August 20


August 20

Events

*636 - Battle of Yarmouk: Arab forces led by Khalid ibn al-Walid take control of Syria and Palestine away from the Byzantine Empire, marking the first great wave of Muslim conquests and the rapid advance of Islam outside Arabia.
*917 - Battle of Anchialus: Tsar Simeon I of Bulgaria invades Thrace and drives the Byzantines out.
*1000 - The foundation of the Hungarian state, Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.
*1391 - Konrad von Wallenrode becomes the 24th Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order.
*1672 - Former Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis are brutally murdered by an angry mob in The Hague.
*1775 - The Spanish establish a "presidio" (fort) in the town that became Tucson, Arizona.
*1794 - Battle of Fallen Timbers - American troops force a confederacy of Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware, Wyandot, Miami, Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi warriors into a disorganized retreat.
*1804 - Lewis and Clark Expedition: the "Corps of Discovery", exploring the Louisiana Purchase, suffers its only death when sergeant Charles Floyd dies, apparently from acute appendicitis.
*1858 - Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution in "The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London", alongside Alfred Russel Wallace's same theory.
*1866 - President Andrew Johnson formally declares the American Civil War over.
*1882 - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" debuts in Moscow.
*1888 - Mutineers imprison Emin Pasha at Dufile.
*1900 - Japan's primary school law is amended to provide for four years of mandatory schooling.
*1914 - World War I: German forces occupy Brussels.
*1920 - The first commercial radio station, 8MK (WWJ), begins operations in Detroit, Michigan.
*1926 - Japan's public broadcasting company, Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai(NHK) is established.
*1938 - Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd career grand slam - a record that still stands.
*1940 - In Mexico City exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded with an ice axe by Ramon Mercader. He dies the next day.
*1944 - World War II: the Battle of Romania begins with a major Soviet offensive.
*1953 - The Soviet Union publicly acknowledges that it had tested a hydrogen bomb.
*1955 - In Morocco, a force of Berbers from the Atlas Mountains region of Algeria raid two rural settlements and kill 77 French nationals.
*1960 - Senegal breaks from the Mali federation, declaring its independence.
*1968 - 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to end the "Prague Spring" of political liberalization.
*1975 - Viking Program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
*1977 - Voyager Program: NASA launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
*1979 - The East Coast Main Line rail route between England and Scotland is restored when the Penmanshiel Diversion opens.
*1982 - Lebanese Civil War: a multinational force lands in Beirut to oversee the PLO's withdrawal from Lebanon.
*1986 - In Edmond, Oklahoma, U.S. Postal employee Patrick Sherrill guns down 14 of his co-workers and then commits suicide.
*1988 - "Black Saturday" of the Yellowstone fire in Yellowstone National Park
* 1988 - Peru becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
* 1988 - Iran–Iraq War: a cease-fire is agreed after almost eight years of war.
*1991 - Collapse of the Soviet Union, August Coup: more than 100,000 people rally outside the Soviet Union's parliament building protesting the coup aiming to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.
* 1991 - Estonia secedes from the Soviet Union.
*1993 - After rounds of secret negotiations in Norway, the Oslo Peace Accords are signed, followed by a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. the following month.
*1997 - Souhane massacre in Algeria; over 60 people are killed and 15 kidnapped.
*1998 - The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Quebec cannot legally secede from Canada without the federal government's approval.
* 1998 - U.S. embassy bombings: the United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is destroyed in the attack.
*2002 - A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein take over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin for five hours before releasing their hostages and surrendering.
*2008 - Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport. 146 people are killed in the crash, 8 more die afterwards. Only 18 people survive.

