See what makes August 20 special at Famous Daily.
History, birthdays, holiday, and a quote!
What happened on August 20
- August 20, 0636 "Battle of Yarmuk: Arab forces led by Khalid bin Walid take control of Syria and Palestine away from the Byzantine Empire, marking the first great wave of Muslim conquests and the rapid advance of Islam outside Arabia."
- August 20, 0917 Battle of Anchialus: Tsar Simeon I of Bulgaria invades Thrace and drives the Byzantines out.
- August 20, 0917 The Bulgarian czar Symeon overruns Thrace in violation of a 913 agreement with Constantinople The Byzantines launch a counterattack but are routed August 20 at Anchialus Symeon gains control of the Balkans
- August 20, 1000 "The foundation of the Hungarian state, Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary."
- August 20, 1391 Konrad von Wallenrode becomes the 24th Hochmeister of the Teutonic Order.
- August 20, 1583 Humphrey Gilbert c1537-1583 sails to Cape Race Newfoundland to fish for cod and explore mainland; sends two ships back to England.
- August 20, 1620 "Hudson's Bay Company employee Henry Kelsey sees buffalo on the Prairies, southwest of The Pas; the first white man to describe them."
- August 20, 1672 Former Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis were brutally murdered by an angry mob in The Hague.
- August 20, 1781 George Washington begins to move his troops south to fight Cornwallis
- August 20, 1794 "Battle of Fallen Timbers - American troops force a confederacy of Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware, Wyandot, Miami, Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi warriors into a disorganized retreat."
- August 20, 1794 "Gen Mad Anthony Wayne routes Indians at Fallen Timbers, Ohio"
- August 20, 1852 "Steamer ""Atlantic"" collided with fishing boat, sinks with 250 aboard"
- August 20, 1865 "Pres Johnson proclaims an end to ""insurrection"" in Tx"
- August 20, 1866 Pres Andrew Johnson formally declares Civil War over
- August 20, 1866 President Andrew Johnson formally declared the U.S. Civil War over.
- August 20, 1882 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuts in Moscow.
- August 20, 1882 The first CPR train reaches Regina Saskatchewan
- August 20, 1888 Mutineers imprison Emin Pasha at Dufile.
- August 20, 1896 Dial telephone patented
- August 20, 1900 Japan's primary school law is amended to provide for four years of mandatory schooling.
- August 20, 1908 Congo Free State becomes the Belgian Congo 1912 Plant Quarantine Act goes into effect
- August 20, 1913 First pilot to parachute from a French aircraft
- August 20, 1914 "German forces occupy Brussels, Belgium during WW I"
- August 20, 1914 World War I: German forces occupy Brussels.
- August 20, 1918 Britain opens offensive on Western front during WW I
- August 20, 1920 "First US coml radio, 8MK (WWJ), Detroit began daily broadcasting"
- August 20, 1920 "The first commercial radio station, 8MK (WWJ), begins operations in Detroit, Michigan."
- August 20, 1925 Major Georges-P Vanier appointed CO of the 22e Régiment at Quebec.
- August 20, 1926 "Japan's public broadcasting company, Nippon Hs Kykai (NHK) is established."
- August 20, 1929 First airship flight around the Earth flying eastward completed
- August 20, 1938 Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd career grand slam - a record that still stands.
- August 20, 1940 "British PM Churchill says of the Royal Air Force, ""Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"""
- August 20, 1940 Exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded in Mexico City by an assassin's ice axe. He dies the next day.
- August 20, 1940 "Leon Trotsky, assassinated in Mexico City by Stalin agents, dies 8/21"
- August 20, 1942 Dim-out regulations implemented in SF
- August 20, 1944 "127 Flying Fortress Bombers drop high-explosives on the factory areas at Auschwitz, less than five miles east of the gas-chambers."
- August 20, 1944 The Battle of Romania begins with a major Soviet offensive.
- August 20, 1947 "Turner Caldwell in D-558-I sets aircraft speed record, 1131 kph"
- August 20, 1948 "US expels Soviet Consul General in New York, Jacob Lomakin"
- August 20, 1949 "78,382 watch the White Sox play the Indians at Cleveland"
- August 20, 1949 Hungary (Magyar People's Republic) accepts constitution
- August 20, 1953 Russia publicly acknowledges hydrogen bomb test detonation
- August 20, 1953 The Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.
- August 20, 1955 "First airplane to exceed 1800 mph (2897 kph)-HA Hanes, Palmdale Ca"
- August 20, 1955 Hundreds killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria
- August 20, 1955 "In Morocco, a force of Berbers from the Atlas Mountains region of Algeria raid two rural settlements and kill 77 French nationals."
- August 20, 1956 Republicans convene at Cow Palace
- August 20, 1957 "USAF ballon breaks an altitude record at 102,000' (310,896 m)"
- August 20, 1959 "Marine Helicopter Squadron 261, operating from the amphibious assault ship Thetis Bay, completed a week of relief operations in flood-stricken Taiwan in which it airlifted 1,600,540 pounds of cargo and 833 passengers on 898 missions."
