Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Aug. 4, the 217th day of 2020. There are 149 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 4, 1944, 15-year-old diarist Anne Frank was arrested with her sister, parents and four others by the Gestapo after hiding for two years inside a building in Amsterdam. (Anne and her sister, Margot, died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.)
On this date:
In 1792, English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born at Field Place near Horsham, England.
In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany for invading Belgium; the United States proclaimed its neutrality in the mushrooming world conflict.
In 1916, the United States reached agreement with Denmark to purchase the Danish Virgin Islands for $25 million.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the second of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he prevailed in the long jump over German Luz Long, who was the first to congratulate him.
In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.
In 1972, Arthur Bremer was convicted and sentenced in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to 63 years in prison for his attempt on the life of Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace (the sentence was later reduced to 53 years; Bremer was released from prison in 2007).
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission voted 4-0 to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required radio and television stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues.
In 1993, a federal judge sentenced Los Angeles police officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating Rodney King’s civil rights.
In 1996, on the final day of the Atlanta Olympics, Josiah Thugwane became the first Black South African to win a gold medal as he finished first in the marathon.
In 2001, thousands of admirers turned out in London for what would prove to be the last birthday celebration for Britain’s Queen Mother Elizabeth, who had turned 101. (The Queen Mother died in March 2002.)
In 2009, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il pardoned American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee for entering the country illegally and ordered their release during a surprise visit by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Ten years ago: BP PLC reported the broken well head at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico was plugged up with mud; President Barack Obama said the battle to contain one of the world’s worst oil spills was “finally close to coming to an end.” Eight days after turning 35, Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run, becoming the youngest player to attain the milestone. (A-Rod’s two-run, first-inning drive off Toronto’s Shaun Marcum put New York ahead, and the Yankees coasted to a 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays.)
Five years ago: President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made dueling appeals to the American Jewish community as they sought to rally support for their opposing positions on the Iranian nuclear deal; Netanyahu made his case against the agreement in a live webcast with more than 10,000 participants, according to the U.S. Jewish groups that organized the event, while Obama held a private meeting at the White House with Jewish leaders.
One year ago: A masked gunman fired on revelers enjoying summer nightlife in a popular entertainment district of Dayton, Ohio, leaving nine people dead and 27 wounded; police said officers shot and killed the shooter within 30 seconds of the start of his rampage. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suffered a fractured shoulder in a fall outside his Louisville, Kentucky home.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-singer Tina Cole is 77. Actor-comedian Richard Belzer is 76. Football Hall of Famer John Riggins is 71. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is 65. Actor-screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton is 65. Actor Kym Karath (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 62. Hall of Fame track star Mary Decker Slaney is 62. Actor Lauren Tom is 61. Former President Barack Obama is 59. Producer Michael Gelman (TV: “Live with Kelly & Ryan”) is 59. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens is 58. Actor Crystal Chappell is 55. Author Dennis Lehane is 55. Rock musician Rob Cieka (Boo Radleys) is 52. Actor Daniel Dae Kim is 52. Actor Michael DeLuise is 51. Former race car driver Jeff Gordon is 49. Rapper-actor Yo-Yo is 49. Country singer Jon Nicholson is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Marques (MAR’-kus) Houston is 39. Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, the former actor Meghan Markle, is 39. Actor Abigail Spencer is 39. Actor/director Greta Gerwig is 37. Country singer Crystal Bowersox (TV: “American Idol”) is 35. Rock singer Tom Parker (The Wanted) is 32. Actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse are 28. Singer Jessica Sanchez (TV: “American Idol”) is 25.