Births

*1517 - Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, French church leader (d. 1586)
*1561 - Jacopo Peri, Italian composer (d. 1633)
*1625 - Thomas Corneille, French dramatist (d. 1709)
*1632 - Louis Bourdaloue, French Jesuit preacher (d. 1704)
*1710 - Thomas Simpson, British mathematician (d. 1761)
*1719 - Charles-François de Broglie, marquis de Ruffec, French soldier and diplomat (d. 1791)
* 1719 - Christian Mayer, Czech astronomer (d. 1783)
*1776 - Bernardo O'Higgins, South American revolutionary (d. 1842)
*1779 - Jöns Jakob Berzelius, Swedish chemist (d. 1848)
*1833 - Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States (d. 1901)
*1845 - St. Albert Chmielowski, Polish Catholic Saint (d. 1916)
*1847 - Andrew Greenwood, England cricketer (d. 1889)
* 1847 - Bolesław Prus, Polish writer (d. 1912)
*1856 - Jakub Bart-Ćišinski, Sorbian writer (d. 1909)
*1860 - Raymond Poincaré, French statesman (d. 1934)
*1865 - Bernard Tancred, South African cricketer (d. 1911)
*1868 - Ellen Roosevelt, American tennis player (d. 1954)
*1873 - Gottlieb Eliel Saarinen, Finnish architect (d. 1950)
*1881 - Edgar Guest, English poet (d. 1959)
*1886 - Paul Tillich, German-American theologian (d. 1965)
*1890 - H. P. Lovecraft, American writer (d. 1937)
*1897 - Tarjei Vesaas, Norwegian writer (d. 1970)
*1898 - Vilhelm Moberg, Swedish author and historian (d. 1973)
*1901 - Salvatore Quasimodo, Italian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)
*1905 - Jean Gebser, German-born author, linguist, and poet (d. 1973)
* 1905 - Jack Teagarden, American musician (d. 1964)
*1907 - Alan Reed, original voice of Fred Flintstone. (d. 1977)
*1908 - Al Lopez, American baseball player and manager (d. 2005)
*1909 - Alby Roberts, New Zealand cricketer (d. 1978)
*1910 - Eero Saarinen, Finnish architect (d. 1961)
*1913 - Roger Wolcott Sperry, American neurobiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1994)
*1916 - Paul Felix Schmidt, Estonian–German chess player (d. 1984)
*1918 - Jacqueline Susann, American novelist (d. 1974)
*1921 - Jack Wilson, Australian cricketer (d. 1985)
*1923 - Jim Reeves, American singer (d. 1964)
*1926 - Nobby Wirkowski, American and Canadian football player and coach
*1927 - Geriatric1927, English video blogger
* 1927 - Yootha Joyce, English actress (d. 1980)
*1930 - Mario Bernardi, Canadian conductor
*1931 - Don King, American boxing promoter
*1932 - Anthony Ainley, British actor (d. 2004)
* 1932 - Vasily Aksyonov, Russian novelist
* 1932 - Atholl McKinnon, South African cricketer (d. 1983)
*1933 - George J. Mitchell, former United States Senator
*1934 - Armi Kuusela, Finnish beauty queen
*1935 - Ron Paul, US Congressman, 1988 and 2008 presidential candidate
*1936 - Hideki Shirakawa, Japanese chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
*1937 - Jim Bowen, English comedian
* 1937 - El Fary, Spanish singer and actor (d. 2007)
* 1937 - Andrei Konchalovsky, Russian film director
*1938 - Alain Vivien, French politician
*1939 - Fernando Poe Jr., Filipino actor and politician (d. 2004)
*1940 - Rubén Hinojosa, American politician
* 1940 - Rex Sellers, Australian cricketer
*1941 - Dave Brock, British musician and founder of Hawkwind
* 1941 - Rich Brooks, American football coach
* 1941 - Slobodan Milošević, President of Serbia and of Yugoslavia (d. 2006)
* 1941 - Robin Oakley, British journalist
* 1941 - Jo Ramirez, Mexican motor racing team manager and author
*1942 - Isaac Hayes, American singer, songwriter, and actor (d. 2008)
* 1942 - Fred Norman, American baseball player
