August 20

1641 - Scotland and Britain signed the Treaty of Pacification. 

1741 - Danish navigator Vitus Jonas Bering discovered Alaska. 

1862 - Horace Greeley's "The Prayer of Twenty Millions" was published. 

1866 - The National Labor Union in the U.S. advocated an eight-hour workday. 

1866 - It was formally declared by U.S. President Andrew Johnson that the American Civil War was over. The fighting had stopped months earlier. 

1882 - Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" debuted in Moscow. 

1885 - "The Mikado", by Gilbert and Sullivan, opened at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City. 

1914 - German forces occupied Brussels, Belgium, during World War I. 

1918 - The British opened its Western Front offensive during World War I. 

1923 - The first American dirigible, the "Shenandoah," was launched in Lakehurst, NJ. The ship began its maiden voyage from the same location on September 4. 

1939 - The National Bowling Association was founded in Detroit, MI. It was the first bowling association in the U.S. for African-Americans. 

1940 - France fell to the Germans during World War II. 

1945 - Tommy Brown (Brooklyn Dodgers) became the youngest player to hit a home run in a major league ball game. Brown was 17 years, 8 months and 14 days old. 

1949 - Cleveland’s Indians and Chicago’s White Sox played at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland before the largest crowd, 78,382 people, to see a nighttime major-league baseball game. 

1953 - It was announced by the Soviet Union that they had detonated a hydrogen bomb. 

1955 - In Morocco and Algeria hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting. 

1955 - Colonel Horace A. Hanes, a U.S. Air Force pilot, flew to an altitude of 40,000 feet. Hanes reached a speed of 822.135 miles per hour in a Super Sabrejet. 

1964 - A $1 billion anti-poverty measure was signed by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. 

1967 - The New York Times reported about a noise reduction system for album and tape recording developed by technicians R. and D.W. Dolby. Elektra Record's subsidiary, Checkmate Records became the first label to use the new Dolby process in its recordings. 

1968 - The Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization. 

1977 - Voyager 2 was launched by the United States. The spacecraft was carrying a 12 inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature. 

1985 - The original Xerox 914 copier was presented to the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of American History. Chester Carlson was the man who invented the machine. 

1991 - A rally of more that 100,000 people occurred outside the Russian parliament building to protest the coup that removed Gorbachev from power. 

1997 - NATO troops seized six police stations in Banja Luka that had been held by troops controlled by former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic. 

1997 - Britain began voluntary evacuation of its Caribbean island of Montserrat due to the volcanic activity of the Soufriere Hills. 

1998 - Canada's Supreme Court announced that Quebec could not secede without the federal government's consent. 

1998 - U.S. military forces attacked a terrorist camp in Afghanistan and a chemical plant in Sudan. Both targets were chosen for cruise missile strikes due to their connection with Osama bin Laden. 

1998 - The U.N. Security Council extended trade sanctions against Iraq for blocking arms inspections. 

August 19

1812 - "Old Ironsides" (the USS Constitution) won a battle against the British frigate Guerriere east of Nova Scotia. 

1848 - The discovery of gold in California was reported by the New York Herald. 

1856 - The process of processing condensed milk was patented by Gail Borden. 

1909 - The first car race to be run on brick occurred at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

1917 - Team managers John McGraw and Christy Matthewson were arrested for breaking New York City's blue laws. The crime was their teams were playing baseball on Sunday. 

1919 - Afghanistan gained independence from Britain. 

1929 - "Amos and Andy," the radio comedy program, made its debut on NBC starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll. 

1934 - Adolf Hitler was approved for sole executive power in Germany as Fuehrer. 

1940 - The new Civil Aeronautics Administration awarded honorary license #1 to Orville Wright. 

1942 - About 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launched a raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France. They suffered about 50 percent casualties. 

1960 - Francis Gary Powers, an American U-2 pilot, was convicted of espionage in Moscow. 

