On This Day in History for August 20

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 138

  • 2 Venus and Jupiter in conjunction - possible astrological explanation for Star of Bethlehem

Event of interestEvent of Interest

573 Gregory of Tours selected bishop of Tours

Chronicler/Bishop Gregory of Tours
Chronicler/Bishop
Gregory of Tours
  • 636 Battle at Yarmuk: Muslims beat Byzantines [or August 15]
  • 917 Battle at Anchialus: Bulgaria army counter attacks Byzantines
  • 1000 The foundation of the Hungarian state, Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1191 Crusader King Richard I kills 3,000 muslim prisoners in Akko

  • 1391 Konrad von Wallenrode becomes the 24th Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order.
  • 1534 Turkish admiral Chaireddin "Barbarossa" occupies Tunis
  • 1566 Iconoclasm reaches Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1597 1st Dutch East India Company ships return from the Far East
  • 1604 Spanish garrison of Sluis surrenders to count Maurice
  • 1619 1st known African Americans in English North America (approx. 20) land at Point Comfort (Fort Monroe), Virginia then sold or traded into servitude
  • 1641 England & Scotland sign Treaty of Pacification
  • 1648 Battle of Lens: French Duc d'Enghien defeats Spaniards
  • 1672 Former Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis are brutally murdered by an angry mob in The Hague.
  • 1741 Alaska first sighted by Danish explorer Vitus Bering at head of Russian expedition

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1781 George Washington begins to move his troops south to fight Cornwallis

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • 1794 Gen "Mad Anthony" Wayne defeated the Indians at Fallen Timbers, Ohio
  • 1795 Joseph Haydn returns to Vienna from England
  • 1856 Wilberforce University forms in Ohio
  • 1861 Skirmish at Jonesboro, MO
  • 1864 8th/last day of battle at Deep Bottom Run Va (about 3,900 casualties)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1865 President Andrew Johnson proclaims an end to "insurrection" in Texas

17th US President Andrew Johnson
17th US President
Andrew Johnson
  • 1866 President Andrew Johnson formally declares US Civil War over
  • 1879 Government Kappeijne of Coppello resigns
  • 1888 Longest US men's single tournament match Palmer Presbrey defeats T S Tailer, 19-21, 8-6, 6-1, 6-4, an 80-game 1st-round contest
  • 1892 The Transvaal National Union, a political organisation, is set up with J. Tudhope as president
  • 1893 Shechita (ritual slaughtering) prohibited in Switzerland
  • 1895 Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Norwood Builder" (BG)
  • 1896 Dial telephone patented
  • 1900 Japan's primary school law is amended to provide for four years of mandatory schooling.
  • 1901 The Fawcett Commission visits Mafeking concentration camp in Cape Colony

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1905 Sun Yat-sen, Chinese revolutionary, forms the first chapter of T'ung Meng Hui, a union of all secret societies determined to bringing down the Manchus

