Today in History
Today is Saturday, Aug. 15, the 228th day of 2020. There are 138 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 15, 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.
On this date:
In 1483, the Sistine Chapel was consecrated by Pope Sixtus IV.
In 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island of Corsica.
In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow in the Alaska Territory.
In 1939, the MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz” opened at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces landed in southern France in Operation Dragoon.
In 1945, in a pre-recorded radio address, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.
In 1965, the Beatles played to a crowd of more than 55,000 at New York’s Shea Stadium.
In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh, Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.
In 2004, in Athens, the U.S. men’s basketball team lost 92-73 to Puerto Rico, only the third Olympic defeat ever for the Americans and the first since adding pros.
In 2017, President Donald Trump, who’d faced harsh criticism for initially blaming the deadly weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on “many sides,” told reporters that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the confrontation and that groups protesting against the white supremacists were “also very violent.” (In between those statements, at the urging of aides, Trump had offered a more direct condemnation of white supremacists.)
Ten years ago: Former medical student Philip Markoff, charged with killing Julissa Brisman, a masseuse he’d met through Craigslist, was found dead in his Boston jail cell, a suicide. Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in a three-hole playoff that did not include Dustin Johnson, who was penalized two strokes for grounding his club in a bunker on the last hole.
Five years ago: Japanese Emperor Akihito expressed rare “deep remorse” over his country’s wartime actions in an address marking the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II, a day after the prime minister fell short of apologizing to victims of Japanese aggression. Civil rights leader Julian Bond, 75, died in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
One year ago: After being urged to do so by President Donald Trump, Israel barred two Muslim-American congresswomen from entering the country for a visit. (Israel later granted permission for Rep. Rashida Tlaib to visit her grandmother in the occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds; she declined, saying Israel’s “oppressive” conditions were designed to humiliate her.) A federal appeals panel ruled that immigrant children detained by the U.S. government should get edible food, clean water, soap and toothpaste under a longstanding agreement over detention conditions; the court dismissed a Trump administration bid to limit what must be provided. U.S. government climate scientists said July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880. Retired auto racing driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife and daughter were on a plane that rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing near Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee; there were no serious injuries. A 41-year-old Northern California man, Dana Hutchings, died shortly after competing in a taco-eating contest at a minor-league baseball game in Fresno; a coroner said Hutchings had choked to death.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Abby Dalton is 88. Actor Lori Nelson is 87. Civil rights activist Vernon Jordan is 85. Actor Jim Dale is 85. Actor Pat Priest is 84. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 82. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is 82. Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 78. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 76. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 74. Rock singer-musician Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers) is 72. Actor Phyllis Smith is 71. Britain’s Princess Anne is 70. Actor Tess Harper is 70. Actor Larry Mathews is 65. Actor Zeljko Ivanek is 63. Actor-comedian Rondell Sheridan is 62. Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson (The The) is 59. Movie director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is 57. Philanthropist Melinda Gates is 56. Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 54. Actor Peter Hermann is 53. Actor Debra Messing is 52. Actor Anthony Anderson is 50. Actor Ben Affleck is 48. Singer Mikey Graham (Boyzone) is 48. Actor Natasha Henstridge is 46. Actor Nicole Paggi is 43. Christian rock musician Tim Foreman (Switchfoot) is 42. Actor Emily Kinney is 36. Figure skater Jennifer Kirk is 36. Latin pop singer Belinda (cq) is 31. Actor Courtney Hope is 31. Rock singer Joe Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 31. Actor-singer Carlos PenaVega is 31. Actor Jennifer Lawrence is 30. Rap DJ Smoove da General (Cali Swag District) is 30.