Monday, August 20, 2007

Today in History...August 20

On this day in …

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

* 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I

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

* 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force, saying, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

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

* 1955, hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria

* 1964, President Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure

* 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization drive of Alexander Dubcek's regime

* 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature

* 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

* 2002, without firing a shot, masked German police commandos freed two senior diplomats from armed men who had stormed the Iraqi embassy, bringing a bloodless end to a five-hour hostage drama by a previously unknown group opposed to Saddam Hussein

* 2006, John Mark Karr, the suspect in the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, sipped champagne and dined on prawns and roast duck in business class of Thai Airways as he was flown to the U.S.
(Although he'd implicated himself in JonBenet's slaying, Karr was later cleared.)


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