Father of Modern of China Sun Yat-sen
Father of Modern of China
Sun Yat-sen
  • 1908 Congo Free State becomes Belgian Congo
  • 1908 America's Great White Fleet arrives in Sydney, Australia, to be greeted with a tremendous welcome; 221 American sailors desert to remain in Australia
  • 1910 US supported opposition brings down Madriz in Nicaragua
  • 1912 Plant Quarantine Act goes into effect
  • 1913 1st pilot to parachute from an aircraft (Adolphe Pégoud, France)
  • 1913 Piotr Nesterow 1st flight (Kiev Ukraine)
  • 1914 German General von Bulow executes 211 Belgians
  • 1914 -24] Battle of Bounderies: Lorraine, Ardennen, Sambre & Meuse, Mons
  • 1914 Battle at Gumbinnen, East-Prussia: Russians beat Germans
  • 1914 Battle at Morhange: German troops chase French, killing thousands
  • 1914 Bavarian troops kill 50 inhabitants of Nomeny, France
  • 1914 German army captured Brussels as the Belgian army retreated to Antwerp
  • 1918 WW I: Britain opens offensive on Western front
  • 1920 1st US commercial radio station, 8MK (WWJ), Detroit begins daily broadcasting
  • 1920 Allen Woodring wins Oympic 200 m dash wearing borrowed shoes
  • 1920 Israel publishes its first medical journal "Ha-Refuah"
  • 1920 Preliminary meeting in Akron to form American Pro Football League
  • 1923 London dock strike ends
  • 1925 WJR-AM in Detroit MI begins radio transmissions
  • 1926 Uprising against Rezā Shāh Pahlavi in Iran
  • 1926 Japan's public broadcasting company, Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai(NHK) is established.
  • 1929 1st airship flight around Earth flying eastward completed
  • 1930 Dumont's 1st TV broadcast for home reception (NYC)
  • 1935 Miltary coup by General Pons & president Ibarra in Ecuador
  • 1939 1st black bowling league formed (National Bowling Assoc)
  • 1939 Russian offensive under General Zjoekov against Japanese invasion in Mongolia
  • 1940 1st Polish squadrons fight along allies in the Battle of Britain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940 British PM Churchill says of Royal Air Force, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill

MurderMurder of Interest

1940 Louis Buchalter is indicted on murder charges in Los Angeles for the killing of Harry Greenberg, a mob associate of casino owner Meyer Lansky and mobster Bugsy Siegel

  • 1941 Police raid 11th district of Paris, takes 4,000+ Jewish males
  • 1942 Dim-out regulations implemented in SF
  • 1944 Gen de Gaulle returns to France
  • 1944 Soviet offensive at Jassy & Kisjinev
  • 1944 US & British forces destroy German 7th Army at Falaise-Argentan Gap
  • 1945 Soviet troops occupy Harbin & Mukden
  • 1947 Turner Caldwell in D-558-I sets aircraft speed record, 1131 kph
  • 1948 US expels Soviet Consul General in New York, Jacob Lomakin
  • 1949 Hungary (Magyar People's Republic) accepts constitution

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1952 Stalin meets Chou Enlai

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin

BattleCoup d'état

1953 General Fazlollah Zahedi arrests Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in a CIA supported coup d'état

Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh
Prime Minister of Iran
Mohammad Mosaddegh
  • 1953 Russia publicly acknowledges hydrogen bomb test detonation
  • 1955 Hundreds killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco & Algeria
  • 1956 Republicans convene at Cow Palace
  • 1957 USAAF balloon breaks an altitude record at 102,000' (310,896 m)
  • 1959 Belgium shortens military conscription to 12 months
  • 1960 Senegal breaks from Mali federation, declaring independence
  • 1960 USSR recovers 2 dogs, 1st living organisms to return from space
  • 1961 East Germany begins erecting 5' high wall along the border with the west to replace the barbed wire put up Aug 13
  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act, an anti-poverty measure totaling nearly $1 billion

36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson
36th US President
Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 1967 Alvin Dark (52-69) is fired, rehired, & fired again as manager of A's
  • 1968 During the night 200,00 Warsaw Pact Soviet led troops begin to invade Czechoslovakia in response to the Prague Spring
  • 1968 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1969 69 cm rainfall in Nelson County, Virginia (state record)
  • 1970 -21] Hurricane Dorothy, kills 42 in Martinique
  • 1971 FBI begins covert investigation of journalist Daniel Schorr
  • 1972 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • 1974 Nelson Rockefeller selected US Vice President by President Ford
  • 1975 Il-62 crashes south of Damascus, Syria, killing 126
  • 1975 Viking 1 launched to orbit around Mars, soft landing
  • 1977 NASA launches Voyager 2 towards Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune
  • 1978 Gunmen open fire on an Israeli El Al Airline bus in London
  • 1978 Mark Vinchesi of Amherst Mass keeps a frisbee aloft 15.2 seconds
  • 1978 Tatyana Providokhina runs female world record 1k (2:30.6)
  • 1979 India premier Charan Singh resigns
  • 1979 The East Coast Main Line rail route between England and Scotland is restored when the Penmanshiel Diversion opens.
  • 1980 Pitts Omar Moreno steals record 70 bases for 3rd consecutive season

