Today in History: August 20, deadly post office rampage

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2022. There are 133 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 20, 1986, postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill went on a deadly rampage at a post office in Edmond, Oklahoma, shooting 14 fellow workers to death before killing himself.

On this date:

In 1862, the New York Tribune published an open letter by editor Horace Greeley calling on President Abraham Lincoln to take more aggressive measures to free the slaves and end the South’s rebellion.

In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after fighting had stopped.

In 1882, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” had its premiere in Moscow.

In 1910, a series of forest fires swept through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington, killing at least 85 people and burning some 3 million acres.

In 1940, exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Coyoacan, Mexico by Ramon Mercader. (Trotsky died the next day.)

In 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

In 1955, hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.

In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” liberalization drive.

In 1988, a cease-fire in the war between Iraq and Iran went into effect.

In 1989, fifty-one people died when a pleasure boat sank in the River Thames (tehmz) in London after colliding with a dredger.

In 2020, accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden vowed to move the nation past the chaos of Donald Trump’s tenure and return it to its leadership role in the world; capping a virtual convention amid the pandemic, Biden spoke to a largely empty arena in Delaware. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny became ill on a flight to Moscow from Siberia and was hospitalized in a coma. (Navalny would spend five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin; he was arrested after his return to Russia.)

Ten years ago: In a historic change at one of the world’s most exclusive golf clubs, Georgia’s Augusta National invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first female members; both accepted. Comedian Phyllis Diller, 95, died at her Los Angeles home.

Five years ago: Actor, comic and longtime telethon host Jerry Lewis died of heart disease in Las Vegas at the age of 91.

One year ago: President Joe Biden pledged to bring all Americans home from Afghanistan, along with all Afghans who aided the U.S. war effort there; his promise came as thousands more Americans and others seeking to escape the Taliban struggled to get past crushing crowds and Taliban checkpoints at the airport. San Francisco became the first major city in the nation to require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for people dining inside restaurants, working out in gyms or attending indoor concerts. China changed its Population and Family Planning Law to allow couples to legally have a third child; the change came just six years after the law was changed to allow a second child amid a plummeting birthrate. Tom T. Hall, the singer-songwriter who composed “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and sang about life’s simple joys as country music’s consummate blue collar bard, died at his Tennessee home at 85.

Today’s Birthdays: Boxing promoter Don King is 91. Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 89. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is 87. Former MLB All-Star Graig Nettles is 78. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 76. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 75. Actor Ray Wise is 75. Actor John Noble is 74. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 74. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 70. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 70. Actor-director Peter Horton is 69. TV weatherman Al Roker is 68. Actor Jay Acovone is 67. Actor Joan Allen is 66. Movie director David O. Russell is 64. TV personality Asha Blake is 61. Actor James Marsters is 60. Rapper KRS-One is 57. Actor Colin Cunningham is 56. Actor Billy Gardell is 53. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 52. Actor Jonathan Ke Quan is 52. Actor Misha Collins is 48. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 47. Jazz/pop singer-pianist Jamie Cullum is 43. Actor Ben Barnes is 41. Actor Meghan Ory is 40. Actor Andrew Garfield is 39. Actor Brant Daugherty is 37. Actor-singer Demi Lovato is 30. Actor Christopher Paul Richards is 19.

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