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 football player and union leader (b. 1945)

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)