On This Day

Historical Events on August 20

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

Historic Event

573 Gregory of Tours selected bishop 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.

Historic Event

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; the Cathedral's interior is torn apart by Protestants
  • 1597 1st Dutch East India Company ships return from the Far East
  • 1604 Spanish garrison of Sluis surrenders to count Maurice
  • 1612 9 Pendle witches hanged at Gallows Hill in Lancaster, England
  • 1619 1st known African Americans in English North America (approx. 20) land at Point Comfort (Fort Monroe), Virginia. They are then sold or traded into servitude.
  • 1641 England & Scotland sign Treaty of Pacification
  • 1648 Battle of Lens: French Duc d'Enghien defeats Spaniards

Murder of Interest

1672 Former Grand Pensionary of Holland 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

Historic Event

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

Victory in Battle

1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers: Major General "Mad Anthony" Wayne defeats a joint British-Native American force at Fallen Timbers, Ohio in the final battle of the Northwest Indian War

  • 1795 Joseph Haydn returns to Vienna from England

Music Premiere

1828 Gioachino Rossini's opera "Le Comte Ory" premieres in Paris

  • 1828 Hindi reform movement Brahmo Samaj founded by Ram Mohan Roy and Dwarkanath Tagore in Calcutta
  • 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)

Historic Event

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

  • 1866 President Andrew Johnson formally declares US Civil War over
  • 1879 Government Kappeijne of Coppello resigns

Music History

1882 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" debuts in Moscow

Historic Event

1886 Second Salon exhibition by Society of Independent Artists held in Paris; includes Georges Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte"

  • 1888 Longest US men's single tennis 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
  • 1896 Dial telephone patented
  • 1900 Great Britain beats France by 158 runs in Paris; cricket's only appearance at an Olympic Games
  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 1908 Congo Free State becomes Belgian Congo

Great White Fleet

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

Sports History

1912 Washington Senators future Baseball HOF pitcher Walter Johnson wins AL-record 15th straight, beating Cleveland Naps, 4-2; in nightcap Carl Cushion no-hits Naps, 2-0 in 6 innings

  • 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 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
  • 1915 Chicago White Sox obtain 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson from Cleveland for Robert Roth, Larry Chappell, Ed Klepfer & $31,500; Jackson involved in 'Black Sox Scandal' 1919
  • 1918 WWI: Britain opens offensive on Western front
  • 1919 Wichita outfielder Joe Wilhoit (Western League) fails to get a hit, ending a 69-game streak (155 hits in 299 at bats for .505 average)

Sports History

1920 American Professional Football Association forms; Jim Thorpe installed as president; later to become the National Football League (NFL)

  • 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"
  • 1921 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Germantown CC, PA: Molla Bjurstedt Mallory wins her 6th US singles title; beats 3-time champion Mary Browne 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
  • 1922 1st Women's World Games (first track & field competition for women) is conducted over 1-day at the Pershing Stadium in Paris
  • 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

Sports History

1930 A week before his 22nd birthday Australian cricket's batting genius Don Bradman scores 232 in 5th Test win over England at The Oval in London

  • 1930 Dumont's 1st TV broadcast for home reception (NYC)

US Open Women's Tennis

1931 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Helen Wills Moody beats Eileen Bennett Whittingstall of England 6-4, 6-1 for her 7th and final US singles title

  • 1934 Australian cricket opening batsman Bill Ponsford is dismissed for 266 in his final Test match against England at The Oval; out for 22 in 2nd innings
  • 1935 Military coup by General Pons & president Ibarra in Ecuador

Baseball Record

1938 NY Yankees future Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig hits record 23rd & final grand slam in 11-3 win over Philadelphia A's at Shribe Park

  • 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

Historic Event

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"

Murder 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 San Francisco
  • 1944 "Anna Lucasta" opens on Broadway

PGA Championship

1944 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Manito G & CC: Bob Hamilton wins his only major title, 1 up in the 36-hole final over heavily favoured Byron Nelson

Historic Event

1944 French General Charles de Gaulle returns to France

  • 1944 Soviet offensive at Jassy & Kisjinev
  • 1944 US & British forces destroy German 7th Army at Falaise-Argentan Gap
  • 1945 17-year-old Dodgers utility Tommy Brown becomes youngest player to hit a MLB home run in Brooklyn's 11-1 rout of Pittsburgh Pirates at Ebbets Field
  • 1945 Soviet troops occupy Harbin & Mukden
  • 1947 Boston Braves hit a million attendance for 1st time
  • 1947 Turner Caldwell in D-558-I sets aircraft speed record, 1131 kph
  • 1948 15th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Chi Cards 28, All-Stars 0 (101,220)
  • 1948 US expels Soviet Consul General in New York, Jacob Lomakin
  • 1949 78,382 watch White Sox play Indians at Cleveland
  • 1949 Hungary (Magyar People's Republic) accepts constitution
  • 1950 11th Venice Film Festival: "Justice est faite" ("Justice is Done") directed by Andre Cayatte wins the Golden Lion

