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On This Day: German troops reach English Channel in WWII

On May 20, 1940, German forces punched through the Allied lines in Abbeville, France, to reach the English Channel. The Battle of Abbeville one week later culminated in the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Cmdr. Heinz Guderian led the German 2nd Panzer division during the Battle of Abbeville in France in 1940. Here is seen in July 1941. File Photo courtesy of the State Treasury of Poland/Wikimedia Commons
Cmdr. Heinz Guderian led the German 2nd Panzer division during the Battle of Abbeville in France in 1940. Here is seen in July 1941. File Photo courtesy of the State Treasury of Poland/Wikimedia Commons

On this date in history:

In 526, up to 300,000 people were killed in an earthquake in Syria and Antioch.

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In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were granted a patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

In 1927, Charles Lindbergh took off from New York in his single-engine monoplane, "The Spirit of St. Louis," bound for Paris. While he winged his way across the Atlantic, his mother taught her chemistry class at Cass Technical High School as usual.

In 1940, German forces punched through the Allied lines in Abbeville, France, to reach the English Channel. The Battle of Abbeville one week later culminated in the evacuation of Dunkirk.

In 1969, in one of the more infamous and bloody battles of the Vietnam War, U.S. troops seized Dong Ap Bia mountain, commonly known as Hamburger Hill.

In 1974, Judge John Sirica ordered U.S. President Richard Nixon to turn over tapes and other records of 64 White House conversations on the Watergate affair.

UPI File Photo

In 1989, Chinese Premier Li Peng declared martial law in Beijing in response to heightened student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton permanently closed Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House after more than 200 years of mostly unimpeded traffic.

File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

In 2002, East Timor, a small Pacific Coast nation, gained independence from Indonesia. It is called Timor Leste.

In 2013, a tornado struck the Moore, Okla., area near Oklahoma City, killing 24 people, injuring more than 300 and destroying many buildings, including two elementary schools.

In 2018, King Mswati III announced he was changing the name of his country, Swaziland, to eSwatini, which means "land of the Swazis."

In 2019, Google announced it would stop providing Android updates for Huawei phones in an escalating tech war between the United States and China. Google walked back the plan the next day.

File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

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