Today in History
Today is Sunday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2023. There are 133 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 20, 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after fighting had stopped.
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 1882, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” had its premiere in Moscow.
In 1910, a series of wildfires 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 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.
In 1988, a cease-fire in the war between Iraq and Iran went into effect.
In 1989, 51 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.
Ten years ago: A Pakistani court indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf on murder charges stemming from the assassination of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Media Network launched its U.S. cable news outlet, Al-Jazeera America. Crime novelist Elmore Leonard died in Bloomfield Township, Michigan at age 87.
Five years ago: In a letter to Catholics worldwide, Pope Francis vowed that “no effort must be spared” to root out sex abuse by priests and cover-ups by the Catholic Church. Afghan forces rescued nearly 150 people, hours after the Taliban ambushed a convoy of buses and abducted them; the militants escaped with 21 captives. The Recording Industry of America said The Eagles’ greatest hits album had surpassed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to become the best-selling album of all time in the U.S.
One year ago: President Joe Biden called Finland and Sweden “our allies of the high north,” acknowledging the two nations whose addition to NATO could bring military and territorial advantages to the Western defense alliance. Dorli Rainey, who became a symbol of the Occupy protest movement after she was pepper-sprayed by Seattle police in 2011, died at age 95. The fast-food chain Wendy’s said it was pulling lettuce from sandwiches in its restaurants in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania after people eating them there reported falling ill amid an E. coli outbreak.
Today’s Birthdays: Boxing promoter Don King is 92. Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 90. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is 88. Former MLB All-Star Graig Nettles is 79. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 77. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 76. Actor Ray Wise is 76. Actor John Noble is 75. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 75. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 71. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 71. Actor-director Peter Horton is 70. TV weatherman Al Roker is 69. Actor Jay Acovone is 68. Actor Joan Allen is 67. Movie director David O. Russell is 65. TV personality Asha Blake is 62. Actor James Marsters is 61. Rapper KRS-One is 58. Actor Colin Cunningham is 57. Actor Billy Gardell is 54. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 53. Actor Ke Huy Quan is 53. Actor Misha Collins is 49. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 48. Jazz/pop singer-pianist Jamie Cullum is 44. Actor Ben Barnes is 42. Actor Meghan Ory is 41. Actor Andrew Garfield is 40. Actor Brant Daugherty is 38. Actor-singer Demi Lovato is 31. Actor Christopher Paul Richards is 20.
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