Birthdays in History

  • 1517 Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, cardinal/viceroy of Naples (1571-75)
  • 1526 Peter Opmeer, church historian/humanist (Historia Martyrum)
  • 1625 Thomas Corneille, French playwright
  • 1632 Louis Bourdaloue, French Jesuit preacher (d. 1704)
  • 1637 Cornelis Van Aerssen, Dutch governor/co-owner of Surinam
  • 1665 Bernardus Smijtegelt, vicar (Gekrookte Reed)
  • 1702 Stepan F graaf Apraksin, Russian general-fieldmarshal
  • 1710 Thomas Simpson, English mathematician (rules of Simpson)
  • 1719 Charles-François de Broglie, marquis de Ruffec, French soldier and diplomat (d. 1791)
  • 1719 Christian Mayer, Czech astronomer (d. 1783)
  • 1764 Charles F Bentinck, Dutch minister of Colonies
  • 1778 Bernardo O'Higgins, Chillán, Chile, South American independence leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule (1817-1823 Supreme Director of Chile)
  • 1779 Jöns Jakob Berzelius, Swedish chemist (d. 1848)
  • 1799 Heinrich WA Freiherr von Gagern, German liberal politician
  • 1802 Cadwalader Ringgold, Commander (Union Navy), (d. 1867)
  • 1811 Gilman Marston, American Brigadier General (Union volunteers) and politician (R-NH), born in Orford, New Hampshire (d. 1890)
  • 1824 Absalom Baird, Bvt Major General (Union Army), (d. 1905)
  • 1832 Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe, inventor, (d. 1913)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1833 Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States (Republican: 1889-93), born in North Bend, Ohio (d. 1901)

23rd US President Benjamin Harrison
23rd US President
Benjamin Harrison
  • 1842 Juliaan de Vriendt, Flemish painter
  • 1845 St. Albert Chmielowski, Polish Catholic Saint (d. 1916)
  • 1847 Bolesław Prus, Polish writer (d. 1912)
  • 1856 Innokenti F Annenski, Russian poet/interpreter (Laodania) [NS Sept 1]
  • 1856 Jakub Bart-Ćišinski, Sorbian writer (d. 1909)
  • 1860 Raymond Poincaré, France, president/PM (1912)
  • 1873 Eliel Saarinen, Finnish-American architect (GM Tech Institute, Mich), born in Rantasalmi, Finland (d. 1950)
  • 1881 Edgar Albert Guest, poet/newspaperman, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1885 Dino Campana, Italian poet (Canti orfici)
  • 1886 Paul Tillich, German/US theologist (Die sozial Entscheidung)
  • 1890 H. P. Lovecraft, American horror writer (At the Mountains of Madness, Weird Tales), born in Providence, Rhode Island
  • 1897 Tarjei Vesaas, Norwegian author (Det Store Spelet)
  • 1898 G Kraus, director Santpoort (Insanity in Netherlands)
  • 1898 Leopold Infeld, Polish nuclear physicist (Whom the God's Love)
  • 1898 Vilhelm Moberg, Swedish author and historian (d. 1973)
  • 1899 Hanns Lilje, German Lutherian bishop/antifascist (Church und Welt)
  • 1900 Edward J "Murt" O'Donoghue, snooker player, 1st witnessed 147 break

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1901 Salvatore Quasimodo, Italian poet, critic and translator (Nobel 1959), born in Modica, Italy (d. 1968)

