1953 – Cambodia in Southeast Asia declares independence after 90 years of French colonial rule. Official Paris occupied the impoverished Indochinese country in 1863, and for years exploited it, using it as one of its most important bases in Asia. The declaration of independence came as a result of years of fighting between Cambodian and Vietnamese guerrilla forces, on the one hand, and the French colonial army, on the other. Its capital was chosen Phnom Pen-I, while its first leader was Norodom Sihanouk.
1970 – Charles de Gaulle dies in Paris at the age of 79. De Gaulle, was an officer and statesman of the French army who led the Resistance against Germany in World War II. He headed the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to restore democracy in France. He later served as President of France from 1959 until his resignation in 1969. Charles de Gaulle, was the dominant figure in France during the early part of the Cold War era; his memory continues to influence French politics.
1974 – Famous Italian footballer Alessandro Del Piero is born in Conegliano. Del Piero, is a former Italian footballer, a striker, world champion with the Italian national team in 2006. Nicknamed Pinturicchio by for the elegance of his style of play, he emerged as one of the greatest talents of his generation, and considered one of the best players in the history of Italian football. The captain of Juventus from 2001 to 2012, he won numerous trophies at the national and international level, scoring in all the competitions in which he participated and setting the absolute lead of goals and participations.
1989 – During the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany opens checkpoints on the famous wall, allowing its citizens to travel to West Berlin. This would be one of the highlights of the last Cold War in Europe. This would be followed by the collapse of the wall structure by the citizens of Berlin. Thousands of East Germans would cross the border en masse to West Germany.
1993 – The old Stari Most Bridge, in the Bosnian town of Mostar, built in 1566, collapses after days of bombing by Croatian forces during the Bosnian Croat War. The collapse of this bridge was filmed and broadcast live on a number of world televisions. This moment would also be the clearest symbol of the genocide and destruction created by the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. It was rebuilt, years later, and inaugurated on July 23, 2004. Stari Most is one of the largest cultural heritages in the Balkan region.
1998 – The death penalty in the UK, now abolished for murder, is abolished altogether for all remaining capital offenses. The last UK executions by hanging, and took place in 1964, before the death penalty was suspended for murder in 1965 and was eventually abolished in 1969 (1973 in Northern Ireland). Although unused, the death penalty remained a statutory sentence for some offenses such as treason until it was completely abolished in 1998.
2016 – In the United States, Donald Trump was declared the winner of the 58th Presidential Election in this country. The Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defeated former Democratic Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia despite losing the popular vote. Trump took office as the 45th president, and Pence as the 48th vice president, on January 20, 2017.