TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Thursday, Aug. 20, the 233rd day of 2020. There are 133 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 20, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.

On this date:

In 1862, the New York Tribune published an open letter by editor Horace Greeley calling on President Abraham Lincoln to take more aggressive measures to free the slaves and end the South’s rebellion.

In 1920, pioneering American radio station 8MK in Detroit (later WWJ) began daily broadcasting.

In 1940, exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Coyoacan, Mexico by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish Communist agent working at the behest of Josef Stalin. (Trotsky died the next day.)

In 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” liberalization drive.

In 1981, Michael Devine, a member of the Irish National Liberation Army, died after a 60-day hunger strike at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland; he was the 10th and last hunger-striker to die that year.

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 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 2008, a Spanish jetliner crashed during takeoff from Madrid, killing 154 people; 18 survived.

In 2017, 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 101. Boxing promoter Don King is 89. Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 87. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is 85. Former MLB All-Star Graig Nettles is 76. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 74. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 73. Actor Ray Wise is 73. Actor John Noble is 72. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 72. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 68. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 68. Actor-director Peter Horton is 67. TV weatherman Al Roker is 66. Actor Jay Acovone is 65. Actor Joan Allen is 64. Movie director David O. Russell is 62. TV personality Asha Blake is 59. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 50.