Today in History


Today in History

Today is Friday, Aug. 12, the 225th day of 2016. There are 141 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 12, 1939, the MGM movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, had its world premiere at the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc (oh-KAH’-noh-moh-wahk), Wisconsin, three days before opening in Hollywood.

On this date:

In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

In 1898, fighting in the Spanish-American War came to an end.

In 1915, the novel “Of Human Bondage,” by William Somerset Maugham, was first published in the United States, a day before it was released in England.

In 1941, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain (ahn-REE’ fee-LEEP’ pay-TAN’), head of the government of Vichy France, called on his countrymen to give full support to Nazi Germany.

In 1944, during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.

In 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.

In 1960, the first balloon communications satellite — the Echo 1 — was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral.

In 1962, one day after launching Andrian Nikolayev into orbit, the Soviet Union also sent up cosmonaut Pavel Popovich; both men landed safely Aug. 15.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had died Aug. 6 at age 80, was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.

In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.

In 1985, the world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Airlines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survived.)

In 1994, Woodstock ’94 opened in Saugerties, New York.

Ten years ago: Thousands of people gathered across from the White House, even though President George W. Bush was out of town, to condemn U.S. and Israeli policies in the Middle East.

Five years ago: A divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta struck down the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care overhaul, the so-called individual mandate. (The mandate was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012.) Tiger Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club with a 3-over 73, finishing out of the top 100 for the first time ever in a major.

One year ago: Islamic State sympathizers circulated an image that appeared to show the body of a Croatian hostage abducted in Egypt, the first such killing of a foreign captive since the extremist group established a branch in the Arab country. Deadly warehouse blasts in the Chinese port city of Tianjin claimed 165 lives. Former President Jimmy Carter announced he had been diagnosed with cancer following recent liver surgery.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Hamilton is 77. Actress Dana Ivey is 75. Actress Jennifer Warren is 75. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 67. Actor Jim Beaver is 66. Singer Kid Creole is 66. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 62. Actor Sam J. Jones is 62. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 60. Country singer Danny Shirley is 60. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 55. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 53. Actor Peter Krause (KROW’-zuh) is 51. Actor Brent Sexton is 49. International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 45. Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 45. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown is 45. Actress Rebecca Gayheart is 45. Actor Casey Affleck is 41. Rock musician Bill Uechi is 41. Actress Maggie Lawson is 36. Actress Dominique Swain is 36. Actress Leah Pipes is 28. Actress Imani Hakim is 23.

Thought for Today: “A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.” — Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman (1813-1887).

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