This day in history

Wednesday, Aug. 20, is the 232d day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Boxing promoter Don King is 83. Former Senator George Mitchell (D-Maine) is 81. former Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) is 79. Former MLB All-Star Graig Nettles is 70. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 68. Rock singer Robert Plant is 66. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 62. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 62. Actor Peter Horton is 61. TV weatherman Al Roker is 60. Actress Joan Allen is 58. Director David O. Russell is 56. Actor James Marsters is 52. Rapper KRS-One is 49. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 44. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 39. Actor Ben Barnes is 33. Actress Meghan Ory is 32. Actor Andrew Garfield is 31. Actress-singer Demi Lovato is 22.

In 1833, Benjamin Harrison, 23d president, was born in North Bend, Ohio.


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

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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 85 people and burning 3 million acres.

In 1914, German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I.

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

In 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the ‘‘Prague Spring’’ liberalization drive.

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

In 1989, entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty, were shot to death in their Beverly Hills mansion by their sons, Lyle and Erik. Fifty-one people died when a pleasure boat sank in the River Thames in London after colliding with a dredger.


In 2004, in Athens, Michael Phelps matched Mark Spitz’s record of four individual gold medals in the Olympic pool with a stirring comeback in the 100-meter butterfly, then removed himself from further competition.

In 2009, the only man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 returned home to Libya after his release on compassionate grounds from a Scottish prison. (Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, said to have only months to live because of prostate cancer, died nearly three years later, claiming his innocence.)

In 2013, a Pakistani court indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf on murder charges stemming from the assassination of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Media Network launched its U.S. cable news outlet, Al-Jazeera America.