On May 20, 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated slavery in the French colonies, revoking its abolition in the French Revolution.
On May 20, 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, at 7:52 am, on the world’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He would touch down at 10:22 pm the next day at Le Bourget Field in Paris.
On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland to begin the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean by a female pilot, landing in Ireland the next day.
On May 20, 1953, Gen. Henri Navarre assumed command of French Union Forces in Vietnam, decaring, “Now we can see [success in Vietnam] clearly, like light at the end of a tunnel.”
On May 20, 1995, President Bill Clinton permanently closed the two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House to all non-pedestrian traffic as a security measure, calling the move “a responsible security step necessary to preserve our freedom, not part of a long-term restriction of our freedom.”