This day in history

Today is Sunday, Aug. 23, the 236th day of 2020. There are 130 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Eminent MIT economist Robert Solow is 96. Actor Vera Miles is 90. Actor Barbara Eden is 89. Political satirist Mark Russell is 88. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen is 86. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 78. Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 75. Actor David Robb is 73. Singer Linda Thompson is 73. Actor Shelley Long is 71. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 71. Queen Noor of Jordan is 69. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 69. The Strokes singer Julian Casablancas is 42. Basketball player Jeremy Lin is 32.


In 1775, Britain’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.”

In 1850. the first US National Women’s Rights Convention convened in Brinley Hall in Worcester, a follow-up to a meeting in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

In 1927, amid worldwide protests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery in Braintree. (On the 50th anniversary of their executions, then-Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted.)

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a nonaggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.

In 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage-taking began in Stockholm, Sweden; the four hostages ended up empathizing with their captors, a psychological condition now referred to as “Stockholm Syndrome.”

In 1982, Lebanon’s parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later.)

In 2003, former priest John Geoghan, the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.


In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama introduced his choice of running mate, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, before a crowd outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

In 2013, a military jury convicted Major Nidal Hasan in the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that claimed 13 lives; the Army psychiatrist was later sentenced to death. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, the US soldier who’d massacred 16 Afghan civilians, was sentenced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to life in prison with no chance of parole.

In 2015, Islamic State militants destroyed a temple at ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria, realizing the worst fears archeologists had for the fate of the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city after the extremists seized it and beheaded a local scholar.

In 2018, the United States and China imposed tariff increases on an additional $16 billion of each other’s goods.

Last year, the Supreme Court said 86-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had completed radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas, and there was no evidence of the disease remaining. Billionaire industrialist David Koch, who with his brother Charles was a major donor to conservative causes and educational groups, died at the age of 79. President Trump threatened to use the emergency power granted by a powerful but obscure federal law to make good on his tweeted “order” to US businesses to cut ties in China.