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, the 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 the fighting had stopped.
In 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.
In 1918, Britain opened its offensive on the Western front during World War I.
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 1955, hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed a nearly $1 billion-dollar anti-poverty measure.
In 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager II, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.
In 1979, swimmer Diana Nyad succeeded in her third attempt at swimming from the Bahamas to Florida.
In 1994, Benjamin Chavis Junior was fired as head of the NAACP after a turbulent 16-month tenure.
Ten years ago: In the early hours of Aug. 20, the Republican national convention in Houston renominated President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle. On the evening of the 20th, Bush delivered a hard-hitting speech in which he attacked the Democrats and promised to seek across-the-board tax cuts if re-elected.
Five 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.
One year ago: Nikolay Soltys, a 27-year-old Ukrainian immigrant in Sacramento, Calif., fled after killing his wife and five other relatives. Soltys was captured and committed suicide in his jail cell in February. Sir Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “Big Bang” but never accepted that theory for the origin of the universe, died in Bournemouth, England, at age 86. Actress Kim Stanley died in Santa Fe, N.M., at age 76.
Today’s Birthdays: Writer-producer-director Walter Bernstein is 83. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a Maine Democrat, is 69. Singer-musician Isaac Hayes is 60. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 56. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 54. Actress Joan Allen is 46. TV personality Asha Blake is 41. Rapper KRS-One is 37. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 32. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 27.