Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, August 21, the 233th day of 2015. There are 132 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 21, 1945, President Harry S. Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid supplies to America’s allies during World War II.

On this date:

In 1831, Nat Turner led a violent slave rebellion in Virginia resulting in the deaths of at least 55 white people. (He was later executed.)

In 1858, the first of seven debates between Illinois senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place.

In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris. (The painting was recovered two years later in Italy.)

In 1940, exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in a Mexican hospital from wounds inflicted by an assassin the day before.

In 1944, the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and China opened talks at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington that helped pave the way for establishment of the United Nations. (The talks concluded on October 7.)

In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order making Hawaii the 50th state.

In 1963, martial law was declared in South Vietnam as police and army troops began a violent crackdown on Buddhist anti-government protesters.

In 1972, the Republican National Convention opened in Miami Beach.

In 1983, Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport. The musical play “La Cage Aux Folles” opened on Broadway.

In 1991, the hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapsed in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.

In 1993, in a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the red planet on a $980 million mission.

In 1995, ABC News settled a $10 billion libel suit by apologizing to Philip Morris for reporting the tobacco giant had manipulated the amount of nicotine in its cigarettes.

Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI triumphantly ended his four-day trip to his native Germany, celebrating an open-air Mass for a million people in Cologne. Robert A. Moog (mohg), whose self-named electronic synthesizers revolutionized music in the 1960s, died in Asheville, North Carolina, at age 71.

Five years ago: Iranian and Russian engineers began loading fuel into Iran’s first nuclear power plant, which Moscow promised to safeguard to prevent material at the site from being used in any potential weapons production. A Vincent van Gogh painting, “Poppy Flowers,” was stolen in broad daylight from Cairo’s Mahmoud Khalil Museum. (Although Egyptian authorities initially said they’d recovered the painting the same day at the Cairo airport, that report turned out to be erroneous; the painting remains missing.) Emmy-winning CBS News correspondent Harold Dow died at age 62.

One year ago: Calling it a “miraculous day,” an American doctor infected with Ebola left his isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta; Dr. Kent Brantly warmly hugged his physicians and nurses, showing the world that he posed no public health threat one month after getting sick with the virus. Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, where nightly scenes of unrest had erupted since a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old nearly two weeks earlier. Former Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds, 81, died in Dublin.

Today’s Birthdays: Former NFL player and general manager Pete Retzlaff is 84. Actor-director Melvin Van Peebles is 83. Playwright Mart Crowley is 80. Singer Kenny Rogers is 77. Actor Clarence Williams III is 76. Rock-and-roll musician James Burton is 76. Singer Harold Reid (The Statler Brothers) is 76. Singer Jackie DeShannon is 74. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier is 70. Actress Patty McCormack is 70. Pop singer-musician Carl Giammarese (jee-ah mah-REE’-see) is 68. Actress Loretta Devine is 66. NBC newsman Harry Smith is 64. Singer Glenn Hughes is 63. Country musician Nick Kane is 61. Actress Kim Cattrall is 59. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon is 56. Actress Cleo King is 53. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher John Wetteland is 49. Rock singer Serj Tankian (TAN’-kee-ahn) (System of a Down) is 48. Figure skater Josee Chouinard is 46. Actress Carrie-Anne Moss is 45. Retired MLB player Craig Counsell is 45. Rock musician Liam Howlett (Prodigy) is 44. Actress Alicia Witt is 40. Singer Kelis (kuh-LEES’) is 36. TV personality Brody Jenner is 32. Singer Melissa Schuman is 31. Olympic gold medal sprinter Usain (yoo-SAYN’) Bolt is 29. Actor-comedian Brooks Wheelan (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 29. Actor Cody Kasch is 28. Country singer Kacey Musgraves is 27. Actress Hayden Panettiere (pan’-uh-tee-EHR’) is 26. Actor RJ Mitte is 23. Actor Maxim Knight (TV: “Falling Skies”) is 16.

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