On This Day

What Happened in August 1920

Historical Events

  • Aug 1 Peace of Riga-Independence of Latvia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 2 Marcus Garvey presents his "Back To Africa" program in NYC

Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey
Black Nationalist
Marcus Garvey
  • Aug 8 Tigers beat Yanks 1-0 in shortest AL game, 73 minutes
  • Aug 9 Bulgarian & allied Peace of Neuilly-sur-Seine goes into effect
  • Aug 10 Allies recognize Poland, Czechoslovakia & Romania
  • Aug 10 Treaty of Sèvres (Allies & Turkey)
  • Aug 10 Turkish government renounces its claim to Israel, recognizes British mandate
  • Aug 10 Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds record “Crazy Blues” for Okeh Records, first significant Blues hit by African American artist
  • Aug 11 1st peace of Riga-Soviet Union recognizes Independence of Latvia
  • Aug 12 Battle of Warsaw between Poland and Russia begins

Sport awardUS Golf Open

Aug 13 US Open Men's Golf, Inverness GC: Isle of Jersey native Ted Ray pars the 18th, giving him a 1-stroke win over runners-up Harry Vardon, Jock Hutchison, Leo Diegel & Jack Burke Sr

Golfer and Two-Time PGA Champion Leo Diegel
Golfer and Two-Time PGA Champion
Leo Diegel
  • Aug 13 Flag designed by Marcus Garvey consisting of three horizontal stripes of red, black and green is adopted as the pan-African flag
  • Aug 14 Little Entente formed by Czechoslovakia & Yugoslavia
  • Aug 14 VII Summer Olympic Games open in Antwerp, Belgium; first time Olympic Oath voiced, doves released to symbolise peace, and Olympic Flag flown

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Aug 15 Polish troops commanded by Józef Piłsudski defeat the Soviets at the Battle of Warsaw (Miracle upon the Vistula)

Statesman and First Marshall Józef Piłsudski
Statesman and First Marshall
Józef Piłsudski
  • Aug 16 Ray Chapman, of Indians is hit in head by Yankees pitcher Carl Mays; he dies the next day in only major league fatality

  • Aug 17 NY Yankees cancel game with Cleveland Indians in memory of Ray Chapman who died on the same day
  • Aug 18 1st class cricket debut of Walter Hammond
  • Aug 18 22 year old representative Harry T. Burn is deciding vote in Tennessee's and thus America's ratification of the 19th Amendment to the constitution allowing women's suffrage after letter from his mother

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 20 American Professional Football Association forms; Jim Thorpe installed as president; later to become the National Football League (NFL)

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe
Versatile Athlete
Jim Thorpe
  • Aug 20 1st US commercial radio station, 8MK (WWJ), Detroit begins daily broadcasting
  • Aug 20 Allen Woodring wins Oympic 200 m dash wearing borrowed shoes
  • Aug 20 Israel publishes its first medical journal "Ha-Refuah"
  • Aug 21 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Flossmoor CC: American based Scotsman Jock Hutchison beats J. Douglas Edgar of England, 1-up; first of Hutchinson's 2 majors
  • Aug 23 Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Roberts play "The Bat" based on Reinhart's novel "The Circular Staircase"premieres on Broadway in New York
  • Aug 23 American swimmer Warren Kealoha wins first of 2 consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100m backstroke, beating teammate Ray Kegeris at the Antwerp Games
  • Aug 24 With British approval, Greece is encouraged to take offensive action against Turkish nationalists in Asia Minor
  • Aug 25 Russia suffers a final decisive defeat in the Battle of Warsaw against Poland
  • Aug 25 American swimmer Norman Ross wins his first of 3 gold medals at the Antwerp Olympics in dominating men's 1,500m freestyle; also wins 400m freestyle and 4 x 200m freestyle relay
  • Aug 25 Ethelda Bleibtrey leads an American medal sweep of the Antwerp Olympics women's 100m freestyle with a world record 1:13.6; first US female Olympic champion
  • Aug 25 Swedish divers sweep the medals in the men's plain high diving event at the Antwerp Olympics; Arvid Wallman wins gold ahead of teammates Nils Skoglund & John Jansson
  • Aug 26 Percy Fender (Surrey v Northants) scores 100 in 35 mins
  • Aug 27 American diver Louis Kuehn leads a US medal sweep in the men's 3m springboard event at the Antwerp Olympics; teammates Clarence Pinkston & Louis Balbach take the minor medals
  • Aug 28 American swimmer Norman Ross wins his 2nd of 3 gold medals at the Antwerp Olympics; beats teammate Ludwig Langer in the men's 400m freestyle; also wins 1,500m and 4 x 200m freestyle relay
  • Aug 28 Ethelda Bleibtrey leads an American medal sweep of the Antwerp Olympics women's 300m freestyle with a world record swim of 4:34.0
  • Aug 29 An American sweep of the medals in the men's 100m freestyle at the Antwerp Olympics; Duke Kahanamoku sets world record 1:00.4 in defending his 1912 gold medal
  • Aug 29 Swedish swimmer Håkan Malmrot completes the breaststroke double at the Antwerp Olympics beating teammate Thor Henning in the 200m; also beats Henning for gold in the 400m
  • Aug 29 Ethelda Bleibtrey wins her 3rd gold medal of the Antwerp Olympics; teams with Irene Guest, Frances Schroth & Margaret Woodbridge in American 4 x 100m freestyle relay team; world record 5:11.6
  • Aug 29 An American sweep of the medals in the women's 3m springboard diving event at the Antwerp Olympics; Aileen Riggin wins gold ahead of teammates Helen Wainwright & Thelma Payne
  • Aug 31 Belgium starts paying old age pensions
  • Aug 31 Detroit radio station 8MK (now WWJ, 950AM) is 1st to broadcast a news program on the air

Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 1 Jeffrey Segal, British actor and playwright (Dad's Army, Traitors), born in London, England (d. 2015)
  • Aug 1 Sammy Lee, American diver (Olympic Gold 10m platform 1948, 52), born in Fresno, California (d. 2016)
  • Aug 1 Henrietta Lacks [Loretta Pleasant], African-American tobacco farmer whose cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, extensively used in medical research since the 1950s (1st immortalised cell line), born in Roanoke, Virginia (d. 1951)
  • Aug 2 Louis Pauwels, French writer and editor, born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 1997)
  • Aug 2 Theo Marcuse, American character actor (Mara of Wilderness), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 1967)
  • Aug 2 Bill Scott, American voice actor, producer and writer (Mr Peabody, Bullwinkle), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1985)
  • Aug 3 Maria Karnilova, American dancer and actress (Fiddler on the Roof, Ivan the Terrible), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2001)
  • Aug 3 P. D. James [Phyllis Dorothy], Baroness James of Holland Park, English crime writer (Cover Her Face), born in Oxford, England (d. 2014)
  • Aug 3 Charlie Shavers, American jazz trumpet player, born in NYC, New York (d. 1971)
  • Aug 3 Elmar Tampõld, Estonian-Canadian architect, born in Kärdla, Estonia (d. 2013)
  • Aug 4 Helen Thomas, American reporter and UPI journalist (starts press conferences), born in Winchester, Kentucky (d. 2013)
  • Aug 5 Sonny Montgomery, American politician (Rep-D-Mississippi, 1967-97), born in Meridian, Mississippi (d. 2006)
  • Aug 5 Selma Diamond, comedienne (Selma-Night Court), born in London, Ontario
  • Aug 6 Ella Raines, American actress (Uncle Harry, Runaround, Impact, Brute Force), born in Snoqualmie Falls, Washington (d. 1988)
  • Aug 8 Don Cook, foreign Correspondent
  • Aug 8 Leo Chiosso, Italian lyricist (d. 2006)
  • Aug 8 James "Jimmy" Witherspoon, American jump blues singer (Ain't Nobody's Business), born in Gurdon, Arkansas (d. 1997)
  • Aug 9 Enzo Biagi, Italian journalist and writer, born in Lizzano in Belvedere, Italy (d. 2007)
  • Aug 9 Allen Hoskins, American child actor (Our Gang), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1980)
  • Aug 10 William "Red" Holzman, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (New York Knicks 14 seasons), born in Brooklyn, NY (d. 1998)
  • Aug 11 Derry Jeffares, Honorary Prof of English Studies (Stirling U)
  • Aug 11 William Masselos, pianist/prof (Juilliard 1976), born in Niagara Falls, New York
  • Aug 11 Mike Douglas, American talk show host (The Mike Douglas Show), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2006)
  • Aug 12 Percy Mayfield, American singer (Please Send Me Someone to Love)
  • Aug 12 Peter West, British sports commentator
  • Aug 13 Charlie Alfred Galbraith, English jazz trombonist, born in London (d. 1997)
  • Aug 13 Neville Brand, American soldier and actor (DOA, Love Me Tender), born in Griswold, Iowa (d. 1992)
  • Aug 16 Charles Bukowski, German-born American columnist (Notes of a Dirty Old Man) and writer (Hollywood: A Novel) who was described as a "laureate of American lowlife", born in Andernach, Weimar Republic Germany (d. 1994)
  • Aug 17 Georgia Gibbs, singer (Ballin the Jack, Kiss of Fire), born in Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Aug 17 Maureen O'Hara [FitzSimons], Irish actress and singer (Miracle on 34th St, The Quiet Man), Ranelagh, County Dublin (d. 2015)
  • Aug 18 Bob Kennedy, baseball player
  • Aug 18 Godfrey Evans, English cricket wicket-keeper (91 Tests; 219 dismissals; Kent), born in Finchley, England (d. 1999)