Author/Poet Salvatore Quasimodo
Author/Poet
Salvatore Quasimodo
  • 1902 Ernest Charles Melvin Patrick Ekundio Marke, club owner
  • 1904 Jaap [Jacob AW] Burger, chairman (PvdA)
  • 1905 Jean Gebser, German-born author, linguist, and poet (d. 1973)
  • 1907 Stanley Devon, photographer
  • 1908 John Reginald Bevins, politician
  • 1908 Kingsley Davis, sociologist/demographer, coined (population explosion)
  • 1910 Eero Saarinen, Finnish-American architect (IBM Building, MIT Chapel), born in Kirkkonummi, Finland (d. 1961)
  • 1912 Philip Kapleau, founder (Rochester Zen Center in New Haven)
  • 1916 Paul Felix Schmidt, Estonian-German chess player (d. 1984)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1918 Jacqueline Susann, author (Valley of the Dolls), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1974)

  • 1922 Akutsu Tetsuzo, Japan, Japanese surgeon who built the first artificial heart
  • 1931 Bernhard "Bernd" Becher, photographer (industrialist builder 19th/20th)
  • 1932 Vasily Aksyonov, Russian novelist
  • 1933 Don Fuqua, (Rep-D-FL, 1963-86)
  • 1933 George John Mitchell, (Sen-D-ME, 1980-94/Senate Whip 1989- )
  • 1935 Ron Paul, US Congressman, 1988 and 2008 presidential candidate
  • 1936 Carla Fracci, ballerina, born in Milan, Italy
  • 1936 Hideki Shirakawa, Japanese chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1937 Corrie E Moret-de Jong, Dutch MP (CDA)
  • 1938 Jean-Loup Jaques Marie Chretien, France, cosmonaut (T-6, TM-7, STS 86)
  • 1938 Alain Vivien, French politician
  • 1940 Rubén Hinojosa, American politician
  • 1941 William H Gray III, Baton Rouge La, (Rep-D-PA, 1978-1991), (d. 2013)
  • 1941 Robin Oakley, British journalist

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1941 Slobodan Milosevic, President of Serbia (1991-97) and Yugoslavia (1997-2000), born in Pozarevac

President of Serbia and Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic
President of Serbia and Yugoslavia
Slobodan Milosevic
  • 1944 Rajiv Gandhi, PM of India (1984-89)
  • 1946 N.R. Narayana Murthy, Indian businessman
  • 1951 Greg[ory Dale] Bear, US, sci-fi author (2 Hugos, Eon, Eternity)
  • 1951 Svetlana Oktyabrevna Omelchenko, Russia, cosmonaut
  • 1954 Tawn Mastrey, American disc jockey (d. 2007)
  • 1960 Sally Yates, American lawyer and Acting Attorney General (Jan 2017), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1961 Greg Egan, Australian author
  • 1975 Marianne Garvey, American reporter
  • 1975 Marcus Mastin, American author
  • 1994 White buffalo, Janesville Wisconsin
  • 2003 Prince Gabriel of Belgium

Weddings in History

  • 1836 English novelist (Vanity Fair) William Makepeace Thackeray (25) marries Isabella Gethin Shawe (20)
  • 2005 Award-winning American news anchor Lauren Sanchez (35) weds prominent talent agent Patrick Whitesell at The Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, California

Divorces in History

  • 2012 The man known primarily for gatecrashing the White House, Tareq Salahi (42) divorces socialite Michaele Salahi (46) due to adultery, desertion and construction desertion

Deaths in History

  • 535 Mochta of Louth, disciple of St. Patrick
  • 984 John XIV, [Petrus Canepanova], Italian Pope (983-84), dies
  • 1153 Bernard[us] van Clairvaux, French saint, dies
  • 1384 Geert Groote, Dutch founder of the Brethren of the Common Life, dies at 43
  • 1538 Aefgen Listinck, Dutch anabaptist, burned at stake
  • 1572 Miguel López de Legazpi, Spanish conquistador (b. 1502)
  • 1580 Jeronymo Osorio, Portuguese historian (b. 1506)
  • 1632 Valentin de Boulogne, French painter, buried at 38
  • 1639 Martin Opitz, German poet/historian (Troerinnen), dies at 41
  • 1643 Anne Hutchinson, English Puritan preacher, killed in Native American uprising (b. 1591)
  • 1648 Edward Herbert of Cherbury, English military/philosopher, dies at 65
  • 1672 Cornelis de Witt, Dutch, statesman, lynched at 49
  • 1672 Johan de Witt, advisor of Holland, lynched
  • 1679 Jacob Alting, Dutch theologist, dies at 60
  • 1680 William Bedloe, English informer (b. 1650)
  • 1701 Charles Sedley, English playwright (b. 1639)
  • 1773 Enrique Florez, Spanish historian (b. 1701)
  • 1804 Charles Floyd, only fatality of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • 1811 Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French explorer (b. 1729)
  • 1823 Pius VII, [Luigi B Chiaramonti], Pope (1800-23), dies at 83
  • 1825 William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock, Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1753)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1854 Friedrich WJ von Schelling, German philosopher, dies at 79

