On This Day in History, July 20

In 1592, as part of the first invasion of Korea by Japan, Japanese armies led by daimyo Totoyomi Hideyoshi captured Pyonyang, the modern day capital of North Korea. His forces eventually would be unable to hold the city, despite their military victories. The period of invasion would not come to a complete end until 1598.

In 1807, Emperor Napoleon issued a patent to Nicéphore Niépce for the Pyréolophore—the first internal combustion engine. He received this patent following the successful show of his engine powering a boat upstream on the Saône, a river in eastern France.

In 1969, a cease-fire was announced between Honduras and El Salvador, six days into the “Football War” between the two nations. The war was brought on by the impact of land reforms in Honduras, the effect upon Salvadoran laborers, and the heated rivalry between the two Central American nations in a series of football matches.

A Notable Birth

356 BC – Alexander the Great (d. 323 BC) was a Macedonian king, general and conqueror best known for being undefeated. His legendary conquest of the Persian Empire has been mythologized, though we do know he conquered the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Indus River, along with Egypt and most of Greece.

A Notable Death

1973 – Bruce Lee (b. 1940), born Lee Jun-fan, was a Hong Kong American martial artist and actor. His form of combat, Jeet Kune Do, is considered to have paved the way for modern mixed martial arts, and his films were in part responsible for changing the perception of Asians in American cinema.

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