19th August
It was on this day...
1960 Soviets Sentence Captured US Spy Plane Pilot

Francis Gary Powers was sentenced to 10 years in prison on this day after he admitted to espionage. The Lockheed U-2 plane he was flying on an intelligence gathering mission, was shot down over Sverdlovsk in the Ural Mountains.

It was on this day...
1991 USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev Overthrown By Communist Hardeners

President Gorbachev was being held under house arrest at his holiday home in the Crimea, Soviet radio announced.

It was claimed that the leader was "unable to perform his presidential duty for health reasons". Soviet television then started denouncing his policies.

The new leader was Gennady Yanayev.

Amongst the protesters against the Communist coup, president of the Russian federation, Boris Yeltsin, climbed onto a tank outside the Kremlin to urge the army not to turn on the people.

Yeltsin said the coup was a "new reign of terror" and urged the people to resist the takeover.

In the USA, President George H Bush cut short his holiday because of the crisis.

The coup failed 2 days later.

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Other News

1791 Benjamin Banneker sends his first almanac to Thomas Jefferson to disprove Jefferson's belief that Blacks are intellectually inferior to Whites.

1942 Allies raid German positions in Dieppe. The Allies suffered heavy casualties with more than half the 7,000 troops involved killed. The raid was later to provide useful information for the successful D-Day landings in 1944.

1977 Groucho Marx beloved comedian, and part of the Marx Brothers, dies at his Los Angeles home.

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