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Tuesday 20 August 2024 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

August 20 Events

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Holidays and observances


  • 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.
  • 1962 – The NS Savannah, the world's first nuclear-powered civilian ship, embarks on its maiden voyage.
  • 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".
  • 1920 – The National Football League is organized as the American Professional Football Conference in Canton, Ohio
  • 1920 – The first commercial radio station, 8MK (now WWJ), begins operations in Detroit.
  • 1905 – Sun Yat-sen, Chinese revolutionary, forms the first chapter of T'ung Meng Hui, a union of all secret societies determined to bringing down the Manchus.
  • 1866 – President Andrew Johnson formally declares the American Civil War over.
  • 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.
  • 1794 – Battle of Fallen Timbers: American troops force a confederacy of Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware, Wyandot, Miami, Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi warriors into a disorganized retreat.
  • 1707 – The first Siege of Pensacola comes to end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Florida.
  • 1083 – Canonization of the first King of Hungary, Saint Stephen and his son Saint Emeric.
  • 636 – Battle of Yarmouk: Arab forces led by Khalid ibn al-Walid take control of the Levant away from the Byzantine Empire, marking the first great wave of Muslim conquests and the rapid advance of Islam outside Arabia.


  • 1992 – Demi Lovato, American singer-songwriter and actress. She began her career in 2002 appearing on the children's television series Barney & Friends, before rising to prominence for portraying Mitchie Torres in the Disney Channel musical television film Camp Rock (2008) and its sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010).
  • 1990 – Bradley Klahn, American tennis player. Bradley Klahn (born August 20, 1990) is an American professional tennis player from Poway, California.
  • 1989 – Kirko Bangz, American rapper and producer. Kirk Jerel Randle (born August 20, 1989), better known by his stage name Kirko Bangz, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer signed to Atlantic Records.
  • 1988 – Jerryd Bayless, American basketball player. Jerryd Andrew Bayless (born August 20, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.
  • 1988 – Sarah R, Lotfi, American director, producer, and screenwriter. Lotfi (born August 20, 1988) is a young filmmaker known for her World War II epic The Last Bogatyr (2009), a finalist in consideration for the 37th Student Academy Awards.
  • 1986 – Steven Zalewski, American ice hockey player. Zalewski was drafted 153rd overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks.
  • 1985 – Blake DeWitt, American baseball player. Blake Robert DeWitt (born August 20, 1985) is an American former professional baseball second baseman and third baseman.
  • 1985 – Brant Daugherty, American actor. Brant David Daugherty (born August 20, 1985) is an American actor, known for his recurring role as Noel Kahn on the teen drama television series Pretty Little Liars.
  • 1985 – Joe Vitale, American ice hockey player. Joe or Joseph Vitale is the name of:
  • 1985 – Matt Hague, American baseball player. Matthew Donald Hague (born August 20, 1985) is an American professional baseball first baseman who is currently a free agent.
  • 1984 – Jamie Hoffmann, American baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • 1983 – Andrew Garfield, American-English actor. He is the recipient of several accolades, including a Tony Award, and has been nominated for an Academy Award and two British Academy Film Awards.
  • 1983 – Brian Schaefering, American football player. He played college football at Lindenwood Lions and for the Illinois Fighting Illini.
  • 1983 – Hamza Abdullah, American football player. He played college football at Washington State.
  • 1981 – Byron Saxton, American wrestler, manager, and sportscaster. Bryan Jesús Kelly (born August 20, 1981) is an American professional wrestling commentator and ring announcer, and former professional wrestler and journalist.
  • 1981 – Craig Ochs, American football player, was also assigned to the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in the 2006 season.
  • 1979 – Cory Sullivan, American baseball player. He played for the Colorado Rockies, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, and Philadelphia Phillies organizations.
  • 1978 – Chris Schroder, American baseball player. Christopher Keith Schroder (born August 20, 1978) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher.
  • 1977 – Josh Pearce, American baseball player. Joshua Ray Pearce (born August 20, 1977, in Yakima, Washington) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the St.
  • 1977 – Shockmain Davis, American football player. He attended Angelo State University.
  • 1976 – Chris Drury, American ice hockey player. Christopher Ellis Drury (born August 20, 1976) is an American former professional ice hockey player who most recently played with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL).
  • 1976 – Kristen Miller, American actress, producer, and screenwriter. She is best known for her roles as Ashley Elliot on the sitcom USA High (1997–1999) and Deedra "D.D." Cummings on the action-adventure series She Spies (2002–2004).