*1943 - Sylvester McCoy, Scottish actor
*1944 - Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (d. 1991)
*1944 - Graig Nettles, American baseball player
*1946 - Connie Chung, American journalist
* 1946 - Ralf Hütter, German musician (Kraftwerk)
* 1946 - N.R. Narayana Murthy, Indian businessman
*1947 - Alan Lee, English conceptual artist
*1948 - John Noble, Australian actor
* 1948 - Robert Plant, British Musician (Led Zeppelin)
*1949 - Nikolas Asimos, Greek composer and singer (d. 1988)
* 1949 - Norman Featherstone, South African cricketer
* 1949 - Alan Hardwick, English TV presenter
* 1949 - Phil Lynott, Irish musician (d. 1986)
*1951 - Greg Bear, American author
*1952 - John Emburey, English cricketer
* 1952 - Doug Fieger, American musician (The Knack)
* 1952 - John Hiatt, American musician
*1954 - Tawn Mastrey, American disc jockey (d. 2007)
* 1954 - Al Roker, American television personality
* 1954 - Don Stark, American actor
*1955 - Agnes Chan, Hong Kong singer and writer
*1956 - Joan Allen, American actress
* 1956 - Alvin Greenidge, West Indian cricketer
*1957 - Finlay Calder, Scottish rugby player
*1958 - Patricia Rozema, Canadian film director and screenwriter
*1961 - Greg Egan, Australian author
* 1961 - Joe Pasquale, English comedian
*1962 - Sophie Aldred, English actress
* 1962 - James Marsters, American actor
* 1962 - Dong-Wook Song, South Korean tennis player
*1965 - KRS-One, American rapper
*1966 - Dimebag Darrell, American guitarist (Pantera and Damageplan) (d. 2004)
*1967 - Andy Benes, American baseball player
* 1967 - Colin Cunningham, American actor
* 1967 - Terri Poch, American yogini and former professional wrestler
*1968 - Klas Ingesson, Swedish footballer
* 1968 - Yuri Shiratori, Japanese voice actress and singer
*1969 - Duke Droese, American professional wrestler
*1970 - Els Callens, Belgian tennis player
* 1970 - John D. Carmack, American computer game programmer
* 1970 - Fred Durst, American singer (Limp Bizkit)
*1971 - Brad Avery, American musician (former guitarist for Third Day)
* 1971 - Jonathan Ke Quan, Vietnamese American actor
* 1971 - Steve Stone, English footballer
* 1971 - David Walliams, British comedian
*1972 - Chaney Kley, American actor
*1973 - Todd Helton, American baseball player
*1974 - Amy Adams, American actress
* 1974 - Big Moe, American rapper (d. 2007)
* 1974 - Szabolcs Sáfár, Hungarian footballer
* 1974 - Andy Strachan, Australian musician (The Living End)
* 1974 - Maxim Vengerov, Russian violinist
*1975 - Marcus Mastin, American author
*1976 - Chris Drury, American hockey player
*1977 - Felipe Contepomi, Argentine rugby player
* 1977 - Manuel Contepomi, Argentine rugby player
* 1977 - Ivar Ingimarsson, Icelandic footballer
* 1977 - Mayra Veronica, Cuban model and actress
* 1977 - James Ormond, England cricketer
*1979 - Cory Sullivan, American baseball player
*1980 - Corey Carrier, American actor
* 1980 - Rochelle Gadd, British actress
*1981 - Benjamin Barnes, English actor (Prince Caspian)
* 1981 - Bernard Mendy, French footballer
*1982 - Cléber Luis Alberti, Brazilian footballer
* 1982 - Youssouf Hersi, Ethiopian footballer
* 1982 - Joshua Kennedy, Australian footballer
* 1982 - Barney Rogers, Zimbabwean cricketer
*1984 - Mirai Moriyama, Japanese actor
* 1984 - Golan Yosef, Dutch actor
*1986 - Robert Clark, Canadian actor
*1987 - Cătălina Ponor, Romanian gymnast
*1990 - Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Dutch swimmer
*1991 - Marko Đoković, Serbian tennis player
*1992 - Demi Lovato, American Actress
*2003 - Prince Gabriel of Belgium

