It happened today – this day in history – August 20

Subscribe to get your latest local news articles by email each day...

Or click here to subscribe to our weekly digital edition. Your details will be stored to support your experience in line with our privacy policy.

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.

×