Today is Thursday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2017. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
On this date:
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Virginia, charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)
In 1916, Irish-born British diplomat Roger Casement, a strong advocate of independence for Ireland, was hanged for treason.
In 1921, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis refused to reinstate the former Chicago White Sox players implicated in the “Black Sox” scandal, despite their acquittals in a jury trial.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.
In 1943, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, whose raunchy brand of satire and dark humor landed him in trouble with the law, was found dead in his Los Angeles home; he was 40.
In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
In 1987, the Iran-Contra congressional hearings ended, with none of the 29 witnesses tying President Ronald Reagan directly to the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.
In 1994, Arkansas carried out the nation’s first triple execution in 32 years. Stephen G. Breyer was sworn in as the Supreme Court’s newest justice in a private ceremony at Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s Vermont summer home.
Ten years ago: Toyota said its April-June 2007 profit had jumped 32.3 percent to a then-record high for a quarter, lifted by strong overseas sales and a weaker yen. Iraqis welcomed home their soccer team, which had won the Asian Cup.
Five years ago: The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly denounced Syria’s crackdown on dissent in a symbolic effort meant to push the deadlocked Security Council and the world at large into action on stopping the country’s civil war. Michael Phelps rallied to win the 100-meter butterfly for his third gold of the London Games and No. 17 of his career. Missy Franklin set a world record in the 200 backstroke for the 17-year-old’s third gold in London. Falling at speeds of up to 220 mph, 138 skydivers shattered the vertical skydiving world record as they flew heads-down in a massive snowflake formation in northern Illinois. (This record was in turn eclipsed in 2015 by 164 skydivers plunging over central Illinois.)
One year ago: President Barack Obama cut short the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentences, in what the White House called the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century. An Emirates Boeing 777 crash-landed in Dubai and caught fire; all 300 people on board survived, but one firefighter was killed.
Today’s Birthdays: Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy is 92. Singer Tony Bennett is 91. Actor Martin Sheen is 77. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 77. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 76. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 76. Rock musician B.B. Dickerson is 68. Movie director John Landis is 67. Actress JoMarie Payton is 67. Actor Jay North (TV: “Dennis the Menace”) is 66. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 66. Country musician Randy Scruggs is 64. Actor Philip Casnoff is 63. Actor John C. McGinley is 58. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 56. Actress Lisa Ann Walter is 56. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 54. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 54. Actor Isaiah Washington is 54. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 51. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 47. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 46. Actress Brigid Brannagh is 45. Actor Michael Ealy is 44. Country musician Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 41. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 40. Actress Evangeline (ee-VAN’-gel-een) Lilly is 38. Actress Mamie Gummer is 34. Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte is 33. Country singer Whitney Duncan is 33. Actor Jon Foster is 33. Actress Georgina Haig is 32. Singer Holly Arnstein (Dream) is 32. Actress Tanya Fischer is 32. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 32. Rapper D.R.A.M. is 29.
Thought for Today: “The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.” — Henri Frederic Amiel (ahn-REE’ fred-deh-REEK’ ah-mee-EL’), Swiss critic (1821-1881).