This day in history

Today is Saturday, Aug. 22, the 235th day of 2020. There are 131 days left in the year.

► Birthdays: Broadcast journalist Morton Dean is 85. Author Annie Proulx is 85. Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski is 81. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells is 79. Writer-producer David Chase is 75. CBS newsman Steve Kroft is 75. Actor Cindy Williams is 73. Pop musician David Marks is 72. International Swimming Hall of Famer Diana Nyad is 71. Baseball Hall of Famer Paul Molitor is 64. Rock musician Vernon Reid is 62. Country singer Ricky Lynn Gregg is 61. Country singer Collin Raye is 60. Actor Regina Taylor is 60. Rock singer Roland Orzabal (Tears For Fears) is 59. Rock musician Debbi Peterson (the Bangles) is 59. Rock musician Gary Lee Conner (Screaming Trees) is 58. Singer Tori Amos is 57. Country singer Mila Mason is 57. Rhythm-and-blues musician James DeBarge is 57. International Tennis Hall of Famer Mats Wilander is 56. Actor Brooke Dillman is 54. Rapper GZA/The Genius is 54. Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is 53. Actor Ty Burrell is 53. Celebrity chef Giada DeLaurentis is 50. Rock musician Paul Doucette (Matchbox Twenty) is 48. Singer Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys) is 47. Comedian-actor Kristen Wiig is 47. Talk show host James Corden is 42. Rock musician Jeff Stinco (Simple Plan) is 42.


In 1781, a jury in Great Barrington declared “Mum Bett,” a black woman who had been a slave in the home of Colonel John Ashley for at least 30 years, should be declared freed under the newly ratified Massachusetts Constitution. (Two years later, in a case involving Quok Walker, a slave in Worcester County, the state’s chief justice declared that “slavery is inconsistent with our own conduct and Constitution.”)

In 1851, the schooner America outraced more than a dozen British vessels off the English coast to win a trophy that came to be known as the America’s Cup.


In 1862, French composer Claude Debussy was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

In 1910, Japan annexed Korea, which remained under Japanese control until the end of World War II.

In 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Belgium.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon was nominated for a second term of office by the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.

In 1978, President Jomo Kenyatta, a leading figure in Kenya’s struggle for independence, died; Vice President Daniel arap Moi was sworn in as acting president.

In 1986, Kerr-McGee Corp. agreed to pay the estate of the late Karen Silkwood $1.38 million, settling a 10-year-old nuclear contamination lawsuit. The Rob Reiner coming-of-age film “Stand By Me” was put into wide release by Columbia Pictures.

In 1989, Black Panthers cofounder Huey P. Newton was shot to death in Oakland, Calif. (Gunman Tyrone Robinson was later sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.)

In 1992, on the second day of the Ruby Ridge siege in Idaho, an FBI sharpshooter killed Vicki Weaver, the wife of white separatist Randy Weaver (the sharpshooter later said he was targeting the couple’s friend Kevin Harris, and didn’t see Vicki Weaver).

In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed welfare legislation ending guaranteed cash payments to the poor and demanding work from recipients.

In 2003, Alabama’s chief justice, Roy Moore, was suspended for his refusal to obey a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of his courthouse. Texas Governor Rick Perry pardoned 35 people arrested in the 1999 Tulia drug busts and convicted on the testimony of a lone undercover agent. (The agent, Tom Coleman, was later found guilty of aggravated perjury and sentenced to 10 years’ probation.)


In 2007, a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Iraq, killing all 14 US soldiers. Hurricane Dean slammed into Mexico for the second time in as many days.

In 2010, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera confirmed that all of the miners trapped deep underground for 17 days were still alive after a probe came back with a handwritten note, “All 33 of us are fine in the shelter.” (The miners were rescued the following October.) A proposed mosque near ground zero drew hundreds of fever-pitch demonstrators, with opponents carrying signs associating Islam with blood and supporters shouting, “Say no to racist fear!” Arjun Atwal captured the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., by one stroke to become the first Indian-born PGA Tour winner.

In 2015, a suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy traveling through a crowded neighborhood in Afghanistan’s capital, killing at least 12 people, including four American civilian contractors. A military jet taking part in a British airshow crashed into a busy main road near Brighton in southern England, killing 11 people.

Last year, attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia pledged to do more to fight robocalls from scammers, telemarketers, debt collectors, and others; the move came as Congress worked on anti-robocall bills. (A measure signed into law in December 2019 gave authorities more enforcement powers.)