Wednesday, August 20, 1997
Morocco's King Hassan addresses the nation ahead of
legislative elections scheduled for October.
The first female students at Virginia Military Institute are
scheduled to begin the "ratline," a six-month initiation with
strict mental and physical discipline.
The Miss Teen USA pageant is scheduled to take place in South
Padre Island, Texas.
On the horizon
On Thursday, August 21, the International Stamp Show opens in
On Friday, August 22, the foreign ministers of the Rio Group
meet in Asuncion, Paraguay.
On Saturday, August 23, the Rio Group summit is scheduled to
take place in Asuncion.
On Sunday, August 24, the 10th World Conference on Tobacco on
Health is scheduled to take place in Beijing.
On Monday, August 25, NASA's Advanced Composition Explorer is
set for a late-morning launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida,
aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket.
On this day
In 636, a Byzantine attempt to drive Muslims out of Syria was
thwarted at the battle of Yarmuk.
In 1741, Alaska was discovered by Danish explorer Vitus
In 1914, the German army captured Brussels as the Belgian
army retreated to Antwerp.
In 1940, Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary, was fatally
wounded by a Spanish communist with an ice ax in Mexico City,
dying the next day. The Soviet government denied
In 1940, as the Battle of Britain raged, Prime Minister
Winston Churchill told parliament, "Never in the field of
human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
In 1944, U.S. and British forces destroyed the German Seventh
Army at Falaise-Argentan Gap, west of Paris, capturing 50,000
In 1946, the Allied Control Commission ordered the
disbandment of the German armed forces, the Wehrmacht.
In 1949, a new assembly in Hungary adopted a Soviet-style
constitution and renamed the country the Hungarian People's
In 1953, French forces forced the Sultan of Morocco, Sidi
Mohammed ben Youssef, off his throne.
In 1960, Senegal decided to withdraw from the Mali Federation
which it had formed with French Soudan (now Mali) in 1959.
In 1961, East Germany began to erect a 5-foot-high wall
along the border with the west to replace the barbed wire put
up on August 13.
In 1968, Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops crossed the border
into Czechoslovakia just before midnight at the start of the
invasion to crush the "Prague Spring" reforms.
In 1974, U.S. President Gerald Ford, assuming office after
Richard Nixon's resignation, nominated Nelson Rockefeller as
In 1975, the U.S. Viking I spacecraft was launched on its way
to Mars. It deployed a landing craft which touched down on
the planet in July 1976.
In 1977, the U.S. Voyager II spacecraft was launched on its
mission to explore the outer planets. It passed close to
Jupiter (July 1979), Saturn (August 1981), Uranus (January
1986), Neptune (August 1989) before leaving the solar system.
In 1978, Palestinian guerrillas attacked an El Al airline bus
in London, killing two people.
In 1980, the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by a
solo climber was achieved by Italian Reinhold Messner.
In 1989, the pleasure cruiser Marchioness was rammed by the
dredger Bowbelle on the River Thames, London, killing 51
In 1990, Iraq confirmed that Western hostages held after the
outbreak of the Gulf War were being moved to military and
other vital installations as a human shield to deter attacks.
In 1991, the parliament in the Baltic republic of Estonia
declared immediate full independence from the Soviet Union.
In 1995, at least 350 people were killed in India's worst
train disaster when two Delhi-bound trains collided at
Firozobad, 125 miles from the Indian capital.
In 1995, Liberia's main warring factions signed a peace
accord calling for a cease-fire to end more than five years
of civil war and the start of democratic rule in one year.
Can't watch the Miss Teen USA pageant tonight in South Padre
Island, Texas? Check out all the information online by
Holidays and more
Today is St. Stephen's Day in Hungary.
It's Revolution of the King and the People Day Hungary in
Actress Joan Allen is 41.
Journalist Connie Chung is 51.
Musician Isaac Hayes is 55.
Actor Michael Jeter is 45.
Boxing promoter Don King is 66.
Singer Robert Plant is 49.
Sources: Associated Press,
Chase's Calendar of Events 1997, J.P. Morgan