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This Day in History for October 20 – McCarthyism Hits Hollywood and More

APA, Getty Images

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1944 – Two liquid gas tanks explode in Cleveland, Ohio, killing 130 people and leveling 30 city blocks (More info)

1944 – General Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines, 30 months after he declared “I shall return” (More info)

1947 – The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years (More info)

1973 – In what came to be known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,” President Richard Nixon fires US Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork (More info)

1977 – A plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot (More info)

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