On This Day in History: June 20

Today in history, a British queen ascended to the throne after the death of a relative. Here’s a look at the events and birthdays that took place around the world on June 20.

1782: The Great Seal of the United States Adopted

On this day in history, six years of discussion came to an end as Congress officially adopted the Great Seal of the United States. The seal shows a bald eagle holding an olive branch and arrow in its right and left talons respectively and a shield on its chest representing the original American states. E pluribus unum is written, which means “Out of Many One” in Latin. There are also 13 stars above the head. Each element of the seal is symbolic, linking to peace, the United States, the constellation of stars for a new state, and war. On the back of the seal is a pyramid with the year 1776 written in Roman numerals, as a reminder of independence.

Queen Victoria

1837: Queen Victoria of Great Britain Ascends to the Throne

Today in British history, Queen Victoria was named the new queen of Great Britain, after the death of King William IV of Britain. The 18-year-old was never supposed to be queen, but her cousin Charlotte of Wales had died in childbirth at the age of 21 and Victoria was the last surviving heir to the throne. Victoria wrote in her diary about her ascension to the throne, explaining she found out around 6am on June 20, after being left alone in a wrote with Lord Conyngham and the Archbishop of Canterbury while in her dressing gown. Official documents originally wrote her name as Alexandrina Victoria, but she chose to rule by her middle name Victoria.


1900: The Start of China’s Boxer Rebellion

In history today, the Chinese nationalists fearful of foreign encroachment upon the national affairs of the country entered into the Boxer Rebellion. The nationalists occupied Peking, killing Westerners such as Baron von Ketteler of German. There were more than 100,000 people in the Boxers, led by Tzu’u Hzi’s court. Christian churches were burned and the Peking-Tientsin railway was destroyed. While international forces helped to keep the fighting to a minimum from August 14, it wasn’t until September 1901 that the Boxer Rebellion ended with the Peking Protocol.

Boxer Rebellion

Famous Birthdays on June 20

Scipio Africanus, Roman statesman—236 BC

John, Duke of Bedford, regent of England—1389

King Sigismund III Vasa of Poland—1566

Charles Emanuel II, Duke of Savoy—1634

Tokugawa Ieharu, Japanese military—1737

Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi—1808

Writer Charles W. Chesnutt—1858

Cricketer Cyril “Froggy” Francois—1897

Baseball player Billy Werber—1908

Hello singer Lionel Richie—1949

Roseanne actor John Goodman—1952

Moulin Rouge actress Nicole Kidman—1967

Buzzfeed taste tester and comedian Allison Raskin—1989


Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from OnThisDay.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Queen Victoria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Victoria#/media/File:Dronning_victoria.jpg

Boxer Rebellion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxer_Rebellion#/media/File:Qing_Imperial_Army.jpg

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