August 20, 1963
LODGE GETS CLASSIFIED INSTRUCTIONS*
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The newly appointed US Ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, received classified instructions today as he prepares to leave the United States.
Ambassador Lodge was informed the United States government will be willing to support a military coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem.**
*Due to its classified nature, this information would have not been made available for publication at the time.
**Diem, once called “the miracle man of Asia” by President Eisenhower, was assassinated in a military coup on November 2, 1963.
Ngo Dinh Diem
August 20, 1961
JFK CONCERNED ABOUT PROSPECT OF BRITISH JOINING COMMON MARKET
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts (JFK+50) President & Mrs. Kennedy & their daughter Caroline took a cruise on the Marlin this afternoon with dress designer Oleg Cassini.
Before going on the cruise, JFK, concerned about the prospect of the British joining the European Common Market, asked his economic & diplomatic advisers to conduct an extensive investigation on the impact of such a scenario.
August 20, 1954
IKE SUPPORTS DULLES FAR EAST POLICY REVIEW
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved a National Security Council paper today titled “Review of US Policy in the Far East”.
The report supports Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’ view that the US government should support President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.
The report also recommends giving encouragement to Diem to establish more democratic institutions & to broaden the government of South Vietnam.
Ike, Dulles & Diem
August 20, 1940
TROTSKY STABBED BY AXE-WIELDING ASSASSIN
Mexico City, Mexico (JFK+50) Exiled Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was attacked in his home here today by an axe-wielding assassin.
Trotsky, who was found guilty of treason “in absentia” during the rule of Josef Stalin, is 60 years old.*
*Trotsky died the following day. His killer, Ramon Mercader, a Spanish communist & undercover agent, will be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Leon Trotsky (center)
With Friends in Mexico (1940)
August 20, 1968
SOVIETS INVADE CZECHOSLOVAKIA
Prague, Czechoslovakia (JFK+50) The army of the Soviet Union crossed into Czechoslovakia today to stop protests against the government & to restore order.
The move has created shockwaves around the world & is expected to do harm to relations between the USSR & United States.*
*LBJ will cancel a planned visit to the USSR scheduled for October 1968.
Photo by Szilas
August 20, 1975
“VIKING I” HEADS TOWARD THE RED PLANET
Cape Canaveral, Florida (JFK+50) The unmanned “Viking I” spacecraft was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral today.
The spacecraft is on its way to the planet Mars.*
*Viking I entered an orbit around Mars on June 19, 1976 & the following day landed on its surface. Viking I & II have sent more than 1400 images of the surface of Mars back to Earth.
Panoramic View of Martian Surface
August 20, 1982
800 US MARINES ARRIVE IN BEIRUT
Beirut, Lebanon (JFK+50) A multi-national task force which includes 800 US Marines arrived today in Beirut.
The task force will supervise the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon.*
*The mission will last 17 months & will result in 262 American deaths.
USMC Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon