This Day In History, September 20th

What happened on this day in history: The Cannes Film Festival has its inaugural festival in 1946, Tara Calico disappears in 1988, and more events that happened on this day.

1830: The First National Negro Convention Convenes In Philadelphia

A total of 40 delegates from seven states meet in the historic Mother Bethel church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to discuss the issues of slavery and racial hostility in America. Leaders ultimately pledged to work to improve the lives of Black men, women, and children living in the United States and help those who were able to flee to Canada. The convention sparked a movement of similar meetings across the country, and a strong, collective Black voice soon emerged.

1878: Upton Sinclair Is Born

American writer and muckraker Upton Sinclair is born in Baltimore, Maryland. He spent much of his life fighting for workers’ rights, and many of his novels criticized the social and economic conditions of the 20th century.

Sinclair won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1943 with his novel Dragon’s Teeth, but he is most famous for writing The Jungle, which exposed poor labor conditions in the meatpacking industry and caused public outrage that resulted in stricter food regulations.

1946: The First Cannes Film Festival

First Cannes Film Festival

AFP/Getty ImagesStars parading in the streets of Cannes for the first festival in 1946.

The first annual Cannes Film Festival begins in France. While it wasn’t the first international film festival, it quickly became one of the most prestigious, and its location on the French Riviera drew in the rich and famous from all over the world. The inaugural festival only had about 3,000 guests, but today more than 30,000 people flock to the Cannes Film Festival every year.

1988: Tara Calico Disappears

This Day In History September 20

YouTubeA mysterious Polaroid found in 1989 that’s believed to show Tara Calico.

Tara Calico, a 19-year-old woman from New Mexico, disappears under suspicious circumstances while riding her bike near her home. Witnesses say they saw a mysterious truck with a camper shell following her closely, but no one saw her abduction. The following year, a Polaroid photo was found in a parking lot showing a woman thought to be Calico bound and gagged, but no other sign of her has ever been found.

2011: “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Is Repealed

The U.S. military policy “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT) is repealed during the Obama Administration. The DADT policy prevented openly gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans from serving in the U.S. Army Forces while simultaneously preventing the discrimination of closeted homosexual or bisexual servicemen and servicewomen. The act prohibited gay or bisexual members of the military from speaking about their sexual orientation. It also prevented superiors from opening an investigation into the sexual orientation of their subordinates without probable cause. The act was active from 1993 to 2011.