Today in History
Today is Sunday, Aug. 16, the 229th day of 2020. There are 137 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 16, 1987, 156 people were killed when Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed while trying to take off from Detroit; the sole survivor was 4-year-old Cecelia Cichan.
On this date:
In 1777, American forces won the Battle of Bennington in what was considered a turning point of the Revolutionary War.
In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.
In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued Proclamation 86, which prohibited the states of the Union from engaging in commercial trade with states that were in rebellion — i.e., the Confederacy.
In 1920, Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians was struck in the head by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees; Chapman died the following morning.
In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York at age 53.
In 1960, Britain ceded control of the crown colony of Cyprus.
In 1962, The Beatles fired their original drummer, Pete Best, replacing him with Ringo Starr.
In 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 42.
In 1978, James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., told a Capitol Hill hearing he did not commit the crime, saying he’d been set up by a mysterious man called “Raoul.”
In 2002, terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal reportedly was found shot to death in Baghdad, Iraq; he was 65.
In 2014, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where police and protesters repeatedly clashed in the week since a Black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer.
In 2018, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul,” died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.
Ten years ago: A Boeing 737 filled with vacationers crashed in a thunderstorm and broke apart as it slid onto the runway on Colombia’s San Andres Island; all but two of the 131 people on board survived. China eclipsed Japan as the world’s second biggest economy after three decades of blistering growth. Bobby Thomson, whose 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” clinched the National League pennant for the New York Giants, died in Savannah, Georgia, at age 86.
Five years ago: Trigana Air Service Flight 257, an Indonesian ATR 42-300, crashed during a domestic flight; all 54 people on board were killed. Tens of thousands of Brazilians demonstrated their discontent with President Dilma Roussef.
One year ago: New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled that the death of jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein was a suicide, confirming that Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell as he faced sex trafficking charges. Actor Peter Fonda died at his California home of complications from lung cancer at the age of 79; the son of Hollywood legend Henry Fonda became a star in his own right after writing and starring in the counter-culture classic “Easy Rider.”
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Ann Blyth is 92. Actor Gary Clarke is 87. Actor Julie Newmar is 87. Actor-singer Ketty Lester is 86. Actor John Standing is 86. College Football Hall of Famer and NFL player Bill Glass is 85. Actor Anita Gillette is 84. Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 81. Movie director Bruce Beresford is 80. Actor Bob Balaban is 75. Ballerina Suzanne Farrell is 75. Actor Lesley Ann Warren is 74. Rock singer-musician Joey Spampinato is 72. Actor Marshall Manesh is 70. Actor Reginald VelJohnson is 68. Former TV host Kathie Lee Gifford is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.T. Taylor is 67. Movie director James Cameron is 66. Actor Jeff Perry is 65. Rock musician Tim Farriss (INXS) is 63. Actor Laura Innes is 63. Singer Madonna is 62. Actor Angela Bassett is 62. Actor Timothy Hutton is 60. Actor Steve Carell (kuh-REHL’) is 58. Former tennis player Jimmy Arias is 56. Actor-singer Donovan Leitch is 53. Actor Andy Milder is 52. Actor Seth Peterson is 50. Country singer Emily Robison (The Chicks) is 48. Actor George Stults is 45. Singer Vanessa Carlton is 40. Actor Cam Gigandet is 38. Actor Agnes Bruckner is 35. Singer-musician Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) is 35. Actor Cristin Milioti is 35. Actor Shawn Pyfrom is 34. Country singer Ashton Shepherd is 34. Actor Okieriete Onaodowan is 33. Country singer Dan Smyers (Dan & Shay) is 33. NHL goalie Carey Price is 33. Actor Kevin G. Schmidt is 32. Actor Rumer Willis is 32. Actor Parker Young is 32. Rapper Young Thug is 29. Actor Cameron Monaghan is 27. Singer-pianist Greyson Chance is 23.