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On this day: February 20

Published: Feb 19 2013 07:12:59 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 20 2014 02:00:00 AM EST

The Post Office is born, World War II gets its first flying ace, John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth, and a fire at a Great White concert leaves 100 dead, all on this day.

OTD February 20 - Hunter S Thompson
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MDCarchives/Wikimedia Commons

2005: Journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson, who became a countercultural figure known for his own brand of reporting he termed "Gonzo" journalism, dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the age of 67 in Woody Creek, Colo. Thompson is best known for his work for Rolling Stone magazine and the books "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream" and "Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs." He was also well known for his eccentric behavior, lifelong use of alcohol and illegal drugs and his love of firearms.

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On this Day

  • 1906 San Francisco earthquake

    National Archives and Records Administration

    On this day: April 18

    Paul Revere rides, an earthquake and fires ravage San Francisco, Albert Einstein dies, Grace Kelly becomes a princess, and the U.S. embassy in Beirut is hit by a deadly car bomb, all on this day.