1960 - Two dogs were launched in a satellite into Earth's orbit by the Soviet Union. 

1962 - Homero Blancas shot a 55 at the Premier Invitational Golf Tournament held in Longview, TX. It was the lowest score in U.S.competitive golf history. 

1974 - During an anti-American protest in Nicosia, Cyprus, U.S. Ambassador Rodger P. Davies was fatally wounded by a bullet while in the American embassy. 

1981 - Two Libyan SU-22s were shot down by two U.S. Navy F-14 fighters in the Gulf of Sidra. 

1991 - Soviet hard-liners announced that President Mikhail Gorbachev had been removed from power. Gorbachev returned to power two days later. 

1998 - The first piece of the 351 foot bronze statue of Christopher Columbus arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

1999 - Lorne Michaels received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

1999 - In Belgrade, thousands of Serbs attended a rally to demand the resignation of Yugoslavia's President Slobodan Milosevic. 

2004 - Google Inc. stock began selling on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The initial price was set at $85 and ended the day at $100.34 with more than 22 million shares traded

August 18

1227 - The Mongol conqueror Ghengis Khan died. 

1587 - Virginia Dare became the first child to be born on American soil of English parents. The colony that is now Roanoke Island,NC, mysteriously vanished. 

1735 - The "Evening Post" of Boston, MA, was published for the first time. 

1840 - The American Society of Dental Surgeons was founded in New York City, NY. 

1846 - Gen. Stephen W. Kearney and his U.S. forces captured Santa Fe, NM. 

1894 - The Bureau of Immigration was established by the U.S. Congress. 

1914 - The "Proclamation of Neutrality" was issued by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. It was aimed at keeping the U.S. out of World War I. 

1916 - Abraham Lincoln's birthplace was made into a national shrine. 

1919 - The "Anti-Cigarette League of America" was formed in Chicago IL. 

1920 - Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment guaranteed the right of all American women to vote. 

1937 - The first FM radio construction permit was issued in Boston, MA. The station went on the air two years later. 

1938 - The Thousand Islands Bridge was dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The bridge connects the U.S. and Canada. 

1940 - Canada and the U.S. established a joint defense plan against the possible enemy attacks during World War II. 

1958 - Vladimir Nabokov's novel "Lolita" was published. 

1963 - James Meredith graduated from the University of Mississippi. He was the first black man to accomplish this feat. 

1966 - The first pictures of earth taken from moon orbit were sent back to the U.S. 

1980 - George Brett (Kansas City Royal) had his batting average reach the .400 mark. 

1981 - Herschel Walker of the University of Georgia took out an insurance policy with Lloyd’s of London. The all-American was insured for one million dollars. 

1982 - The volume on the New York Stock Exchange topped the 100-million level for the first time at 132.69 million shares traded. 

1982 - The longest baseball game played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL, went 21 innings before the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cubs 2-1. 

1987 - Earl Campbell announced his retirement from the National Football League (NFL). 

1990 - The first shots were fired by the U.S. in the Persian Gulf Crisis when a U.S. frigate fired rounds across the bow of an Iraqi oil tanker. 

1991 - An unsuccessful coup was attempted in against President Mikhail S. Gorbachev. The Soviet hard-liners were responsible. Gorbechev and his family were effectively imprisoned for three days while vacationing in Crimea. 

1992 - Larry Bird, after 13 years with the Boston Celtics, announced his retirement. 

1997 - Beth Ann Hogan became the first coed in the Virginia Military Institute's 158-year history. 

1997 - Patrick Swayze received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

1998 - Mrs. Field's Original Cookies announced that they would acquire the Great American Cookie Co. 

2004 - Donald Trump unveiled his board game (TRUMP the Game) where players bid on real estate, buy big ticket items and make billion-dollar business deals.

August 17

1790 - The capital city of the U.S. moved to Philadelphia from New York City. 

1807 - Robert Fulton's "North River Steam Boat" (known as the "Clermont") began heading up New York's Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany. 

1815 - Napoleon began serving his exile when he arrived at the island of St. Helena. 

1835 - Solyman Merrick patented the wrench. 

1859 - A hot air balloon was used to carry mail for the first time. John Wise left Lafayette, IN, for New York City with 100 letters. He had to land after only 27 miles. 

1863 - Federal batteries and ships bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC, harbor during the Civil War. 

1894 - John Wadsworth of Louisville set a major league record when he gave up 28 base hits in a single game. 

1896 - The Klondike gold rush was set off by George Carmack discovering gold on Rabbit Creek in Alaska. 

1903 - Joseph Pulitzer donated a million dollars to Columbia University. This started the Pulitzer Prizes in his name. 

1915 - Charles F. Kettering patented the electric, automobile self-starter. 

1939 - The movie "Wizard of Oz" opened. 

1943 - The Allied conquest of Sicily was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina. 

1945 - The nationalists of Indonesia declared their independence from the Netherlands. 

1961 - The Communist East German government completed the construction of the Berlin Wall. 

1973 - Lee Trevino got the first hole in one of his career at the U.S.I. Golf Classic, in Sutton, MA. 

1977 - Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) reported that in one day the number of orders for flowers to be delivered to Graceland had surpassed the number for any other event in the company's history. 

1978 - Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman became the first to land after a successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight. The voyage began in Presque Isle, ME and ended in Miserey, France. 

1982 - The U.S. Senate approved an immigration bill that granted permanent resident status to illegal aliens who had arrived in the United States before 1977. 

1985 - A year-long strike began when 1,400 Geo. A. Hormel and Co. meat packers walked off the job. 

1987 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2,700 for the first time. 

1992 - Woody Allen admitted to being romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn. The girl was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, Allen's longtime companion. 

1996 - A military cargo plane crashed in Wyoming killing eight crewmembers and a Secret Service employee. The plane was carrying gear for U.S. President Clinton. 

1996 - Ross Perot was announced to be the Reform Party's presidential candidate. It was the party's first-ever candidate. 

1998 - U.S. President Clinton admitted to having an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. 

1998 - NationsBank and BankAmerica merge to create the largest U.S. bank. 

1998 - Russia devalued the ruble. 

2002 - In Santa Rosa, CA, the Charles M. Schulz Museum opened to the public. 

August 16

1777 - During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bennington took place. New England's minutemen routed the British regulars. 

1812 - Detroit fell to Indian and British troops in the War of 1812. 

1829 - The "Siamese twins," Chang and Eng Bunker, arrived in Boston, MA. They had come to the Western world to be exhibited. They were 18 years old and joined at the waist. 

1858 - A telegraphed message from Britain's Queen Victoria to U.S. President Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable. 

1861 - U.S. President Lincoln prohibited the Union states from trading with the states of the Confederacy. 

1923 - Carnegie Steel Corporation put into place the eight-hour workday for its employees. 

1930 - The first British Empire Games were held at Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The event is now called the British Commonwealth Games. 

1937 - Harvard University became the first school to have graduate courses in traffic engineering and administration. 

1954 - Sports Illustrated was published for the first time. It was claimed that 250,000 subscriptions had been sold before the first issue came off of the presses. 

1954 - Jack Paar replaced Walter Cronkite as host of "The Morning Show" on CBS-TV. 

1960 - Cyprus was granted independence by Britain. 

1960 - The free-fall world record was set by Joseph Kittinger. He fell more than 16 miles (about 84,000 feet) before opening his parachute over New Mexico. 

1978 - Xerox was fined for excluding Smith-Corona Mfg. from the copier market. The fine was $25.6 million. 

1984 - The U.S. Jaycees voted to admit women to full membership in the organization. 

1995 - Voters in Bermuda rejected independence from Great Britain. 

1999 - In Russia, Vladimir V. Putin was confirmed as prime minister by the lower house of parliament.