Today in History: 20th December

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Historical Events:

• 1941: Balthasar Johannes (John) Vorster, former prime minister and president of SA, marries Martinie Steyn Malan in Worcester, CP.
• 1977: 1st Space walk made by G Grechko from Salyut.
• 1991: Archaeologists of Egypt and the US discover a fleet of ships 500 years old near the Nile.
• 1924: Adolf Hitler freed from jail early.
• 2004: Anglo Platinum’s corporate communications group manager Mike Mtakati, his wife Nonhlanhla and his four children are killed in a road accident on the N3 between Warden and Harrismith.Their nieces, travelling with them, also die in the accident.
• 2007: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.

Arts, Music, TV:

• 1939: Radio Australia begins overseas shortwave service.
• 1974: George Harrison releases his "Dark Horse" album in UK.
• 1974: "The Godfather Part II", starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, is released.
• 1985: Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is 1st).
• 1991: "Father of the Bride", starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, and Martin Short, is released.
• 1996: The horror classic "Scream", starring Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, is released.

Sports:

• 1969: The rugby team of England beats SA 11-3 at Twickenham.
• 1930: Learie Constantine cricket 100 in 52 mins WI v Tas (10×4, 1×6, 1×5).
• 1975: Joe Walsh recruited to join Eagles.
• 1987: 76th Davis Cup: Sweden beats India in Gothenburg (5-0).
• 1987: Nancy Lopez/Miller Barber wins LPGA Mazda Golf Championship.
• 1983: Guy Lafleur, Montreal, became 10th NHLer to score 500 goals.

Source: historyorb.com & sahistory.org.com
Compiled by: Thandi Xaba