Venice Film Festival

1951 12th Venice Film Festival: "Rashomon" directed by Akira Kurosawa wins the Golden Lion

Venice Film Festival

1952 13th Venice Film Festival: "Genghis Khan" directed by Manuel Conde wins the Golden Lion

Coup d'état

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

  • 1953 Russia publicly acknowledges hydrogen bomb test detonation
  • 1953 14th Venice Film Festival opens. No Golden Lion awarded
  • 1955 Hundreds killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco & Algeria
  • 1956 Republicans convene at Cow Palace
  • 1957 "Simply Heavenly" opens at Playhouse Theater NYC for 62 performances
  • 1957 Chicago White Sox Bob Keegan no-hits Washington Senators, 6-0
  • 1957 USAF balloon, manned by David Simons, breaks an altitude record at 102,000 ft (3,1089.6 m), over Minnesota and South Dakota
  • 1958 Cubs use 1st baseman Dale Long as their 1st major league lefty catcher since 1906
  • 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 Philadelphia Phillies beat Milwaukee Braves, 7-4 at County Stadium; end losing streak with dubious MLB record of 23 straight loses
  • 1961 East Germany begins erecting 5' high wall along the border with the west to replace the barbed wire put up Aug 13
  • 1961 22nd Venice Film Festival: "Last Year at Marienbad" directed by Alain Resnais wins Golden Lion
  • 1962 USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

Historic Event

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

  • 1964 Rex Sellers bowls 5-1-17-0 v India in only Test Cricket innings

Sports History

1964 Yankee Phil Linz plays harmonica on bus despite Yogi Berra's orders

  • 1965 Rolling Stones release their single "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (their 1st #1 US hit) in the UK

Baseball Record

1965 Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron (1954-65) pass Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hitting 772 HRs while playing together on the same team

  • 1966 Beatles pelted with rotten fruit during Memphis concert
  • 1967 Alvin Dark (52-69) is fired, rehired, & fired again as manager of A's
  • 1967 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Pekin CC: Kathy Whitworth wins by 7 strokes from Sandra Haynie

Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia

1968 During the night 250,000 Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops 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

Sports History

1974 Nolan Ryan pitch measured at record 161.6 kph (100.4 mph)

  • 1974 Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed is elected fifth President of India
  • 1975 Il-62 crashes south of Damascus, Syria, killing 126
  • 1975 Viking 1 launched to orbit around Mars, soft landing

Voyager 2 Spacecraft

1977 NASA launches Voyager 2 towards Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and 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 American singer Vikki Carr (39) weds businessman Michael Nilsson
  • 1979 The East Coast Main Line rail route between England and Scotland is restored when the Penmanshiel Diversion opens.
  • 1980 NY Yankee Bob Watson hits Seattle Kingdome speaker, 2nd straight day
  • 1980 Pitts Omar Moreno steals record 70 bases for 3rd consecutive season
  • 1980 Reinhold Messner of Italy is 1st to solo ascent Mt Everest
  • 1980 Cleve Dan Spillner, 545 ERA, is 2 outs from a no-hitter when White Sox rookie Leo Sutherland singles
  • 1980 UN Security Council condemns (14-0, US abstains) Israeli declaration that all of Jerusalem is its capital
  • 1982 Don Lever becomes first captain of NHL New Jersey Devils
  • 1982 US marines land in Beirut Lebanon
  • 1983 The South African anti-apartheid umbrella organization, United Democratic Front (UDF) is launched at Rocklands Community Centre in Cape Town, South Afrca

Sports History

1985 1st NL pitcher to strike out 200+ in 1st 2 seasons (Dwight Gooden)