- August 20, 1960 "Senegal breaks from the Mali federation, declaring independence."
- August 20, 1960 USSR recovers 2 dogs; first living organisms to return from space
- August 20, 1964 President Johnson signs Economic Opportunity Act (totaling nearly $1 billion)
- August 20, 1968 "200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to end the ""Prague Spring"" of political liberalization."
- August 20, 1968 "650,000 Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia"
- August 20, 1969 All four Beatles were together in the recording studio for the final time as they finished the Abbey Road LP.
- August 20, 1973 "Saskatchewan Rough Rider fullback George Reed sets all time world pro football rushing record, beating the 12,312 yards held by the NFL's Jimmy Brown"
- August 20, 1974 Congress votes to reduce aid to South Vietnam from $1 Billion to $700 Million. Majority of the cuts were for military supplies.
- August 20, 1975 "Il-62 crashes south of Damascus, Syria, killing 126"
- August 20, 1975 "Viking 1 launched toward orbit around Mars, soft landing"
- August 20, 1975 Viking Program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
- August 20, 1977 "NASA launches Voyager 2 towards Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune"
- August 20, 1977 Number one hit on UK music charts - Brotherhood Of Man - Angelo
- August 20, 1977 Voyager Program: The United States launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
- August 20, 1978 Gunmen open fire on an Israeli El Al Airline bus in London
- August 20, 1979 The East Coast Main Line rail route between England and Scotland is restored when the Penmanshiel Diversion opens.
- August 20, 1980 Reinhold Messner of Italy is first to solo ascent Mt Everest
- August 20, 1980 "UN Security Council condemns (14-0, US abstains) Israeli declaration that all of Jersualem is its capital"
- August 20, 1982 Lebanese Civil War: A multinational force lands in Beirut to oversee the PLO withdrawal from Lebanon.
- August 20, 1982 "Mexican Treasury Secretary Jesus Silva Herzog tells foreign bankers that Mexico cannot repay her $60 billion foreign debt, the first Third World country to default"
- August 20, 1985 Israel ships 96 TOWs to Iran on behalf of the US
- August 20, 1986 "In Edmond, Oklahoma, U.S. Postal employee Patrick Sherrill guns down 14 of his co-workers and then commits suicide."
- August 20, 1986 "Mail carrier Patrick Sherrill, Edmond Ok, shot 14 fellow workers dead"
- August 20, 1987 "The Canadian federal government slaps a total ban on smoking in public service offices, starting Jan. 1, 1988. Smoking by government employees at all public service counters ends immediately, well maybe not quite??"
- August 20, 1988 """Black Saturday"" of the Yellowstone fire in Yellowstone National Park"
- August 20, 1988 "In the Nepal-India border region a 6.6 quake killed 721, 6,553 injured and 64,470 buildings damaged in eastern Nepal"
- August 20, 1988 Iran-Iraq War: A cease-fire is agreed to after almost eight years of war.
- August 20, 1988 Peru becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
- August 20, 1989 "In Ethiopia a 6.3 earthquake killed 2, injured 2 and damage and rockslides caused in the Galafi-Yoboki area"
- August 20, 1990 George Steinbrenner steps down as NY Yankee owner
- August 20, 1990 Iraq moves Western hostages to military installations (human shields)
- August 20, 1991 Estonia secedes from the Soviet Union.
- August 20, 1993 "After rounds of secret negotiations in Norway, the Oslo Peace Accords were signed, followed by a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. the next month."
- August 20, 1997 "Hudson Bay Railway, owned by Omnitrax of Denver, Colorado, takes over operation of former CN lines to Flin Flon, Lyn Lake and Churchill."
- August 20, 1997 "Souhane massacre in Algeria; over 60 people killed, 15 kidnapped."
- August 20, 1998 The Supreme Court of Canada states Quebec cannot legally secede from Canada without the federal government's approval.
- August 20, 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: The United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is destroyed in the attack.
- August 20, 1999 "Falun Gong is officially banned and defined as an ""evil cult"" by China A large sale persecution of ths practitioners is launched"
- August 20, 2001 "The 27th Annual G8 summit opens in Genoa, Italy and an Italian protestor Carlo Giuliani is shot by police"
- August 20, 2002 A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein took over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin for five hours before releasing their hostages and giving up.
- August 20, 2003 Sizteen people are injured after two bombs explode outside a tax office in France
- August 20, 2005 Canada becomes the fourth country in the world to legalize same sex marriages
- August 20, 2009 18 prospectors are killed overnight in a diamond mine in Kasai province in central Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- August 20, 2009 "A bicycle bomb explodes near a restaurant in Baghdad, killing two people."
- August 20, 2009 "Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988, is released on compassionate grounds due to terminal cancer, and boards a flight to Libya."
- August 20, 2009 "Elizabeth Ramos and Louis Williams, owners of defense contracting company Technical Logistics, admit to bribing an employee of the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in exchange for defense contracts."
- August 20, 2009 "Switzerland's president, Hans-Rudolf Merz, apologizes to the Libyan government for last year's arrest of a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi."