On This Day

What Happened on August 20, 2008

Day of the Week: Wednesday

Historical Events

  • Russian long-distance swimmer Larisa Ilchenko wins inaugural women's open water marathon (10k) in 1:59:27.7 at the Beijing Olympics
  • 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.

Sports record brokenWorld Record

Usain Bolt of Jamaica wraps up the 100/200m double in style with a new 200m world record 19.30 at the Beijing Olympics

Olympic Sprinter Usain Bolt
Olympic Sprinter
Usain Bolt

Famous Deaths

  • Gene Upshaw, American NFL guard (Oakland Radiers) and NFLPA leader, dies at 63

Person of interestHua Guofeng

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
  • Margaret Douglas, chief political adviser (BBC), dies at 73
  • Stephanie Tubbs Jones, American politician (b. 1949)