Today in History


By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 3, the 216th day of 2016. There are 150 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 3, 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, whose raunchy brand of satire and dark humor landed him in trouble with the law, was found dead in his Los Angeles home; he was 40.

On this date:

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Virginia, charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)

In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.

In 1916, Irish-born British diplomat Roger Casement, a strong advocate of independence for Ireland, was hanged for treason.

In 1921, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis refused to reinstate the former Chicago White Sox players implicated in the “Black Sox” scandal, despite their acquittals in a jury trial.

In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.

In 1943, Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)

In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.

In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.

In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)

In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.

In 1994, Arkansas carried out the nation’s first triple execution in 32 years. Stephen G. Breyer was sworn in as the Supreme Court’s newest justice in a private ceremony at Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s Vermont summer home.

Ten years ago: In Afghanistan, 21 civilians were killed in a suicide car bombing near Canadian military vehicles in a town market in Kandahar province; U.S. forces killed 25 Taliban in a raid in Helmand province. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, a soprano who’d won global acclaim for her renditions of Mozart and Strauss, died in Schruns, Austria, at age 90.

Five years ago: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denied all charges against him as he went on trial for alleged corruption and complicity in the deaths of protesters who’d helped drive him from power. (Mubarak is currently being retried for the killings of protesters; he and his sons were convicted of graft and have already served their sentences for that crime.) The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced that Jerry Lewis was no longer its national chairman and would not be appearing on the Labor Day telethon. Death claimed former NFL star and actor Bubba Smith, 66, and actress Annette Charles, 63, best known for her role as Cha Cha DeGregorio in “Grease.”

One year ago: Seeking to clamp down on power plant emissions, President Barack Obama unveiled a federal plan that would attempt to slow global warming by dramatically shifting the way Americans get and use electricity; opponents denounced the proposal as egregious federal overreach that would send power prices surging, and vowed lawsuits and legislation to try to stop it.

Today’s Birthdays: Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy is 91. Singer Tony Bennett is 90. Actor Martin Sheen is 76. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 76. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 75. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 75. Rock musician B.B. Dickerson is 67. Movie director John Landis is 66. Actress JoMarie Payton is 66. Actor Jay North (TV: “Dennis the Menace”) is 65. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 65. Country musician Randy Scruggs is 63. Actor Philip Casnoff is 62. Actor John C. McGinley is 57. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 55. Actress Lisa Ann Walter is 55. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 53. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 53. Actor Isaiah Washington is 53. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 50. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 46. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 45. Actress Brigid Brannagh is 44. Actor Michael Ealy is 43. Country musician Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 40. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 39. Actress Evangeline (ee-VAN’-gel-een) Lilly is 37. Actress Mamie Gummer is 33. Country singer Whitney Duncan is 32. Actor Jon Foster is 32. Actress Georgina Haig is 31. Singer Holly Arnstein (Dream) is 31. Actress Tanya Fischer is 31. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 31.

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