Today in History
Today is Sunday, Aug. 4, the 216th day of 2019. There are 149 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.
On this date:
In 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard had its beginnings as President George Washington signed a measure authorizing a group of revenue cutters to enforce tariff and trade laws and prevent smuggling.
In 1792, English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born at Field Place near Horsham, England.
In 1830, plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.
In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany for invading Belgium; the United States proclaimed its neutrality in the mushrooming world conflict.
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 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.)
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 1975, the Swedish pop group ABBA began recording their hit single “Dancing Queen” at Glen Studio outside Stockholm (it was released a year later).
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 1997, Teamsters went on a 15-day strike against United Parcel Service after talks broke down with the nation’s largest package delivery service. Jeanne Calment, at age 122 the world’s oldest person, died at a retirement home in Arles, France.
In 2004, former teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, convicted of having sex with a sixth-grade pupil, was released from a Washington state prison after 7 1/2 years behind bars.
Ten years ago: 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. Taliban militants unleashed a wave of rockets at Kabul’s international airport and government buildings less than three weeks before Afghanistan’s presidential election. A gunman opened fire in a health club in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, killing three women before killing himself.
Five years ago: On the first day of a U.S.-Africa summit in Washington, President Barack Obama announced $33 billion in commitments aimed at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships. Israel and Hamas accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal meant to halt a bruising monthlong war that had claimed nearly 2,000 lives. James Brady, 73, the affable, witty press secretary who had survived a devastating head wound in the 1981 assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan and undertook a personal campaign for gun control, died in Alexandria, Virginia.
One year ago: A utility worker was killed in a vehicle-related accident near a Northern California wildfire, becoming the seventh person to die amid the immense blaze that had been burning for two weeks near Redding. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro dodged what officials described as an assassination attempt when drones armed with explosives detonated as he delivered a speech to hundreds of soldiers.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Tina Cole is 76. Actor-comedian Richard Belzer is 75. Football Hall of Famer John Riggins is 70. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is 64. Actor-screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton is 64. Actress Kym Karath (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 61. Hall of Fame track star Mary Decker Slaney is 61. Actress Lauren Tom is 60. Former President Barack Obama is 58. Producer Michael Gelman (TV: “Live with Kelly & Ryan”) is 58. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens is 57. Actress Crystal Chappell is 54. Author Dennis Lehane is 54. Rock musician Rob Cieka (Boo Radleys) is 51. Actor Daniel Dae Kim is 51. Actor Michael DeLuise is 50. Former race car driver Jeff Gordon is 48. Rapper-actress Yo-Yo is 48. Country singer Jon Nicholson is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Marques (MAR’-kus) Houston is 38. Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, the former actress Meghan Markle, is 38. Actress Abigail Spencer is 38. Actress Greta Gerwig is 36. Country singer Crystal Bowersox (TV: “American Idol”) is 34. Rock singer Tom Parker (The Wanted) is 31. Actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse are 27. Singer Jessica Sanchez (TV: “American Idol”) is 24.
Thought for Today: “A man does not know what he is saying until he knows what he is not saying.” — G.K. Chesterton, English poet-essayist (1874-1936).