  • 1974 – Amy Adams, American actress and singer. Her accolades include two Golden Globes, and nominations for six Academy Awards and seven British Academy Film Awards.
  • 1974 – Misha Collins, American actor. Dmitri "Misha" Collins (born Dmitri Tippens Krushnic; August 20, 1974) is an American actor and author best known for his role as the angel Castiel on the CW television series Supernatural (2008–present).
  • 1973 – Donn Swaby, American actor and screenwriter. He attended and graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York, then attended Boston University, receiving a degree.
  • 1973 – Todd Helton, American baseball player. Todd Lynn Helton (born August 20, 1973) is an American former professional baseball first baseman who played his entire 17-year career for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • 1972 – Chaney Kley, American actor, coach, and sportscaster (d. 2007), was an American film and television actor. During his career he was best known for his recurring role as Officer Asher on the FX drama The Shield and as the lead in the horror movie Darkness Falls.
  • 1972 – Derrick Alston, American basketball player. Derrick Samuel Alston (born August 20, 1972) is an American former basketball player currently working as the head coach for the Westchester Knicks of the NBA G League.
  • 1972 – Melvin Booker, American basketball player. A 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m), 185 lb (84 kg) point guard, he played for the University of Missouri.
  • 1970 – Fred Durst, American singer-songwriter. William Frederick Durst (born August 20, 1970) is an American vocalist, actor and film director.
  • 1969 – Billy Gardell, American comedian, actor, and producer. He also had a recurring role as Billy Colivida on Yes, Dear and appeared in a dozen episodes of My Name Is Earl as a police officer.
  • 1969 – Mark Holzemer, American baseball player and scout. Mark Harold Holzemer (born August 20, 1969, in Littleton, Colorado) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher.
  • 1967 – Andy Benes, American baseball player. Andrew Charles Benes (born August 20, 1967) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher.
  • 1966 – Dimebag Darrell, American guitarist and songwriter (d. 2004), was an American musician and songwriter. He was the guitarist of the heavy metal bands Pantera and Damageplan, both of which he co-founded alongside his brother Vinnie Paul.
  • 1965 – KRS-One, American rapper and producer. Lawrence "Kris" Parker (born August 20, 1965), better known by his stage names KRS-One, and Teacha, is an American rapper and occasional producer from The Bronx, New York.
  • 1963 – Kal Daniels, American baseball player. Kalvoski "Kal" Daniels (born August 20, 1963) is an American former professional baseball left fielder.
  • 1962 – James Marsters, American actor. Since then, he has played the alien super villain Brainiac on the Superman-inspired series Smallville, Captain John Hart on Torchwood and terrorist Barnabas Greeley in Syfy's Caprica.
  • 1960 – Mark Langston, American baseball player. During a 16-year baseball career, Langston compiled 179 wins, 2,464 strikeouts, and a 3.97 earned run average.
  • 1958 – David O. Russell, American director and screenwriter. His early directing career includes the comedy films Spanking the Monkey (1994), Flirting with Disaster (1996), Three Kings (1999), and I ♥ Huckabees (2004).
  • 1958 – John Stehr, American journalist. He and his wife Amy reside in Zionsville, Indiana, and have five children.
  • 1956 – Joan Allen, American actress. She is also a three-time Academy Award nominee; receiving Best Supporting Actress nominations for Nixon (1995) and The Crucible (1996), and a Best Actress nomination for The Contender (2000).
  • 1954 – Al Roker, American news anchor, television personality, and author. Roker also serves as co-host on 3rd Hour Today; although the latter not officially announced by NBC News.
  • 1954 – Quinn Buckner, American basketball player and coach. He had a ten-year NBA career for three teams (the Bucks, the Boston Celtics, and the Indiana Pacers).
  • 1954 – Tawn Mastrey, American radio host and producer (d. 2007), was an American disc jockey, music video producer, one of rock radio's top media personalities. She hosted a daily show on Sirius Satellite Radio's Hair Nation Channel 23, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 1953 – Gerry Bertier, American football player (d. 1981), was a high school American football player and Paralympian. He became known for his participation on the 1971 Virginia State Champion football T.
  • 1953 – Jim Trenton, American radio host and actor. He is best known as the creator and host of Loveline on KROQ-FM in Los Angeles from 1983 to 1993.
  • 1953 – Leroy Burgess, American singer, songwriter, keyboard player, recording artist, and record producer. Leroy Burgess (born August 20, 1953) is an American singer, songwriter, keyboard player, recording artist, and record producer.
