August 20, 1920
A meeting is held by representatives of the football teams the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Rock Island Independents, and Dayton Triangles in Canton, Ohio. This resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC) which was renamed the National Football League (NFL) the following year.
Mona Lisa Stolen
August 21, 1911
Leonardo da Vinci‘s famous painting is stolen from the Louvre in Paris. Pablo Picasso was implicated in the theft, but was eventually exonerated. The thief turned out to be Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia who stole the painting by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet, and then walking out with the painting hidden under his coat. The theft was not discovered until the following day. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who believed Leonardo’s painting should have been returned to an Italian museum. After having kept the Mona Lisa in his apartment for two years, Peruggia was caught when he attempted to sell it to the director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Peruggia served six months in prison for the crime and was hailed for his patriotism in Italy.
August 22, 1979
U.S. Representative Michael Myers is videotaped accepting a $50,000 bribe. The FBI had set up a fraudulent Arabian company and videotaped public officials accepting bribes in return for various political favors. Six members of the U.S. House of Representatives, one U.S. Senator, a member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, and an inspector for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service would eventually be convicted. ABSCAM was short “Arab scam.”