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This Day in History – August 20, 2011




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1775 The Spanish establish the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson in the town that became Tucson, Arizona. 1781 George Washington begins to move his troops south to fight Cornwallis1794 Gen Mad Anthony Wayne routes Indians at Fallen Timbers, Ohio1852 Steamer “Atlantic” collided with fishing boat, sinks with 250 aboard1858 Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace’s same theory. 1865 Pres Johnson proclaims an end to “insurrection” in TX1866 President Andrew Johnson formally declares the American Civil War over. 1882 Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture debuts in Moscow. 1896 Dial telephone patented1910 The Great Fire of 1910 (also commonly referred to as the Big Blowup or the Big Burn) occurred in northeast Washington, northern Idaho (the panhandle), and western Montana, burning approximately 3 million acres (12,000 km2). 1912 Plant Quarantine Act goes into effect1913 1st pilot to parachute from an aircraft (Adolphe P‚goud-France)1920 1st US commercial radio, 8MK (WWJ), Detroit began daily broadcasting1920 Allen Woodring wins Olympic 200 m dash wearing borrowed shoes1920 The National Football League, (NFL), is founded in the United States. 1929 1st airship flight around the Earth flying eastward completed1940 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill makes the fourth of his famous wartime speeches, containing the line “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”. 1944 World War II: 168 captured allied airmen, including Phil Lamason, accused by the Gestapo of being “terror fliers”, arrive at Buchenwald concentration camp. 1953 Russia publicly acknowledges hydrogen bomb test detonation1955 1st airplane to exceed 1800 mph (2897 kph)-HA Hanes, Palmdale Ca1957 USAF balloon breaks an altitude record at 102,000′ (310,896 m)1958 Dale Long becomes 1st major league lefty catcher in 52 years1960 USSR recovers 2 dogs; 1st living organisms to return from space1961 Phillies set then dubious record of 23 straight losses1964 President Johnson signs Economic Opportunity Act (totaling nearly $1 billion)1965 Rolling Stones release “Satisfaction” (their 1st #1 US hit)1971 FBI begins covert investigation of journalist Daniel Schorr1974 Nolan Ryan pitch measured at record 161.6 kph (100.4 mph)1975 Viking Program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars. 1977 Voyager Program: NASA launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft. 1980 NY Yankee Bob Watson hits Seattle Kingdome speaker, 2nd straight day1980 Reinhold Messner of Italy is 1st to solo ascent Mt Everest1986 In Edmond, Oklahoma, U.S. Postal employee Patrick Sherrill guns down 14 of his co-workers and then commits suicide. 1988 “Black Saturday” of the Yellowstone fire in Yellowstone National Park 1991 Dissolution of the Soviet Union, August Coup: more than 100,000 people rally outside the Soviet Union’s parliament building protesting the coup aiming to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev. 1993 After rounds of secret negotiations in Norway, the Oslo Peace Accords are signed, followed by a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. the following month. 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: the United States 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. 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, and 8 more die later. Only 18 people survive.]]]]> ]]>

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