Following are some of the major events to have occurred on May 20


1902 – Cuba was handed over to a republican government and the last U.S. troops left.

1956 – The first hydrogen bomb to be dropped from the air was exploded by the Americans over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

1996 – Iraq, its economy devastated by nearly six years of sanctions, accepted a U.N. plan to sell limited quantities of oil in order to buy food and medicine.

1999 – A German court convicted former Nazi Alfons Goetzfrid of war crimes after what was expected to be the last such trial in the country.

1999 – Massimo D’Antona, senior consultant to Italy’s labour minister, was shot dead in Rome. A document purporting to come from the Red Brigades claimed responsibility.

2002 – East Timor declared its independence as the U.N. transferred power from the mission that had run the country since 1999.

2005 – French philosopher Paul Ricoeur died aged 92. A humanist and author of around 30 books including “The Rule of Metaphor,” Ricoeur was best known for work in the field of phenomenology — studying how conscious experiences shape the view of reality.

2006 – Nuri al-Maliki was sworn in as Iraqi prime minister at the head of a national unity government.

2007 – Nobel peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in as East Timor’s president.

2007 – Meseret Defar of Ethiopia records World Best time in women’s two-mile run.

2012 – Northern Italy hit by 6.0 magnitude earthquake.