earl Windham.
June 20, 1982 - Pete Rose played in his 3,000th major league game. It was also his 523rd consecutive game.
June 20, 1989 - The "Batman: Motion Picture Soundtrack" was released by Prince.
June 20, 1994 - The Detroit Tigers' streak of 25 straight games with at least one home run ended. The lost the game, 7-1, to Cleveland.
June 20, 1997 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.80 inches of rain Evergreen, Ala.
June 20, 1998 - Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs hit two home runs for the second straight game. The feat set a Major League Baseball record of 16 home runs in June.
June 20, 1999 - Lawrence Phillips became the first NFL Europe player to rush for more that 1,000 yards in a season.
June 20, 2001 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 38th home run of the season. The home run broke the Major League Baseball record for homers before the midseason All-Star break.
June 20, 2001 – Andrea Yates, in an attempt to save her young children from Satan, drowned all five of them in a bathtub in Houston, Texas.
June 20, 2002 - Luis Castillo of the Florida Marlins set a major league record for second basemen when he got a hit in his 34th straight game.
June 20, 2003 - Jose Canseco was arrested after testing positive for steroids, a violation of his probation that stemmed from a nightclub brawl.
June 20, 2004 - Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds got his 500th career home run.
June 20, 2007 - Sammy Sosa of the Texas Rangers got his 600th career home run. The hit came against, the Chicago Cubs, his former team.
June 20, 2013 – The Shack (Old Scout Hut) in Andalusia was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.