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August 20, 2013

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2013. There are 133 days left in the year.

Today’s highlights in history:

On August 20, 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” liberalization drive.

On this date:

In 1833, Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio.

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

In 1882, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” had its premiere in Moscow.

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 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.”

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 1972, the Wattstax concert took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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 1988, a cease-fire in the war between Iraq and Iran went into effect. Eight British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army land mine that destroyed a military bus near Omagh, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

In 1992, shortly after midnight, the Republican National Convention in Houston renominated President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle.

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