Events in History 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

  • 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

Historic Event

1578 Francis Drake renames his flagship the Pelican to the Golden Hind in honor of his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton [1]

  • 1593 'The Massacre of the Innocents': In Timbuktu prominent citizens rounded up and some killed by invading Moroccan forces who then pillage the city, ending its golden age
  • 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
  • 1828 Hindi reform movement Brahmo Samaj founded by Ram Mohan Roy and Dwarkanath Tagore in Calcutta
  • 1856 Wilberforce University forms in Ohio
  • 1858 Rudolf Virchov's groundbreaking medical text "Cellular Pathology" is published in Berlin, establishing the basis for modern medical science [1]
  • 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

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"

  • 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 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)

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

  • 1908 Congo Free State becomes Belgian Congo
  • 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 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
  • 1914 German General von Bulow executes 211 Belgians
  • 1918 WWI: 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"
  • 1923 London dock strike ends
  • 1925 WJR-AM in Detroit MI begins radio transmissions
  • 1926 Japan's public broadcasting company, Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai(NHK) is established.

Historic Event

1926 Uprising against Rezā Shāh Pahlavi in Iran

  • 1929 1st airship flight around Earth flying eastward completed
  • 1935 Military 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

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

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 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
  • 1949 Las Lajas Sanctuary, a basilica built inside the Guáitara River in Colombia, is completed after 33 years

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
  • 1955 Hundreds killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco & Algeria
  • 1956 Republicans convene at Cow Palace
  • 1957 USAF balloon, manned by David Simons, breaks an altitude record at 102,000 ft (3,1089.6 m), over Minnesota and South Dakota
  • 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

Historic Event

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

  • 1967 Alvin Dark (52-69) is fired, rehired, & fired again as manager of A's

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
  • 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, (later Uranus and Neptune also)

  • 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 Reinhold Messner of Italy is 1st to complete solo ascent of Mt Everest
  • 1980 UN Security Council condemns (14-0, US abstains) Israeli declaration that all of Jerusalem is its capital
  • 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
  • 1985 Hanspeter Beck of South Australia, finishes a 3,875 mile, 51 day trip from Western Australia to Melbourne on a unicycle
  • 1985 Israel ships 96 TOWs to Iran on behalf of US
  • 1985 Libya throws out 1000s Tunisian/Egyptian gas workers
  • 1986 Phils Don Carmen perfect game bid is broken in 9th
  • 1986 Postal worker Patrick Sherrill shot 14 fellow workers dead in Edmond, Oklahoma
  • 1988 "Black Saturday" of the Yellowstone fire in Yellowstone National Park
  • 1988 6.5 earthquake strikes India/Nepal, 1,000s killed
  • 1988 Peru becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty
  • 1988 Yordanka Donkova of Bulgaria sets 100m hurdle woman's record (12.21)
  • 1989 American Janet Evans swims female 800m freestyle world record 8:16.22 in the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1989 Dredger "Bow Belle" collides with pleasure boat "Marchioness" on the River Thames in central London; the "Marchioness" sinks in 30 seconds, drowning 51
  • 1989 Said Aouita runs world record 3,000 m (7:29.45)
  • 1990 Iraq moves Western hostages to military installations (human shields)
  • 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 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
  • 1995 Indians' Jose Mesa sets record with his 37th consecutive save
  • 1996 India defeat Pakistan in Under-15 World Challenge Final at Lord's
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 2012 20 people are killed in a riot in Caracas, Venezuela
  • 2013 9 Islamist militants are killed by Russian police in North Caucasus
  • 2015 30 students at West Point Military Academy are injured in a mass pillow fight
  • 2016 Suicide bombing in Turkish city Gaziantep during a wedding party kills at least 51
  • 2018 Colorado man Christopher Lee Watts is charged with the murder of his wife and two daughters
  • 2018 Measles cases reach record high in Europe with 41,000 infected first six months of 2018 with 37 deaths according to WHO
  • 2018 Polish immigrant and former volunteer Nazi guard Jakiw Palij (95) is deported from the US in New York to Germany

Historic Event

2018 Pope Francis releases letter to all Catholics condemning sexual abuse atrocities and clerical cover-ups "We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them"

  • 2018 Venezuela issues new currency the "Bolivar Soberano" in attempt to stop runaway hyperinflation
  • 2019 Computer systems in 22 small Texas towns hacked and held to ransom in coordinated attack prompts FBI investigation

Historic Event

2019 Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigns after Matteo Salvini calls for a no-confidence vote

  • 2019 NASA confirms mission to Jupiter's ice-covered moon Europa to search for alien life, to launch 2025

Historic Event

2020 Former adviser to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon arrested and charged with fraud over a fundraising campaign to build a wall on the Mexican border

Presidential Convention

2020 Kamala Harris accepts her nomination for vice-president, becoming the 1st US woman of color on a major-party ticket saying "there is no vaccine for racism"

Historic Event

2020 Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny falls into a coma after a suspected poisoning (later confirmed to be Novichok poisoning)

  • 2022 22 million now at risk of starvation in Horn of Africa, up 9 million since January, according to the UN, after worst drought in 40 years [1]
  • 2022 Misuzulu ka Zwelithini crowned Zulu King at KwaKhangelamankengane Palace in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa [1]