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

  • Civil War, Battle of Antietam painting

    Library of Congress

    On this day: September 17

    The U.S. Constitution is signed, the Civil War sees the bloodiest battle in American history, the prototype space shuttle Enterprise is unveiled, and the Camp David Accords bring peace between Egypt and Israel, all on this day.