In the Aug. 23, 1976, issue of New York magazine, writer Tom Wolfe brands the 1970s as the Me Decade. Comparing it to two earlier religious awakenings in America, he concludes: “Where the Third Great Awakening will lead – who can presume to say? One only knows that the great religious waves have a momentum all their own. Neither arguments nor policies nor acts of the legislature have been any match for them in the past. And this one has the mightiest, holiest roll of all, the beat that goes . . . Me . . . Me . . . . Me . . . Me.”
After months of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia, the “Prague Spring” ends Aug. 20, 1968, when Soviet-led troops invade the country and arrest Communist Party First Secretary Alexander Dubcek.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, a linchpin of his War on Poverty, on Aug. 20. Among the act’s programs: the Job Corps, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and the Neighborhood Youth Corps.
The Beatles‘ “All You Need Is Love” replaces the Doors’ “Light My Fire” in the No. 1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Aug. 19, 1967.
Israel and the PLO (and the United States and Russia) agree to terms of the first Oslo Accord on Aug. 20, 1993. The agreement creates the Palestinian Authority and sets a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians and Israelis agree not to seek each other’s destruction.
Nolan Ryan strikes out Rickey Henderson on Aug. 22, 1989, to become the first (and still only) Major League Baseball pitcher to notch 5,000 strikeouts. He ends his career with 5,714, more than 800 ahead of second-place hurler Randy Johnson.
On Aug. 21, 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.
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