Today in History


By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 23, the 236th day of 2016. There are 130 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 23, 1926, legendary silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31.

On this date:

In 1305, Scottish rebel leader Sir William Wallace was executed by the English for treason.

In 1775, Britain’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.”

In 1858, “Ten Nights in a Bar-room,” a play by Timothy Shay Arthur about the perils of alcohol, opened in New York.

In 1913, Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, was unveiled in the harbor of the Danish capital.

In 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I.

In 1927, amid protests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery.

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.

In 1944, Romanian Prime Minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.

In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein (HAM’-ur-STYN’) II, 65, died in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

In 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage-taking began in Stockholm, Sweden; the four hostages ended up empathizing with their captors, a psychological condition now referred to as “Stockholm Syndrome.”

In 1982, Lebanon’s parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (However, Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later.)

In 1989, in a case that inflamed racial tensions in New York, Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black teen, was shot dead after he and his friends were confronted by a group of white youths in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. (Gunman Joey Fama was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison; he will be eligible for parole in 2022.)

Ten years ago: A previously unknown militant group released the first video of two Fox News journalists who’d been kidnapped in Gaza. (Reporter Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig were later freed.) The Citadel released the results of a survey in which almost 20 percent of female cadets reported being sexually assaulted since enrolling at the South Carolina military college. Jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson died in Ventura, California, at age 78.

Five years ago: A pair of judges in New York put an end to the sensational sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, setting him free after prosecutors questioned the credibility of the hotel housekeeper who’d accused the French diplomat. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered near Mineral, Virginia, the strongest on the East Coast since 1944, caused cracks in the Washington Monument and damaged Washington National Cathedral.

One year ago: Islamic State militants destroyed a temple at ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria, realizing the worst fears of archaeologists had for the fate of the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city after the extremists seized it and beheaded a local scholar. The United Arab Emirates said its military had freed a British hostage, Robert Douglas Semple, who was kidnapped 18 months earlier ago by al-Qaida in Yemen. Ohio State became the first unanimous preseason No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll. Roger Federer remained perfect in Cincinnati finals, winning an unprecedented seventh championship, 7-6 (1), 6-3, while denying Novak Djokovic the one title that had always eluded him.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Vera Miles is 86. Actress Barbara Eden is 85. Political satirist Mark Russell is 84. Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen is 82. Actor Richard Sanders is 76. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 74. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 72. Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 71. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 69. Actor David Robb is 69. Singer Linda Thompson is 69. Actress Shelley Long is 67. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 67. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 67. Queen Noor of Jordan is 65. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 65. Actor Skipp Sudduth is 60. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Mike Boddicker is 59. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 55. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 47. Actor Jay Mohr is 46. Actor Ray Park is 42. Actor Scott Caan is 40. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 39. Figure skater Nicole Bobek is 39. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 38. Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant is 38. Actress Joanne Froggatt is 36. Neo-soul musician Andy Wild is 35. Actress Annie Ilonzeh is 33. Dance musician Sky Blu is 30. Actress Kimberly Matula is 28. NBA player Jeremy Lin is 28.

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