It happened today – this day in history – August 20

1912: William Booth, English social reformer, evangelist and founder of the Salvation Army, died aged 83.

1913: Harry Brearley of Sheffield cast the first stainless steel.

1913: Adolphe Pegond baled out from a Bleriot airplane 700 feet above Buc in France. His parachute brought him down safely, making him the first to parachute from a plane.

1924: British sprinter Eric Liddell refused to run in the heat of the 100m at the Paris Olympics because it fell on a Sunday and was against his religious convictions. He had been tipped as the likely winner.

1956: Calder Hall, in Cumbria, the world’s first large-scale atomic power station, began generating.

1968: Russia sent tanks into Czechoslovakia.

1977: The Voyager I spacecraft was launched on its journey via Jupiter and Saturn to become the first man-made object to leave the Solar System.

1989: The Thames pleasure cruiser Marchioness was hit by a dredger and 51 young people attending a party on the boat were killed.

1989: George Adamson, British naturalist and conservationist, best known for his work with his wife Joy and the lioness Elsa, was murdered by bandits in a game park in Kenya.

2009: Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was allowed to return to Tripoli on compassionate grounds as he had been diagnosed with cancer and given three

months to live. He was serving a life sentence for the murder of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: After major floods, thousands of people in southern India began the immense task of cleaning their homes and businesses.

BIRTHDAYS: Sylvester McCoy, actor, 76; Robert Plant, rock singer, 71; Steve McMahon, former footballer, 58; Joe Pasquale, comedian, 58; Scott Quinnell, former rugby player, 47; Jamie Cullum, singer, 40; Andrew Garfield, actor, 36.