20 February 1472

Orkney and Shetland were annexed by Scotland following the failure of Christian, the King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, to pay a dowry for James III's bride, Margaret of Denmark.


20 February 1547

Edward VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

20 February 1809

The northern Spanish city of Saragossa surrendered to the French after a two-month siege in which 10,000 Frenchmen and 50,000 Spanish, many of them civilians, were believed to have died.

20 February 1810

Andreas Hofer, an innkeeper who had led a rebellion against occupying French Napoleonic forces in the Tyrol, was executed by firing squad in Mantua, Italy.

20 February 1813

Argentine general Manuel Belgrano defeated Spanish royalist forces at the battle of Salta. A year earlier he had created the light blue and white national flag of Argentina. The cruiser sunk during the Falklands conflict of 1982 was named after him.

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20 February 1841

Death in Hamelin, Saxony, of the German pharmacologist Friedrich Wilhelm Sertürner. In 1805, while working as a pharmacist's apprentice in Paderborn, Sertürner successfully isolated morphine from opium.


20 February 1888

British ballet producer and director Dame Marie Rambert was born Cyvia Rambam in Warsaw, Poland. After moving to London, she founded the Rambert Dance School in 1920. Ten years later she established the Ballet Club, later known as the Ballet Rambert.

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