Friday, August 20, 2010

This day in history

Send a link to a friend

[August 20, 2010]  (AP)  Today is Friday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2010. There are 133 days left in the year.

Today's highlights in history:

On Aug. 20, 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force before the House of Commons, saying, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Coyoacan, Mexico by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish Communist agent working at the behest of Josef Stalin. (Trotsky died the next day.)

On this date:

In 1833, Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio.

In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after fighting had stopped.

In 1910, a series of forest fires swept through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington, killing at least 85 people and burning some 3 million acres in what became known as the "Big Blowup."

In 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.

In 1920, pioneering American radio station 8MK in Detroit (later WWJ) began daily broadcasting.

In 1955, hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.

In 1960, the Mali Federation broke up with the withdrawal of Senegal, which declared autonomy.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.

In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization drive.

In 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

Ten years ago: Verizon (vuh-RY'-zuhn) Communications and unions representing 50,000 workers reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year-contract as a two-week strike neared an end. Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship in a playoff over Bob May, becoming the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in one year.

[to top of second column]

Five years ago: Northwest Airlines mechanics went on strike rather than accept pay cuts and layoffs; Northwest hired replacement workers. San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Thomas Herrion, 23, died of a heart attack shortly after a preseason game against the Denver Broncos. With a deafening boom, the ashes of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson were blown into the sky above Woody Creek, Colo.

One year ago: The only man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 returned home to Libya after his release from a Scottish prison. (Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, said to have only months to live because of prostate cancer, was freed on compassionate grounds.) Afghans voted for a president for the second time ever, but Taliban threats dampened turnout in the militant south. Reality TV ex-contestant Ryan Jenkins was charged with murdering former wife Jasmine Fiore in California (Jenkins was later found dead, an apparent suicide). One-time Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress (PLEK'-sih-koh BUR'-ihs) accepted a plea bargain with a two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub.

Today's birthdays: Writer-producer-director Walter Bernstein is 91. U.S. special envoy George Mitchell is 77. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is 75. Baseball All-Star Graig Nettles is 66. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 64. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 63. Actor John Noble is 62. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 62. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 58. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 58. Actor-director Peter Horton is 57. TV weatherman Al Roker is 56. Actor Jay Acovone is 55. Actress Joan Allen is 54. TV personality Asha Blake is 49. Actor James Marsters is 48. Rapper KRS-One is 45. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 40. Rock musician Brad Avery is 39. Actor Jonathan Ke Quan is 39. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 35. Actor Ben Barnes is 29. Actress Demi Lovato is 18.

Thought for today: "If a thing is absolutely true, how can it not also be a lie? An absolute must contain its opposite." -- Charlotte Painter, American writer and educator

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor