Today in History — Aug. 20, 2018

Published Aug 20, 2018 at 4:00pm

Today is Monday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2018. There are 133 days left in the year.

Today in History

On August 20, 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

On this date:

In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after fighting had stopped.

In 1910, a series of forest fires swept through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington, killing at least 85 people and burning some 3 million acres.

In 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.

In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force before the House of Commons, saying, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Coyoacan, Mexico by Ramon Mercader. (Trotsky died the next day.)

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 1977, the United States launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch, gold-plated copper phonograph record containing images, greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

In 1986, postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill went on a deadly rampage at a post office in Edmond, Okla., 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, entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty, were shot to death in their Beverly Hills mansion by their sons, Lyle and Erik. Fifty-one people died when a pleasure boat sank in the River Thames in London after colliding with a dredger.

In 2000, Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship in a playoff over Bob May, becoming the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in one year.

Ten years ago

A Spanish jetliner crashed during takeoff from Madrid, killing 154 people; 18 survived. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski signed a deal to put a U.S. missile defense base in Poland. In Beijing, Usain (yoo-SAYN’) Bolt of Jamaica broke the world record by winning the 200 meters in 19.30 seconds. Former Chinese leader Hua Guofeng died in Beijing at age 87. U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress, died in Cleveland at age 58. Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, died near California’s Lake Tahoe at age 63.

Five 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, 87, died in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. Jazz pianist Marian McPartland, 95, died in Port Washington, New York, of natural causes.

One year ago

Actor, comic and longtime telethon host Jerry Lewis died of heart disease in Las Vegas at the age of 91.

Today’s Birthdays

Writer-producer-director Walter Bernstein is 99. Boxing promoter Don King is 87. Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 85. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is 83. Former MLB All-Star Graig Nettles is 74. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 72. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 71. Actor Ray Wise is 71. Actor John Noble is 70. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 70. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 66. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 66. Actor-director Peter Horton is 65. TV weatherman Al Roker is 64. Actor Jay Acovone is 63. Actress Joan Allen is 62. Movie director David O. Russell is 60. TV personality Asha Blake is 57. Actor James Marsters is 56. Rapper KRS-One is 53. Actor Colin Cunningham is 52. Actor Billy Gardell is 49. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 48. Actor Jonathan Ke Quan is 48. Rock musician Brad Avery is 47. Actor Misha Collins is 44. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 43. Jazz/pop singer-pianist Jamie Cullum is 39. Actor Ben Barnes is 37. Actress Meghan Ory is 36. Actor Andrew Garfield is 35. Actor Brant Daugherty is 33. Actress-singer Demi Lovato is 26.

Thought for Today

“Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author (1918-2008).