  • 1953 – Peter Horton, American actor and director. He played Professor Gary Shepherd on the television series Thirtysomething from 1987 until 1991.
  • 1952 – Doug Fieger, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2010), was an American singer–songwriter–musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the rock band The Knack.
  • 1952 – John Hiatt, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Hiatt has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards and has been awarded a variety of other distinctions in the music industry.
  • 1952 – Ric Menello, American director and screenwriter (d. 2013), was an American filmmaker and screenwriter. Menello co-directed the landmark music video for the Beastie Boys' 1987 single, "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)".
  • 1951 – DeForest Soaries, American minister and politician, 30th Secretary of State of New Jersey. DeForest Blake "Buster" Soaries, Jr. (born August 20, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York) is an African-American Baptist minister, author and public advocate, from Montclair, New Jersey.
  • 1947 – James Pankow, American trombone player, songwriter, and singer (Chicago). James Carter "Jimmy" Pankow is an American trombone player, songwriter and brass instrument player, best known as a founding member of the rock band Chicago.
  • 1947 – Ray Wise, American actor. He currently stars as Marvin on Fresh Off the Boat (2015–present).
  • 1946 – Connie Chung, American journalist. Some of her more famous interview subjects include Claus von Bülow and U.S.
  • 1946 – N. R. Narayana Murthy, Indian businessman, co-founded Infosys. Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy (born 20 August 1946) is an Indian IT industrialist and the co-founder of Infosys, a multinational corporation providing business consulting, technology, engineering, and outsourcing services.
  • 1944 – Graig Nettles, American baseball player and manager. Graig Nettles (born August 20, 1944), nicknamed "Puff", is an American former Major League Baseball third baseman.
  • 1942 – Fred Norman, American baseball player. Fredie Hubert Norman (born August 20, 1942) is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for seven different teams in all or parts of 16 seasons spanning 1962–1980.
  • 1942 – Isaac Hayes, American singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and actor (d. 2008), was an American singer, songwriter, actor, and producer. Hayes was one of the creative forces behind the Southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a session musician and record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the mid-1960s.
  • 1941 – Rich Brooks, American football player and coach. Louis Rams from 1995 to 1996, and the University of Kentucky from 2003 to 2009.
  • 1940 – Rubén Hinojosa, American businessman and politician. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
  • 1937 – Sky Saxon, American singer-songwriter and bassist (d. 2009), was an American rock and roll musician, best known as the leader and singer of the 1960s Los Angeles psychedelic garage rock band The Seeds.
  • 1935 – Ron Paul, American captain, physician, and politician. On three occasions, he sought the presidency of the United States: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries of 2008 and 2012.
  • 1934 – Sneaky Pete Kleinow, American country-rock pedal-steel guitarist and songwriter (d. 2007), was an American country-rock musician, songwriter, and motion picture special effects artist. He is best known as a member of the band the Flying Burrito Brothers and as a session musician for such artists as Neil Young, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne, The Byrds, Joe Cocker, Rita Coolidge, Eagles, The Everly Brothers, George Harrison, The Steve Miller Band, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Spencer Davis, Linda Ronstadt and many others.
  • 1933 – George J. Mitchell, American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician. He briefly served as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maine from 1979 to 1980.
  • 1927 – Fred Kavli, Norwegian-American businessman and philanthropist, founded The Kavli Foundation (d. 2013). He was born on a small farm in Eresfjord, Norway.
  • 1926 – Frank Rosolino, American jazz trombonist (d. 1978). Born in Detroit, Michigan, United States, Frank Rosolino studied the guitar with his father from the age of nine.
  • 1926 – Nobby Wirkowski, American-Canadian football player and coach (d. 2014). He is best known as quarterback of the Toronto Argonauts.
  • 1924 – George Zuverink, American baseball player (d. 2014), was a professional baseball player. He was a right-handed pitcher over parts of eight Major League Baseball seasons (1951–1952, 1954–1959) with the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Redlegs, Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.
  • 1923 – Jim Reeves, American singer-songwriter (d. 1964), was an American country and popular music singer-songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound (a mixture of older country-style music with elements of popular music).
  • 1919 – Walter Bernstein, American screenwriter and producer, was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios in the 1950s.
  • 1918 – Jacqueline Susann, American actress and author (d. 1974), was an American writer and actress. Her first novel, Valley of the Dolls (1966), is one of the best-selling books in publishing history.
  • 1913 – Roger Wolcott Sperry, American neuropsychologist and neurobiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1994), was an American neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate who, together with David Hunter Hubel and Torsten Nils Wiesel, won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work with split-brain research. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Sperry as the 44th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.
