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This day in History, October 20

Saturday, October 20, 2012    

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Today's Highlight

2011: Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's dictator for 42 years until he was ousted in an uprising-turned-civil war, is killed as revolutionary fighters overwhelm his hometown of Sirte and capture the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell.

Other Events

1867: British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli pens the now famous quote: "Change is inevitable in a progressive country, change is constant."

1883: Peru cedes territory to Chile by Peace of Ancor.

1897: King of Korea proclaims himself emperor, and Russia and Japan intervene.

1921: Franco-Turkish agreement is signed at Ankara.

1944: The Yugoslav cities of Belgrade and Dubrovnik are liberated during World War II.

1945: Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon warn the US that creation of a Jewish state could lead to war in Middle East; Arab League is formed.

1977: Civilian government in Thailand is ousted in bloodless coup by military junta which installed the regime one year earlier.

1980: Greece rejoins NATO's military wing.

1986: Mozambique's President Samora Machel dies in plane crash in eastern South Africa.

1989: Hungarian parliament disbands the Communist Party's armed guard, known as the Worker's Militia.

1990: Kim Dae Jung, leader of a South Korean political opposition, ends a 12-day hunger strike when government leaders say they are willing to compromise on some of his demands: end military surveillance, improve the economy and end plans to replace the presidential system of government.

1993: NATO defence ministers agree to offer former Warsaw Pact states and neutral European countries "partnerships for peace" as a first step toward qualifying for full membership in the alliance.

2004: Two Muslim girls who refuse to remove their head scarves in class are expelled from their schools, and two more risk the same fate as officials begin taking action against those who defy a new French law banning conspicuous religious symbols from public schools.

2007: Radio Shabelle's Bashir Nor Gedi, who is critical of both the Somali government and the Islamic militants who have been trying to topple it, is killed outside his home in the Somali capital, the eighth journalist slain in the country this year.

Today's Birthdays

Arthur Rimbaud, French author (1854-1891); John Dewey, US philosopher (1859-1952); Don Stephen Senanayake, first prime minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) (1884-1952); Snoop Dogg, US rapper (1971-); Viggo Mortensen, US actor (1958-); John Krasinski, US actor (1979-).

—AP

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