Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Monday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2007. There are 133 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 20, 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” liberalization drive of Alexander Dubcek’s regime.
On this date:
In 1833, Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio.
In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after fighting had stopped.
In 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.
In 1920, pioneering American radio station 8MK in Detroit (later WWJ) began daily broadcasting.
In 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.”
In 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.
In 1955, hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.
In 1964, President Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.
In 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.
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.
Ten years ago: United Parcel Service drivers put away their picket signs, put on their brown shirts and shorts, and called on customers again as the delivery giant began to sluggishly recover from its costly strike.
Five years ago: 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.
One year ago: 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.) Former Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal, who had taken the iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising picture during World War II, died in Novato, Calif., at age 94. Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship, closing with a 4-under 68 for a 5-shot victory over Shaun Micheel and his 12th career major.
Today’s Birthdays: Writer-producer-director Walter Bernstein is
88. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 74. Singer-musician Isaac Hayes is 65. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 61. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 60. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 59. Rock singer Doug Fieger (The Knack) is 55. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 55. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 55. Actor-director Peter Horton is 54. TV weatherman Al Roker is 53. Actor Jay Acovone is 52. Actress Joan Allen is 51. TV personality Asha Blake is 46. Actor James Marsters is 45. Rapper KRS-One is 42. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 37. Rock musician Brad Avery (Third Day) is 36. Actor Jonathan Ke Quan is
36. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 32.
Thought for Today: “Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century, and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author.