Today in History

Today is Thursday, Aug. 8, the 220th day of 2019. There are 145 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon, facing damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal, announced he would resign the following day.

On this date:

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for St. Helena to spend the remainder of his days in exile.

In 1876, Thomas A. Edison received a patent for his mimeograph.

In 1942, during World War II, six Nazi saboteurs who were captured after landing in the U.S. were executed in Washington, D.C.; two others who cooperated with authorities were spared.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II.

In 1968, the Republican national convention in Miami Beach nominated Richard Nixon for president on the first ballot.

In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew branded as “damned lies” reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland, and vowed not to resign — which he ended up doing.

In 1993, in Somalia, four U.S. soldiers were killed when a land mine was detonated underneath their vehicle, prompting President Bill Clinton to order Army Rangers to try to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

In 2000, the wreckage of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which sank in 1864 after attacking the Union ship Housatonic, was recovered off the South Carolina coast and returned to port.

In 2002, Saddam Hussein organized a big military parade and then warned “the forces of evil” not to attack Iraq as he sought once more to shift the debate away from world demands that he live up to agreements that ended the Gulf War.

In 2003, the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese offered $55 million to settle more than 500 lawsuits stemming from alleged sex abuse by priests. (The archdiocese later settled for $85 million.)

In 2006, Roger Goodell was chosen as the NFL’s next commissioner.

In 2008, China opened the Summer Olympic Games with an extravaganza of fireworks and pageantry.

Ten years ago: Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic and third female justice. A small plane collided with a sightseeing helicopter over the Hudson River in New York City, killing nine people, including five Italian tourists. Typhoon Morakot slammed into Taiwan, leaving more than 670 either dead or missing (the typhoon also killed 22 people in the Philippines and eight in China).

Five years ago: The U.S. unleashed its first airstrikes against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq amid a worsening humanitarian crisis. Israel and militants from Gaza resumed cross-border attacks, after a three-day truce expired.

One year ago: The United States announced that it would impose new sanctions on Russia for illegally using a chemical weapon in an attempt to kill a former spy and his daughter in Britain. Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle died at the age of 36 after a long battle with cancer. A Montana coroner said the death of “Superman” actress Margot Kidder had been ruled a suicide from a drug and alcohol overdose.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Nita Talbot is 89. Actor Dustin Hoffman is 82. Actress Connie Stevens is 81. Country singer Phil Balsley (The Statler Brothers) is 80. Actor Larry Wilcox is 72. Actor Keith Carradine is 70. Movie director Martin Brest is 68. Radio-TV personality Robin Quivers is 67. Percussionist Anton Fig is 66. Actor Donny Most is 66. Rock musician Dennis Drew (10,000 Maniacs) is 62. TV personality Deborah Norville is 61. Actor-singer Harry Crosby is 61. Rock musician The Edge (U2) is 58. Rock musician Rikki Rockett (Poison) is 58. Rapper Kool Moe Dee is 57. Rock musician Ralph Rieckermann is 57. Middle distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton is 51. Rock singer Scott Stapp is 46. Country singer Mark Wills is 46. Actor Kohl Sudduth is 45. Rock musician Tom Linton (Jimmy Eat World) is 44. Singer JC Chasez (‘N Sync) is 43. Actress Tawny Cypress is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Drew Lachey (lah-SHAY’) (98 Degrees) is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marsha Ambrosius is 42. Actress Lindsay Sloane is 42. Actress Countess Vaughn is 41. Actor Michael Urie is 39. Tennis player Roger Federer is 38. Actress Meagan Good is 38. Rock musician Eric Howk (Portugal. The Man) is 38. Actress Jackie Cruz (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 35. Britain’s Princess Beatrice of York is 31. Actor Ken Baumann is 30. Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 30. Pop singer Shawn Mendes is 21. Actress Bebe Wood (TV: “The Real O’Neals”) is 18.

Thought for Today: “It is the anonymous ‘they,’ the enigmatic ‘they’ who are in charge. Who is ‘they’? I don’t know. Nobody knows. Not even ‘they’ themselves.” — Joseph Heller, American author (1923-1999).