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20th August in History

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1000 – The foundation of the Hungarian state by Saint Stephen, celebrated as a National Day in Hungary.
1467 – The Second Battle of Olmedo takes places as part of a succession conflict between Henry IV of Castile and his half-brother Alfonso, Prince of Asturias.
1519 – Philosopher and general Wang Yangming defeats Zhu Chenhao, ending the Prince of Ning rebellion against the reign of the Ming dynasty’s Zhengde Emperor.
1710 – War of the Spanish Succession: A multinational army led by the Austrian commander Guido Starhemberg defeats the Spanish-Bourbon army commanded by Alexandre Maître, Marquis de Bay in the Battle of Saragossa.
1858 – Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace’s same theory.
1866 – President Andrew Johnson formally declares the American Civil War over.
1914 – Brussels is captured in the course of the German invasion of Belgium.
1940 – World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill makes the fourth of his famous wartime speeches, containing the line “Never was so much owed by so many to so few”.
1944 – World War II: 168 captured allied airmen, including Phil Lamason, accused by the Gestapo of being “terror fliers”, arrive at Buchenwald concentration camp.
1944 – World War II: The Battle of Romania begins with a major Soviet Union offensive.
1950 – Korean War: United Nations repel an offensive by North Korean divisions attempting to cross the Nakdong River and assault the city of Taegu.
1960 – Senegal breaks from the Mali Federation, declaring its independence.
1962 – The NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered civilian ship, embarks on its maiden voyage.
1965 – Keene, NH Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Daniels, 26, is martyred; murdered by shotgun at point-blank range in Hayneville, Alabama, by an unpaid sheriff’s deputy, sacrificing his life for young black activist Ruby Sales whom he pushed out of the way of the blast.
1968 – Soviet Union-dominated Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia, crushing the Prague Spring.
1975 – Viking program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.
1977 – Voyager program: NASA launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft.
1988 – Iran–Iraq War: A ceasefire is agreed after almost eight years of war.
1991 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union, August Coup: More than 100,000 people rally outside the Soviet Union’s parliament building protesting the coup aiming to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev.
1991 – Estonia, annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940, issues a decision on the re-establishment of independence on the basis of historical continuity of its pre-World War II statehood.
1993 – After rounds of secret negotiations in Norway, the Oslo Accords are signed, followed by a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. the following month.
1998 – U.S. embassy bombings: The United States launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical weapons plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
2002 – A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein take over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin, Germany for five hours before releasing their hostages and surrendering.
2006 – Sri Lankan Civil War: Sri Lankan Tamil politician and former MP S. Sivamaharajah is shot dead at his home in Tellippalai.
2007 – China Airlines Flight 120 caught fire and exploded after landing at Naha Airport in Okinawa, Japan.
2008 – Spanair Flight 5022, from Madrid, Spain to Gran Canaria, skids off the runway and crashes at Barajas Airport. Of the 172 people on board, 146 die immediately, and eight more later die of injuries sustained in the crash.
2014 – Seventy-two people are killed in Japan’s Hiroshima Prefecture by a series of landslides caused by a month’s worth of rain that fell in one day.

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