Today In History August 20

Today In History August 20

Human events take place in time, one after the other. It is important to learn the sequence of historical events to trace them, reconstruct them, and weave the stories that tell of their connections. We need to learn the measures of time, such as year, decade, generation, and century. When they listen “Once upon a time in history” they need to be able to ask “When did that happen?” and to know how to find the answer.

Let’s discuss a few major Historical events in Today’s History.

1794: Battle of Fallen Timbers

In the early Republic, the United States Army suffered some of the most devastating defeats in its history. While the Continental Army of the War for Independence fared well against the European strategy employed by the British redcoats, later particularly in the war, the Indian warriors along the American frontier confounded many of the early senior officers. Two separate expeditions into the Northwest Territory, escort by BG Josiah Harmer and MG Arthur St. Clair, were ambushed and nearly wasted by Indians, primarily from the Miami tribe, with covert British aid. This period represented some of the darkest days in the history of the United States Army.

Eventually, a senior American officer emerged to lead the Army to victory and end much of the threat posed to American settlers northwest of the River Ohio. MG Anthony Wayne, who had already established himself as one of the premier American officers in the Continental Army, was given command of the Army and led it once again into the Indian Territory. Under the leadership of Wayne’s, however, the results were much different. At the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August in the year 1794, near present-day Toledo, Ohio, Wayne, and his combined force of regulars and mounted Kentucky militia, routed the Indians and largely eliminated the Indian threat in the Northwest Territory.


1911: First around-the-world telegram is sent

On this day in the year 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly sixty-six years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message–a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings–shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II.

The New York Times decided to send its 1911 telegram to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world by telegraph cable. The message, reading simply “This message sent around the world,” left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the New York Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by sixteen different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon, and the Azores among other locations the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later. It was the fastest time achieved by a commercial cablegram since the opening of the Pacific cable in the year 1900 by the Commercial Cable Company.

On the same day in the year 1977, a NASA rocket launched Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820-pound spacecraft, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was the first of two such crafts to be launched that year on a “Grand Tour” of the planets, organized to coincide with a rare alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Aboard Voyager II was a 12-inch copper phonograph record called “Sounds of Earth.” Intended as a kind of introductory time capsule, the record included greetings in sixty languages and scientific information about planet Earth and the human race, along with music like classical, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, nature sounds like thunder and surf and recorded messages from President Jimmy Carter and other world leaders.