It happened today – this day in history – August 20

2AD: Venus and Jupiter in conjunction – possible astrological explanation for Star of Bethlehem.

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

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

1566: Antwerp Cathedral’s interior is torn apart by Protestants.

1578: Francis Drake renames his flagship from the Pelican to the Golden Hind.

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: Following the Battle of Britain, 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 huge 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 partner Tony Calder launch Immediate records.

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

1969: At EMI Studios, on the last occasion all four Beatles are together in a recording studio, a preliminary master tape of the Abbey Road album is compiled with the medley slated for side one and the placement of Octopus’s Garden and Oh! Darling reversed from the final version. The album was to end with the sudden cut off outro of I Want You (She’s So Heavy) and at this point, the band were still unaware that the McCartney vignette Her Majesty still existed at the end of the tape after a 20 second gap.


On TV (Wednesday)


13.45Racing From York


16.12News Headlines

16.15The Tingha and Tucker Club


16.55The Sooty Show


17.50News From ITN

18.05Do Not Adjust Your Set
Pre Python comedy show starring Eric Idle, David Jason, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Denise Coffey and The Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band

18.35The Saint Adventure series starring Roger Moore

19.30Coronation Street

20.00It Takes A Thief
Starring Robert Wagner

21.00Public Eye
Alfred Burke stars as seedy private investigator Frank Marker

22.00News At Ten

22.30Applause! Applause!

23.00Professional Wrestling
from Fairfield Halls, Croydon

23.45The Papers


12.25Apna Hi Ghar Samajhiye

12.55Addola Dduw

13.30Watch With Mother

13.45News and Weather

16.20Play School



17.15Look Australian wildlife

17.44The Magic Roundabout

17.50News and Weather

18.00Town and Around

18.20Give Me Your Word
A game of words and wit

18.40Tomorrow’s World
A weekly report on the critical and fast-changing world of science, medicine, and technology introduced by Raymond Baxter

19.05The Newcomers

19.29News Headlines

19.30Brian Rix!
Comedy farce The Facts of Life


21.05The Wednesday Play
The Gorge by Peter Nichols

22.20Twenty-Four Hours

22.50Eight Days In August
Exactly one vear ago tonight the armies of five Warsaw Pact countries invaded their neighbour and ally Czechoslovakia. By midnight more than half a million troops, mostly Soviet, were moving into position to ‘defend Socialism.’

23.25Late Night News and Weather


11.00Play School

11.20Close Down


20.00She Paints

20.50Pot Black
Knockout Snooker Competition Round 1: Game 4 – Fred Davis v Ray Reardon

21.05Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In
This week’s star guest, Liberace and featuring Judy Carne, Arte Johnson Ruth Buzzi, Henry Gibson, Goldie Hawn, and Jo Ann Worley

21.55Bobbie Gentry

22.25Christ Recrucified

23.10News Summary and Weather

23.15Late Night Line-Up
with Michael Dean, Joan Bakewell, Tony Bilbow, Sheridan Morley and tonight’s guests

1970: England soccer captain, Bobby Moore, is cleared of charges of stealing in a trial in Colombia. The accusation has long been assumed to be an attempt to unsettle the team’s World Cup campaign.

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 in central London.

1982: US marines land in Beirut.

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

1988: Two fans die in the mosh pit during Guns n Roses’ set at the Donington Monsters of Rock festival. On the same day, thousands die when an earthquake strikes India and Nepal.

1989: 51 people die when pleasure cruiser The Marchioness, packed with young partygoers, collides with a barge on the River Thames. On the same day, conservationist George Adamson is murdered in Kenya aged 82.

Singles chart:

  1. Swing The Mood – Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers
  2. Poison – Alice Cooper
  3. Ride On Time – Black Box
  4. French Kiss – Lil’ Louis
  5. Toy Soldiers – Martika
  6. Wouldn’t Chage A Thing – Kylie Minogue
  7. Losing My Mind – Liza Minnelli
  8. Blame It On The Boogie – Big Fun
  9. You’re History – Shakespeare’s Sister
  10. I Just Don’t Have The Heart – Cliff Richard
1989: Gloria Estefan – Cuts Both Ways

Album chart:

  1. Cuts Both Way – Gloria Estefan
  2. Trash – Alice Cooper
  3. Ten Good Reasons – Jason Donovan
  4. A New Flame – Simply Red
  5. Big Bang – Fuzzbox
  6. Batman OST – Prince
  7. Choices – The Blow Monkeys
  8. Raw Like Sushi – Neneh Cherry
  9. The Twelve Commandments Of Dance – The London Boys
  10. Velveteen – Transvision Vamp

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 newspaper. On the same day, east London catering manager Paul Ride is sentenced to seven years in an Iraqi jail for “illegal entry” into the country. He had been working in Kuwait before disappearing two months earlier. 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-Qaeda 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 World Athletics 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.

2004: Stoke-on-Trent man Rob Tinsley names Bryan Adams as the ‘other man’ in his divorce papers after years of trying to cope with his wife’s obsession with the singer.

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 spends 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.

2020: Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon is arrested and charged with fraud over a fundraising campaign to build a wall on the Mexican border. On the same day, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny falls into a coma after being poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.

BIRTHDAYS: Don King, boxing promoter, 91; Dave Brock, guitarist (Hawkwind) 81; Sylvester McCoy, actor, ,79; Ralf Hütter, musician (Kraftwerk), 76; Robert Plant, singer-songwriter (Led Zeppelin), 74; Joan Allen, actress, 66; David O Russell, director/screenwriter, 64; Joe Pasquale, comedian, 61; James Marsters, actor, 60; Fred Durst, vocalist/songwriter/record company executive (Limp Bizkit) 51; David Walliams (Williams), author/comedian/TV personality, 51; Amy Adams, actress, 48; Misha (Dmitri) Collins, actor, 48; Jamie Cullum, pianist/singer/songwriter, 43; Andrew Garfield, actor, 39; Demi Lovato, singer/songwriter/actress, 30.