#TodayInHistory – August 20
August 20 – Some important events on this day.
2 👉🏼 Venus and Jupiter in conjunction – possible astrological explanation for Star of Bethlehem
1000 👉🏼 The foundation of the Hungarian state, Hungary is established as a Christian kingdom by Stephen I of Hungary.
1597 👉🏼 1st Dutch East India Company ships return from the Far East
1612 👉🏼 9 Pendle witches hanged at Gallows Hill in Lancaster, England
1619 👉🏼 1st known African Americans in English North America (approx. 20) land at Point Comfort (Fort Monroe), Virginia. They are then sold or traded into servitude.
1741 👉🏼 Alaska first sighted by Danish explorer Vitus Bering at head of Russian expedition
1794 👉🏼 Battle of Fallen Timbers: Major General “Mad Anthony” Wayne defeats a joint British-Native American force at Fallen Timbers, Ohio in the final battle of the Northwest Indian War
1866 👉🏼 President Andrew Johnson formally declares US Civil War over
1888 👉🏼 Longest US men’s single tennis tournament match Palmer Presbrey defeats T S Tailer, 19-21, 8-6, 6-1, 6-4, an 80 game 1st-round contest
1905 👉🏼 Sun Yat-sen, Chinese revolutionary, forms the first chapter of T’ung Meng Hui, a union of all secret societies determined to bringing down the Manchus
1908 👉🏼 America’s Great White Fleet arrives in Sydney, Australia, to be greeted with a tremendous welcome: 221 American sailors desert to remain in Australia
1920 👉🏼 Professional football is born
1922 👉🏼 1st world championship athletics for women, held in Paris
1940 👉🏼 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill says of Royal Air Force, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”
1968 👉🏼 During the night 250,000 Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia in response to the Prague Spring.
In early January 1968, a reformist politician by the name of Alexander Dubček became leader of the communist state of Czechoslovakia. Dubček was a reformer, who wanted to implement a policy known as ‘socialism with a human face’ by granting certain rights to Czechoslovak citizens including partial democratisation and deregulation of the economy, as well as looser restrictions on media, travel and speech.
These reforms were not well received by the Soviet Union, of which Czechoslovakia was a satellite state. After months of failed talks, the Soviets and their Warsaw Pact allies invaded the country on the night of August 20-21, 1968. Some 250,000 troops crushed resistance in the country and Dubček was forced to resign his leadership position.
Soviet troops remained in Czechoslovakia until 1991. The Prague Spring was crushed, and a period of so-called ‘normalization’ ensued, where the government of the country attempted to reverse Dubček’s reforms and remove reformers from the government.
Communism collapsed in Czechoslovakia after the revolutions across Eastern Europe in 1989, and in 1993 the country was split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1977 👉🏼 NASA launches Voyager 2 towards Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus & Neptune
1991 👉🏼 Estonia formally declares its independence from the USSR
1993 👉🏼 Oslo Peace Accords signed, after secret negotiations in Norway, followed by a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. the following month