It happened today – this day in history – August 20

1000: Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I.

1191: Richard I kills 3,000 muslim prisoners in Akko.

1612: Nine Pendle witches are hanged at Gallows Hill in Lancaster.

1741: Alaska is first sighted by Danish explorer Vitus Bering.

1828: Gioachino Rossini’s opera “Le Comte Ory” premieres in Paris.

1865: US President Andrew Johnson proclaims an end to “insurrection” in Texas.

1866: US President Andrew Johnson formally declares the American Civil War over.

1882: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” debuts in Moscow.

1890: Birth of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.

1896: The dial telephone is patented.

1901: The Fawcett Commission visits Mafeking concentration camp in Cape Colony.

1905: Chinese revolutionary, Sun Yat-Sen forms the first chapter of T’ung Meng Hui, a union of all secret societies determined to bringing down the Manchus.

1908: Congo Free State becomes the Belgian Congo.

1914: The German army captures Brussels.

1918: Britain opens an offensive on the Western front.

1923: The London dock strike ends.

1940: Winston Churchill says of the RAF: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”.

1944: US & British forces destroy the German 7th Army at Falaise-Argentan Gap.

1951: “Rashomon,” directed by Akira Kurosawa wins the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

1952: Soviet leader Josef Stalin meets Chinese premier Zhou Enlai.

1955: Hundreds die in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.

1961: East Germany begins erecting a wall along the border with the west to replace the barbed wire put up on August 13.

1965: Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham and his business partner Tony Calder launch Immediate records.

1968: 250,000 Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia.

1969: The last time all four Beatles were together in EMI Studios as, after completing the final overdubs on I Want You (She’s So Heavy). The band worked on a running order for the Abbey Road album.

1970: England soccer captain, Bobby Moore, is cleared of trumped up charges of stealing in a trial in Colombia.

1974: Nelson Rockefeller is selected as US Vice President by President Gerald Ford.

1977: NASA launches Voyager 2 towards Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

1978: Two people die during an attack on a bus carrying Israeli airline staff on a stopover in central London.

Singles chart:

  1. Three Times A Lady – The Commodores
  2. You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta & Olivia Newton John
  3. It’s Raining – Darts
  4. Rivers Of Babylon – Boney M
  5. Forever Autumn – Justin Hayward
  6. Dreadlock Holiday – 10cc
  7. Substitute – Clout
  8. Supernature – Cerrone
  9. Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey
  10. Jilted John – Jilted John
1978: Bob Dylan – Street Legal

Album chart:

  1. Saturday Night Fever – Original Soundtrack
  2. Nightflight To Venus – Boney M
  3. 20 Giant Hits – The Nolans
  4. Star Party – Various Artists
  5. 20 Golden Greats – The Hollies
  6. Grease – Original Soundtrack
  7. Street Legal – Bob Dylan
  8. War Of The Worlds – Jeff Wayne
  9. Classic Rock – London Symphony Orchestra
  10. Images – Don Williams

1982: US marines land in Beirut.

1986: Postal worker Patrick Sherrill shoots 14 fellow workers dead in Edmond, Oklahoma.

1988: Two rock fans die while ‘slam dancing’ as Guns N’ Roses played at the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington. On the same day, thousands die when an earthquake strikes India and Nepal.

1989: At least 30 people die after the pleasure cruiser Marchioness and a barge collide on the River Thames. On the same day, conservationist George Adamson is murdered in Kenya aged 82.

1990: Iraq moves Western hostages to military installations as human shields.

1991: Estonia formally declares its independence from the USSR.

1992: Intimate photographs of the Duchess of York and Texan businessman John Bryan are published in the Daily Mirror. On the same day, east London catering manager Paul Ride is jailed for seven years in Iraq for what it called “illegal entry” into the country. He was released in December 1993. Also, Sting and Trudie Styler marry at an 11th century chapel in Wiltshire.

1993: Mother Teresa of Calcutta is hospitalised with malaria.

1998: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that Quebec cannot legally secede from Canada without the federal government’s approval. On the same day, the US military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

1999: The Athletics World Championships open in Seville, Spain.

2000: Tiger Woods wins the PGA Championship to become the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in a calendar year.

2008: Usain Bolt of Jamaica wraps up the 100/200m double in style with a new 200m world record 19.30 at the Beijing Olympics.

2012: American comedienne Phyllis Diller dies aged 95.

2013: Beyonce spent almost £1,500 cash at an Essex branch of chicken chain Nando’s following her performance at the V Festival in Chelmsford for her entourage. On the same day, author Elmore Leonard dies from a stroke aged 87.

2016: Mo Farah wins the men’s 5,000m at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. On the same day, controversial South African middle distance runner Caster Semenya retains her Olympic women’s 800m title.

2017: Comedian Jerry Lewis dies aged 91.

2018: Guitarist Eddie Willis from Motown house band The Funk Brothers dies from complications of polio at the age of 82. On the same day, Pope Francis releases a letter to all Catholics condemning sexual abuse atrocities and clerical cover-ups: “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them”. Also, Venezuela issues new currency the “Bolivar Soberano” in attempt to stop runaway hyperinflation and Polish immigrant and former volunteer Nazi guard Jakiw Palij (95) is deported from the US to Germany.

BIRTHDAYS: Don King, boxing promoter, 89; Dave Brock, guitarist (Hawkwind) 79; Sylvester McCoy, actor, ,77; Ralf Hütter, musician (Kraftwerk) 74; James Pankow, trombonist (Chicago) 73; Robert Plant, singer (Led Zeppelin) 72; Joan Allen, actress, 64; David O. Russell, director/writer, 62; Joe Pasquale, comedian, 59; KRS-One (Lawrence Parker) rapper, 55; Fred Durst, vocalist (Limp Bizkit) 49; David Walliams, comedian/author, 49; Amy Adams, actress, 46; Misha Collins, actor, 46; Jamie Cullum, singer/pianist/broadcaster, 41; Rochelle Gadd, actress, 40; Ben Barnes, actor, 39; Andrew Garfield, actor, 37; Demi Lovato, actress/singer, 28.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]