Today is Friday, Aug. 20, the 233rd day of 2004. There are 133 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 20, 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the "Prague Spring" liberalization drive of Alexander Dubcek's regime.

On this date:

In 1833, Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio.

In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after the fighting had stopped.

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

In 1918, Britain opened its offensive on the Western front during World War I.

In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force, saying, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

In 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

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

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a nearly $1 billion anti-poverty measure.

In 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager Two, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

In 1979, swimmer Diana Nyad succeeded in her third attempt at swimming from the Bahamas to Florida.

Ten years ago: Benjamin Chavis Jr. was fired as head of the NAACP after a turbulent 16-month tenure. President Clinton slapped new sanctions on Cuba that included prohibiting payments by Cuban-Americans to their relatives in Cuba.

Five years ago: In a highly unusual move, the CIA pulled the security clearances for former Director John Deutch for keeping secret files on an unsecured home computer. Three Japanese banks announced a broad alliance plan that would create the world's largest banking group with assets of well over $1 trillion.

One year ago: Hundreds of thousands marched in Venezuela, demanding the recall of President Hugo Chavez. The United States won the women's overall team gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, Calif.; Romania took the silver medal and Australia, the bronze.

Today's Birthdays: Writer-producer-director Walter Bernstein is 85. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 71. Singer-musician Isaac Hayes is 62. Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 58. Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 57. Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 56. Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 52. Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 52. Actor-director Peter Horton is 51. T.V. weatherman Al Roker is 50. Actor Jay Acovone is 49. Actress Joan Allen is 48. T.V. personality Asha Blake is 43. Actor James Marsters is 42. Rapper KRS-One is 39. Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 34. Rock musician Brad Avery (Third Day) is 33. Actor Jonathan Ke Quan is 33. Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 29.

Thought for Today: "I am more and more convinced that man is a dangerous creature; and that power, whether vested in many or a few, is ever grasping, and like the grave, cries 'Give, give!"' - Abigail Adams, American writer (1744-1818).

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.