Today in History – Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017


Today is Saturday, Aug. 5, the 217th day of 2017. There are 148 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On August 5, 1957, the teenage dance show “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, made its network debut on ABC-TV. The British cartoon character Andy Capp, created by Reginald Smythe, first appeared in the Daily Mirror.

On this date:

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Adm. David G. Farragut led his fleet to victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.

In 1884, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal was laid on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.

In 1924, the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray made its debut.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Labor Board, which was later replaced with the National Labor Relations Board.

In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the 200-meter dash at the Berlin Olympics, collecting the third of his four gold medals.

In 1953, Operation Big Switch began as remaining prisoners taken during the Korean War were exchanged at Panmunjom.
In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe, 36, was found dead in her Los Angeles home; her death was ruled a probable suicide from “acute barbiturate poisoning.” South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was arrested; it was the beginning of 27 years of imprisonment.

In 1967, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” the first Pink Floyd album, was released in the United Kingdom on the Columbia label.

In 1969, the U.S. space probe Mariner 7 flew by Mars, sending back photographs and scientific data.

In 1974, the White House released transcripts of subpoenaed tape recordings showing that President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, had discussed a plan in June 1972 to use the CIA to thwart the FBI’s Watergate investigation; revelation of the tape sparked Nixon’s resignation.

In 1986, it was revealed by Arts & Antiques magazine that artist Andrew Wyeth had, over a 15-year period, secretly created some 240 drawings and paintings of a woman named Helga Testorf, a neighbor in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

In 1991, Democratic congressional leaders formally launched an investigation into whether the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign had secretly conspired with Iran to delay release of American hostages until after the presidential election, thereby preventing an “October surprise” that supposedly would have benefited President Jimmy Carter. (A task force later concluded there was “no credible evidence” of such a deal.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai (HAH’-mihd KAHR’-zeye) began meeting at Camp David to discuss security issues in Afghanistan. Lorena Ochoa (lohr-AY’-nah oh-CHOH’-uh) won the Women’s British Open — the first women’s professional tournament played at venerable St. Andrews — for her first major title. Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger (zhahn mah-REE’ loos-tih-ZHAY’), one of the most influential Roman Catholic figures in France, died in Paris at age 80. Comedian Stanley Myron Handelman died in Panorama City, California, at age 77.

Five years ago: A gunman opened fire, killing six people at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee before shooting himself dead during an exchange of fire with one of the first officers to respond. The robotic explorer Curiosity blazed through the pink skies of Mars, steering itself to a gentle landing inside a giant crater. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt pulled away from the pack and crossed the finish line to claim consecutive gold medals in the marquee track and field event at the Summer Games in London. Britain’s Andy Murray cruised past Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the men’s tennis singles final. Serena and Venus Williams won the women’s doubles title, beating Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4. A visibly disappointed McKayla Maroney took silver in the women’s vault; Sandra Izbasa of Romania won the gold.

One year ago: The opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro as Brazil laced its high-energy party with a sobering message of the dangers of global warming.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Saxon is 81. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Roman Gabriel is 77. Country songwriter Bobby Braddock is 77. Actress Loni Anderson is 72. Actress Erika Slezak is 71. Rock singer Rick Derringer is 70. Actress Holly Palance is 67. Singer Samantha Sang is 64. Rock musician Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) is 62. Actress-singer Maureen McCormick is 61. Rock musician Pat Smear is 58. Author David Baldacci is 57. Actress Tawney Kitaen is 56. Actress Janet McTeer is 56. Country musician Mark O’Connor is 56. Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing is 55. Actor Mark Strong is 54. Director-screenwriter James Gunn is 51. Actor Jonathan Silverman is 51. Country singer Terri Clark is 49. Retired MLB All-Star John Olerud is 49. Rock musician Eicca Toppinen (EYE’-kah TAH’-pihn-nehn) (Apocalyptica) is 42. Country musician Will Sellers (Old Dominion) is 39. Actor Jesse Williams is 37. Actor Brendon Ryan Barrett is 31. Actress Meegan Warner (TV: “TURN: Washington’s Spies”) is 26. Actor Albert Tsai is 13.

Thought for Today: “What worries you, masters you.” — John Locke, English philosopher (1632-1704).