August 20 is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 133 days remaining.
- 917 - Battle of Anchialus : Tsar Simeon I of Bulgaria invades Thrace and drives the Byzantines out.
- 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.
- 1804 - Lewis and Clark Expedition: The "Corps of Discovery", whose purpose is to explore the Louisiana Purchase, suffers it first and last death when Sergeant Charles Floyd dies, apparently from acute appendicitis.
- 1833 - Nat Turner leads his revolt aganist the Southern plantation owners of Southampton County, Virginia
- 1882 - Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuts in Moscow.
- 1914 - World War I: German forces occupy Brussels.
- 1920 - The first commercial radio station, 8MK (WWJ), begins operations in Detroit, Michigan.
- 1940 - Exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky is fatally wounded in Mexico City by an assassin's ice-ax. He will die the next day.
- 1955 - In Morocco, a force of Berbers from the Atlas Mountains region of Algeria, raid two rural settlements and kill 77 French nationals.
- 1960 - Senegal breaks from the Mali federation, declaring independence.
- 1968 - 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops and 5,000 tanks invade Czechoslovakia to end the "Prague Spring" of political liberalization.
- 1975 - Viking program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
- 1977 - Voyager program: The United States launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
- 1982 - Lebanese Civil War: A multinational force lands in Beirut to oversee the PLO withdrawal from Lebanon.
- 1986 - In Edmond, Oklahoma, US Postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill guns down 14 of his co-workers and then commits suicide.
- 1988 - Peru becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
- 1989- In Beverly Hills, California, Lyle and Erik Menendez shoot their wealthy parents to death in their family's den.
- 1991 - Collapse of the Soviet Union:
- 1991 - Estonia declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
- 1991 - More than 100,000 people rally outside the Soviet Union's parliament building protesting the coup that deposed President Mikhail Gorbachev.
- 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.
- 1998 - The Supreme Court of Canada states Quebec can not legally secede from Canada without the federal government's approval.
- 1998 - 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.
- 2004 - Talk show host Regis Philbin breaks the record for Most Hours on Camera, with 15,188.
- 1561 - Jacopo Peri, composer
- 1779 - Jons Jacob Berzelius, chemist
- 1833 - Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States
- 1881 - Edgar Guest, poet
- 1890 - H. P. Lovecraft, horror writer (d. 1937)
- 1905 - Jack Teagarden, jazz musician (d. 1964)
- 1910 - Eero Saarinen, architect
- 1918 - Jacqueline Susann, novelist (d. 1974)
- 1923 - Jim Reeves, country and western singer (d. 1964)
- 1931 - Don King, boxing promoter
- 1935 - Ron Paul, American politician
- 1940 - Rubén Hinojosa, American politician
- 1941 - Slobodan Milosevic, former president of Serbia and Yugoslabia
- 1942 - Isaac Hayes, singer, songwriter, actor
- 1944 - Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (d. 1991)
- 1946 - Connie Chung, journalist
- 1946 - N.R. Narayana Murthy, businessman
- 1948 - Robert Plant, rock and roll singer
- 1949 - Phil Lynott, rock and roll musician (d. 1986)
- 1951 - Greg Bear, science fiction author
- 1952 - John Hiatt, musician
- 1954 - Al Roker, television broadcaster
- 1955 - Agnes Chan , singer, professor of education, essayist
- 1956 - Joan Allen, actress
- 1965 - KRS-One (Lawrence Krisna Parker), rap music singer
- 1968 - Shiratori Yuri, seiyū
- 1970 - John Carmack, game programmer
- 1973 - Todd Helton, baseball player
- 984 - Pope John XIV
- 1611 - Tomás Luis de Victoria, composer
- 1823 - Pope Pius VII
- 1914 - Pope Pius X
- 2001 - Sir Fred Hoyle, astronomer, science fiction writer
Holidays and observances
- Bahá'í Faith - Feast of Asmá (Names) - First day of the ninth month of the Bahá'í Calendar
- St. Stephen's day in Hungary, the main national holiday
August 19 - August 21 - July 20 - September 20 -- listing of all days
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Last updated: 02-05-2005 10:15:35
Last updated: 03-18-2005 11:16:12