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history

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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Today is the 225th day of 2020. There are 141 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1961: The East German Parliament votes to erect a wall separating east Berlin from the western part. It goes up the same night.

OTHER EVENTS

1499: Turks defeat Venetian fleet at Sapienza, Italy. The battle is the one of several wars between the two sides.

1530: Florence is restored to Medici family in Italy by Holy Roman Empire troops.

1687: Duke of Lorraine and Louis of Baden defeat Turks under Suleiman Pasha at Battle of Mohacs, ending Turkish occupation of Hungary.

1759: Russian and Austrian forces defeat Prussians at Kunersdorf, Germany, and Dresden falls into Austrian hands.

1898: Hawaiian Islands in Pacific are transferred to United States.

1938: Germany begins mobilisation of its armed forces.

1953: The Soviet Union detonates its first hydrogen bomb.

1958: Cuban rebel leader Fidel Castro announces the complete “liberation” of the Sierra Maestra area of Oriente Province from President Batista's army. Three-hundred Cuban soldiers are killed and 420 captured.

1974: Floods subside after two months of monsoon rain in Bangladesh, killing at least 2,500 people and leaving 38 per cent of the country under water. Property and crop damage is estimated at US$2 billion.

1978: Japan and China sign a peace treaty implemented in October.

1991: Soviet President Mikhail S Gorbachev authorises the establishment of an agency to oversee the denationalisation of large-scale State enterprises.

1992: United States, Canada and Mexico reach a free-trade agreement.

1995: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's former right-hand man and son-in-law, Hussein Kamel al-Majid, who defected to Jordan, announces a campaign to topple him.

1998: Swiss banks agree to pay $1.25 billion to Holocaust survivors as restitution for lost assets.

2005: In one of his first acts as pope, Benedict XVI invites Rome's chief rabbi to his installation ceremony and issues special greetings to Jews. He also assures Muslims the Roman Catholic Church wants to build “bridges of friendship”.

2010: WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange says his organisation is preparing to release the rest of the secret Afghan war documents it has on file. The Pentagon warns that would be more damaging to security and risk more lives than the organisation's initial release of some 76,000 war documents.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Katherine Lee Bates, US author of America the Beautiful (1859-1929); Cecil B DeMille, US film producer and director (1881-1959); Erwin Schroedinger, Austrian physicist (1887-1961); Cantinflas (Mario Moreno), Mexican comedian (1911-1993); William Goldman, US novelist-screenwriter (1931-2018); Pete Sampras, US tennis player (1971- ).

— AP


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