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On this day: August 20

POSTED: 12:46 AM PDT Aug 19, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Aug 19, 2013 

Charles Darwin publishes his theory of evolution, the NFL is founded, Lou Gehrig belts his 23rd career grand slam and NASA heads for Mars, all on this day.

OTD August 20 - Pope Pius X
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Library of Congress

1914: Pope Pius X, the head of the Catholic Church since Aug. 4, 1903, dies of a heart attack at age 79 in Vatican City. Born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto in Riese, Italy (then the Austrian Empire), Pius was known for promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology, rejecting more modern interpretations of Catholic doctrine. He also was the first to publish the Code of Canon Law, which collected the laws of the church into one volume for the first time. After his death, he became the first pope since Pius V, who was pope in the mid-1500s, to be canonized as a saint.


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