Deaths

*535 - Mochta of Louth, disciple of St. Patrick
*984 - Pope John XIV
*1384 - Geert Groote, Dutch founder of the Brethren of the Common Life (b. 1340)
*1572 - Miguel López de Legazpi, Spanish conquistador (b. 1502)
*1580 - Jeronymo Osorio, Portuguese historian (b. 1506)
*1611 - Tomás Luis de Victoria, Spanish composer (b. 1548)
*1639 - Martin Opitz von Boberfeld, German poet (b. 1597)
*1643 - Anne Hutchinson, English Puritan preacher (b. 1591)
*1648 - Edward Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury, English diplomat, poet, and philosopher (b. 1583)
*1672 - Johan de Witt, Dutch politician (b. 1625)
* 1672 - Cornelis de Witt, Dutch politician (b. 1623)
*1680 - William Bedloe, English informer (b. 1650)
*1701 - Charles Sedley, English playwright (b. 1639)
*1707 - Nicolas Gigault, French organist and composer (b. 1627)
*1773 - Enrique Florez, Spanish historian (b. 1701)
*1811 - Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French explorer (b. 1729)
*1823 - Pope Pius VII (b. 1740)
*1825 - William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock, Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1753)
*1887 - Jules Laforgue, French poet (b. 1860)
*1904 - René Waldeck-Rousseau, French statesman (b. 1846)
*1912 - William Booth, English founder of the Salvation Army (b. 1829)
*1914 - Pope Pius X (b. 1835)
*1915 - Paul Ehrlich, German scientist, Nobel laureate (b. 1854)
*1917 - Adolf von Baeyer, German chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1835)
*1919 - Greg MacGregor, England cricketer (b. 1869)
*1930 - Charles Bannerman, Australian cricketer (b. 1851)
*1959 - William Halsey, Jr, American admiral (b. 1882)
*1961 - Percy Williams Bridgman, American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1882)
*1963 - Joan Voûte, Dutch astronomer (b. 1879)
*1965 - Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Civil Rights Martyr (b. 1939)
*1971 - Rashid Minhas, Pakistani Air Force pilot (b. 1951)
*1980 - Joe Dassin, American singer (b. 1938)
*1982 - Ulla Jacobsson, Swedish actress (b. 1929)
*1986 - Milton Acorn, Canadian poet (b. 1923)
*1989 - George Adamson, India-born English game warden and lion expert (b. 1906)
*1993 - Bernard Delfgaauw, Dutch philosopher (b. 1912)
*1997 - Norris Bradbury, American physicist (b. 1909)
* 1997 - Léon Dion, French-Canadian political scientist (b. 1922)
*1998 - Raquel Rastenni, Danish singer (b. 1915)
*2001 - Sir Fred Hoyle, English astronomer and science fiction writer (b. 1915)
* 2001 - Kim Stanley, American actress (b. 1925)
*2005 - Thomas Herrion, American football player (b. 1981)
* 2005 - Krzysztof Raczkowski, Polish drummer (b. 1970)
*2006 - Claude Blanchard, French-Canadian singer, comedian and actor (b. 1932)
* 2006 - Joe Rosenthal, American photographer (b. 1911)
* 2006 - Cpl Bryan Budd VC, British soldier (Afghanistan) (b. 1977)
*2007 - Leona Helmsley, American hotel operator and real estate investor (b. 1920)
* 2007 - Larry Hartsell, American martial artist, bodyguard, trainer, student of Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto (b. 1942)
*2008 - Hua Guofeng, former Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, succeeding Mao Zedong in 1976 and being replaced by Hu Yaobang in 1981 (b. 1921)
* 2008 - Stephanie Tubbs Jones, American politician (b. 1949)
* 2008 - Gene Upshaw, American football player and union leader (b. 1945)

Holidays and observances

*World Union - World Union Day.
*Roman Catholic saints - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
*Bahá'í Faith - Feast of Asmá (Names) - First day of the ninth month of the Bahá'í calendar.
*Hungary - St. Stephen's day, the main national holiday in Hungary.
*Estonia - Day of Restoration of Independence, celebrating the secession from the Soviet Union in 1991.

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/20 BBC: On This Day]
*NYT On this day|month=08|day=20
* [http://www1.sympatico.ca/cgi-bin/on_this_day?mth=Aug&day=20 On This Day in Canada] ----


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