  • 1985 Israel ships 96 TOWs to Iran on behalf of US
  • 1985 Libya throws out 1000s Tunisian/Egyptian gas workers
  • 1985 Met Dwight Gooden strikes out 16 on way to his 13th consecutive win
  • 1985 Hanspeter Beck of South Australia, finishes a 3,875 mile, 51 day trip from Western Australia to Melbourne on a unicycle
  • 1986 Postal worker Patrick Sherrill shot 14 fellow workers dead in Edmond, Oklahoma
  • 1986 Phils Don Carmen perfect game bid is broken in 9th
  • 1988 6.5 earthquake strikes India/Nepal, 1,000s killed
  • 1988 Yordanka Donkova of Bulgaria sets 100m hurdle woman's record (12.21)
  • 1988 "Black Saturday" of the Yellowstone fire in Yellowstone National Park
  • 1988 Peru becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty
  • 1989 Dredger "Bow Belle" collides with pleasure boat "Marchioness" on the River Thames in central London; the "Marchioness" sinks in 30 seconds, drowning 51

Baseball Record

1989 Howard Johnson joins Barry Bonds & Willie Mays hitting 30 HRs & steal 30 bases

  • 1989 American Janet Evans swims female 800m freestyle world record 8:16.22 in the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1989 Said Aouita runs world record 3,000 m (7:29.45)
  • 1990 Gene Michael names NY Yankee VP/GM replacing Harding Peterson

Sports History

1990 George Steinbrenner steps down as NY Yankee owner

  • 1990 Iraq moves Western hostages to military installations (human shields)
  • 1990 NY Yankee Kevin Maas is quickest to reach 15 HRs (approx 132 at bat)
  • 1991 Norbert Rosza swims world record 100m breast stroke (1:01.29)

Sports History

1991 Dolphin Dan Marino surpasses Joe Montana as the highest paid NFL player with a 5-year extension for $25 million

  • 1991 Estonia formally declares its independence from the USSR
  • 1991 The United Democratic Front, one of the most prominent anti-apartheid movements, comprising of over 400 workers', church, civic and student organisations, dissolves
  • 1992 England get 7-363 in 55 overs vs Pakistan, then world ODI record
  • 1993 Colin Jackson runs world record 110m hurdles (12.91)
  • 1993 Howard Stern is fired from WLUP-AM, Chicago

Historic Event

1993 Mother Teresa hospitalized with malaria

  • 1993 Oslo Peace Accords signed, after secret negotiations in Norway, followed by a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. the following month
  • 1994 109.8°F (43.2°C) in Cordoba Spain
  • 1994 Archbishop Quarracino wants all homosexuals to leave Argentina
  • 1994 Ferry boat sinks at Chandpur Bangladesh, 300-350 killed
  • 1994 Vuyani Bungu, the South African junior featherweight, wins the IBF World Boxing Title
  • 1995 "The Play's the Thing" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 75 performances
  • 1995 Indians' Jose Mesa sets record with his 37th consecutive save

Sports History

1995 British Open Women's Golf, Woburn, Duke's Course: Australian Karrie Webb scores a 6 stroke win over runners-up Annika Sörenstam and Jill McGill

  • 1996 India defeat Pakistan in Under-15 World Challenge Final at Lord's
  • 1997 Shelly Moore, 18, of Tenn, crowned 15th Miss Teen USA
  • 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: US military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
  • 1999 7th Athletics World Championships open at Seville, Spain
  • 2000 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Valhalla GC: Tiger Woods becomes first since Ben Hogan (1953) to win 3 majors in a calendar year; wins back-to-back PGA titles in 3-hole playoff with Bob May
  • 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.
  • 2004 Ethiopian runners Kenenisa Bekele (27:05.10 OR) and Sileshi Sihine go 1-2 in the 10,000m at the Athens Olympics

Olympic Games

2004 American swimmer Michael Phelps wraps up the 100/200m butterfly double at the Athens Olympics when he wins the 100m (51.25 OR) ahead of teammate Ian Croker

  • 2006 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Medinah CC: Tiger Woods wins his 3rd PGA C'ship by 5 strokes from Shaun Micheel
  • 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.
  • 2008 Russian long-distance swimmer Larisa Ilchenko wins inaugural women's open water marathon (10k) in 1:59:27.7 at the Beijing Olympics

World Record

2008 Usain Bolt of Jamaica wraps up the 100/200m double in style with a new 200m world record 19.30 at the Beijing Olympics

Sports History

2011 Senior Players Championship Men's Golf, Westchester CC: Fred Couples wins first of 2 Champions Tour major titles with birdie on 3rd playoff hole against John Cook

  • 2012 20 people are killed in a riot in Caracas, Venezuela
  • 2012 South Africa become the top-ranked test cricket nation after defeating England
  • 2013 9 Islamist militants are killed by Russian police in North Caucasus

Film Premier

2013 "One Direction: This Is Us" 3D concert film of One Direction directed by Morgan Spurlock premieres in London

  • 2015 30 students at West Point Military Academy are injured in a mass pillow fight