  • 1912 – John H. Michaelis, American general (d. 1985), was a United States Army four-star general who served as Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander, United States Forces Korea/Commanding General, Eighth United States Army from 1969 to 1972.
  • 1910 – Eero Saarinen, Finnish-American architect and furniture designer, designed the Gateway Arch (d. 1961), was a Finnish-American architect and industrial designer noted for his neo-futuristic style. Saarinen is known for designing the Washington Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C., the TWA Flight Center in New York City, and the Gateway Arch in St.
  • 1908 – Al López, American baseball player and manager (d. 2005). Due to his Spanish ancestry and "gentlemanly" nature, he was nicknamed "El Señor".
  • 1905 – Jack Teagarden, American singer-songwriter and trombonist (d. 1964), was an American jazz trombonist and singer. According to critic Scott Yannow of Allmusic, Teagarden was the preeminent American jazz trombone player before the bebop era of the 1940s and "one of the best jazz singers too".
  • 1890 – H. P. Lovecraft, American short story writer, editor, novelist (d. 1937), was an American writer of weird fiction and horror fiction. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he spent most of his life there, and his fiction was primarily set against a New England backdrop.
  • 1886 – Paul Tillich, German-American philosopher and theologian (d. 1965), was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and Lutheran Protestant theologian who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century. He also wrote several Christian-themed historical works.
  • 1881 – Edgar Guest, English-American poet and author (d. 1959), was an American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People's Poet. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life.
  • 1873 – Eliel Saarinen, Finnish architect and academic, co-designed the National Museum of Finland (d. 1950). National Museum of Finland Vyborg railway station Hvitträsk
  • 1868 – Ellen Roosevelt, American tennis player (d. 1954). She was the daughter of John Aspinwall Roosevelt, an estate proprietor, and Ellen Murray Crosby.
  • 1845 – Albert Chmielowski, Polish saint, founded the Albertine Brothers (d. 1916), was a Polish nobleman, noted painter, disabled veteran of the Uprising of 1863, a professed religious and founder of both the Albertine Brothers and Albertine Sisters servants of the homeless and destitute.
  • 1833 – Benjamin Harrison, American general, lawyer, and politician, 23rd President of the United States (d. 1901), was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was a grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison, creating the only grandfather–grandson duo to have held the office.


  • 2017 – Jerry Lewis, American actor and comedian (b. 1926)
  • 2014 – B. K. S. Iyengar, Indian yoga instructor and author, founded Iyengar Yoga (b. 1918)
  • 2014 – Edmund Szoka, American cardinal (b. 1927)
  • 2014 – Lois Mai Chan, Taiwanese-American librarian, author, and academic (b. 1934)
  • 2013 – Don Hassler, American saxophonist and composer (b. 1929)
  • 2013 – Elmore Leonard, American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter (b. 1925)
  • 2013 – John W. Morris, American general (b. 1921)
  • 2013 – Marian McPartland, English-American pianist and composer (b. 1918)
  • 2013 – Ted Post, American director and screenwriter (b. 1918)
  • 2012 – Daryl Hine, Canadian-American poet and academic (b. 1936)
  • 2012 – Phyllis Diller, American actress and comedian (b. 1917)
  • 2009 – Karla Kuskin, American author and illustrator (b. 1932)
  • 2009 – Larry Knechtel, American keyboardist and bass player (b. 1940)
  • 2008 – Ed Freeman, American soldier and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1927)
  • 2008 – Gene Upshaw, American football player (b. 1945)
  • 2008 – Stephanie Tubbs Jones, American lawyer and politician (b. 1949)
  • 2007 – Leona Helmsley, American businesswoman (b. 1920)
  • 2006 – Joe Rosenthal, American photographer and journalist (b. 1911)
  • 2005 – Thomas Herrion, American football player (b. 1981)
  • 2001 – Kim Stanley, American actress (b. 1925)
  • 1997 – Norris Bradbury, American soldier, physicist, and academic (b. 1909)
  • 1980 – Joe Dassin, American-French singer-songwriter (b. 1938)
  • 1965 – Jonathan Daniels, American seminarian and civil rights activist (b. 1939)
  • 1961 – Percy Williams Bridgman, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1882)
  • 1936 – Edward Weston, English-American chemist (b. 1850)
  • 1912 – William Booth, English preacher, co-founded The Salvation Army (b. 1829)
  • 1384 – Geert Groote, Dutch preacher, founded the Brethren of the Common Life (b. 1340)
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