A famous astronomer, an archduchess, and an Anglo-American treaty: 3 things that happened On This Day 20 October

What happened on this day in history? We round up three famous events, births, battles and deaths...


20 October

1632: Architect, mathematician and astronomer Christopher Wren was born in East Knowle in Wiltshire. Evidence of his prodigious talent can be seen in the fact that before taking a degree at Wadham College, Oxford, he had already designed an air pump, an instrument for writing in the dark, numerous astronomical devices, and a beehive. At the age of 25 he was appointed professor of astronomy at Gresham College, London. Four years later, he became Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford. The first building he designed was a chapel for Pembroke College, Cambridge.


1740: Maria Theresa became archduchess of Austria and queen of Hungary and Bohemia following the death of her father, holy Roman emperor Charles VI. Her succession was disputed, and almost immediately led to European war.

1818: An Anglo-American treaty established the 49th Parallel as the border between the USA and Canada, and allowed for joint occupation of the Oregon territories for 10 years.


Compiled by Julian Humphrys – You can follow Julian on Twitter @GeneralJules