Person of interestShelley Winters

Aug 18 Shelley Winters [Schrift], American actress (Lolita, A Place in the Sun, A Patch of Blue & Poseidon Adventure), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2006)

  • Aug 19 Lucila Engels-Boskaljon, Curacao painter
  • Aug 19 Paul Kont, Austrian composer, born in Vienna (d. 2000)
  • Aug 21 Christopher R. Milne, son of Alan A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh), born in Chelsea, London (d. 1996)
  • Aug 21 Gerry Staley, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1952-53, 60; St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox), born in Brush Prairie, Washington (d. 2008)
  • Aug 22 Anthony Tuke, chairman of Barclays Bank (1973–81) (d. 2001)
  • Aug 22 Denton Cooley, American heart surgeon (1st artificial heart transplant), born in Houston, Texas (d. 2016)
  • Aug 22 Pierre A. Lauffer, Antillian poet (Patria), born in Curacao, Venezuela (d. 1981)
  • Aug 22 Ray Bradbury, American sci-fi author (Fahrenheit 451), born in Waukegan, Illinois (d. 2012)
  • Aug 22 Wolfdietrich Schnurre, German writer, born in Frankfurt (d. 1989)
  • Aug 23 Aart Verstegen, Dutch ballet dancer and choreographer (Jolly Joker's Last Joke), born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1998)
  • Aug 25 Jef Diederen, Dutch painter, born in Heerlen, Netherlands (d. 2009)
  • Aug 25 Leonard Gaskin, American jazz bassist (Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis), born in New York City (d. 2009)
  • Aug 26 Brant Parker, American cartoonist (d. 2007)
  • Aug 27 James Molyneaux [Baron Molyneaux of Killead], MP (Ulster unionist), born in Killead, Ireland (d. 2015)
  • Aug 28 Frits Bernard, American clinical psychologist and pedophile activist, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 2006)
  • Aug 29 Charles White, American actor (Airport 95, Serpico), born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey (d. 2005)
  • Aug 29 Charlie "Bird" Parker, American jazz saxophonist (Ornithology), born in Kansas City, Kansas (d. 1955)
  • Aug 29 Joseph Lesniewski, American Easy Company, soldier in 101st Airborne, born in Erie, Pennsylvania (d. 2012)
  • Aug 30 Ben Cami, Flemish writer and poet (Rose from Mud), born in Durham, England (d. 2004)
  • Aug 31 James Lanphier, American actor (Flight of Lost Balloon), born in Hempstead, New York (d. 1969)

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 1 Bal Gangadhar Tilak, early Indian nationalist leader, dies at 64
  • Aug 2 Ormer Locklear, American movie stunt pilot (The Great Air Robbery), dies at 28
  • Aug 4 Vladimir Rebikov, Russian pianist and composer, dies at 54
  • Aug 6 Stefan Bastyr, Polish aviator, first flight in independent Poland (b. 1890)
  • Aug 10 Ádám Politzer, Hungarian-Austrian physician, dies at 84
  • Aug 16 Sir Norman Lockyer, English physicist, co-founder of helium gas, founder and editor of "Nature" magazinem dies at 84
  • Aug 17 Ray Chapman, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians), dies at 29 after being hit in the head by a pitch from NY Yankees Carl Mays
  • Aug 22 Anders Zorn, Swedish painter (Gustavus Vasa), dies at 60
  • Aug 31 Wilhelm Wundt, German physiologist, psychologist and philosopher, dies at 88