  • 1864 Daniel Chaplin, US Union brig-general, dies
  • 1864 John H Kelly, US Confederate brig-general, dies in battle at 24
  • 1885 Edouard J A Agneessens, Flemish painter (Slave Market), dies at 42
  • 1887 Jules Laforgue, French poet (b. 1860)
  • 1912 William Booth, English minister/founder (Leader des Heils), dies
  • 1914 Pius X, [Giuseppe M Sarto], Pope (1903-14), dies
  • 1915 Paul Ehrlich, Germ geneologist (Chemotherapy, Nobel 1908), dies in 61
  • 1917 JFW Adolf Ritter von Baeyer, German chemist (Nobel 1905), dies
  • 1932 Paul Keller, German writer (Vergrabenes Gut), dies at 59
  • 1945 Alexander Roda Roda, Austrian writer, dies at 73
  • 1947 Franz VM Cumont, Belgian religious historian, dies at 79
  • 1952 Kurt Schumacher, German politician/chairman (SPD), dies
  • 1959 Alfred Kubin, Austrian writer and illustrator, dies at 82
  • 1961 Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Arctic explorer, dies at 82
  • 1963 Joan Voûte, Dutch astronomer (b. 1879)
  • 1970 Hildo Krop, modernistic sculptor, dies at 86
  • 1971 Rashid Minhas, Pakistani Air Force pilot (b. 1951)
  • 1980 Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, dies at 91
  • 1983 Kerwin Duinmeijer, Dutch of Antillean descent, murdered by in a racially motivated attack at 15
  • 1985 Harchand Singh Longowai, Sikh leader, shot by Sikh extremists
  • 1986 Milton Acorn, Canadian poet (b. 1923)
  • 1990 Marc Turfkruijer, Flemish movie journalist/writer, dies
  • 1991 Lenore Strunsky Gershwin, widow of Ira Gershwin, dies at 90
  • 1992 Ivan Nikolayevich Anikeyev, cosmonaut, dies at 59
  • 1992 William Taylor, chairman (FDIC), dies at 53
  • 1993 Bernard Delfgaauw, philosopher (Johnson murderer!), dies at 80
  • 1994 Kalman Kahana, Polish co-founder of state Israel, dies at 81
  • 1995 Hugo Pratt, graphic artist, dies at 68
  • 1995 Vladimir Skutina, writer playwright/journalist, dies at 64
  • 1997 Norris Bradbury, American physicist (b. 1909)
  • 2001 Sir Fred Hoyle, English astronomer and science fiction writer (b. 1915)
  • 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)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2008 Hua Guofeng, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (1976-81) and Premier of the People's Republic of China (1976-80), dies at 87

Paramount Leader of China Hua Guofeng
Paramount Leader of China
Hua Guofeng
  • 2008 Stephanie Tubbs Jones, American politician (b. 1949)
  • 2012 Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian Prime Minister, dies from liver cancer at 57
  • 2012 Dom Mintoff, Maltese Prime Minister (1955-58, 1971-84), dies at 96
  • 2013 Elmore Leonard, American author, dies from complications from a stroke at 87
  • 2015 Egon Bahr, German journalist and politician (Ostpolitik policy), dies at 93