On This Day, October 20

After advancing island by island across the Pacific Ocean, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte, fulfilling his promise to return to the area he was forced to flee in 1942.
On October 20, 1944, a few hours after his troops landed, MacArthur waded ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte. That day, he made a radio broadcast in which he declared, “People of the Philippines, I have returned!” In January 1945, his forces invaded the main Philippine island of Luzon. In February, Japanese forces at Bataan were cut off, and Corregidor was captured. Manila, the Philippine capital, fell in March, and in June MacArthur announced his offensive operations on Luzon to be at an end; although scattered Japanese resistance continued until the end of the war, in August. Only one-third of the men MacArthur left behind in March 1942 survived to see his return. “I’m a little late,” he told them, “but we finally came.” Find more about World War II Pacific campaigns at the library and the battle and landings at Leyte Gulf on hoopla.


Nikki Grimes, author of books written for children and young adults, as well as a poet and journalist, was born in Harlem, NY on October 20, 1950. Grimes was born in Harlem, New York. In a conversation with a Reading is Fundamental interviewer, she stated: “Books were my survival tools. They were how I got by, and how I coped with things. Books carried me away.” Find Nikki Grimes at the library.


Crockett Johnson, pen name of cartoonist and children’s book illustrator David Johnson Leisk, was born, was born in New York City on October 20, 1906. He is perhaps best known for the comic strip Barnaby (1942–1952) and the Harold series of books begun with Harold and the Purple Crayon.

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