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On this day: November 20

Today’s birthdays

Joe Biden, former US vice president, 77

Veronica Hamel, actress, 76

Joe Walsh, The Eagles musician, 72

Bo Derek, actress, 63

Sean Young, actress, 60

Callie Thorne, actress, 50

Joshua Gomez, actor, 44

Kimberley Walsh (pictured), Girls Aloud singer, 38

Justin Hoyte, footballer, 35

It happened today…

868: St Edmund, Saxon king of East Anglia, was martyred by the Vikings, who tied him to a tree, shot at him with arrows, then beheaded him. He was enshrined at what became known as Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

1789: New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.

1818: Simon Bolivar declared Venezuela independent of Spain.

1906: Charles Rolls and Henry Royce collaborated to form the car company, Rolls-Royce Ltd. On the same day in 1931, the company bought Bentley Motors.

1944: After five years of blackout, the lights were switched on again in Piccadilly, Strand and Fleet Street.

1945: The Nuremberg war crimes trial of Nazis, including Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, and Joachim von Ribbentrop, began. It lasted 218 days.

1947: Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. It was the most glamorous royal occasion since before the war and the BBC covered it in 42 different languages.

1951: Snowdonia in Wales was designated a National Park.

1975: General Franco, dictator of Spain for 36 years, died aged 82.

1979: Anthony Blunt, surveyor of the Queen’s pictures, was stripped of his knighthood after being exposed as the Fourth Man in the Burgess, Maclean and Philby spy scandal.

Quote of the day

‘I had a chocolate milkshake on the way there and I’ll be having Champagne when I get home’ — Jockey Racheal Kneller (above), who stepped in at the last minute to ride Ruacana and won the Flat Jockeys Can Jump Handicap Hurdle at Lingfield after having a McDonald’s on the way there.

Thought for the day

‘It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problem just with potatoes’ — writer Douglas Adams