Today in History – Tuesday, Aug. 2,2016


Today is Tuesday, Aug. 2, the 215th day of 2016. There are 151 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 2, 1776, members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

On this date:

In 216 B.C., during the Second Punic War, Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal defeated the Roman army in the Battle of Cannae.

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In 1873, inventor Andrew S. Hallidie (HAH’-lih-day) successfully tested a cable car he had designed for the city of San Francisco.

In 1876, frontiersman “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, by Jack McCall, who was later hanged.

In 1909, the original Lincoln “wheat” penny first went into circulation, replacing the “Indian Head” cent.

In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.

In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler’s complete takeover.

In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program. President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act, which prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Navy boat PT-109, commanded by Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed in the middle of the night by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands. Two crew members were killed.

In 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox suffered light damage during a skirmish with North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. (This and an alleged second incident two days later led to congressional approval of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that propelled America deep into war.)

In 1974, former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate coverup. (Dean ended up serving four months.)

In 1985, 137 people were killed when Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)

Ten years ago: Five days after being pulled over by police, actor-director Mel Gibson was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving, having an elevated blood-alcohol level and having an open container of liquor in his car. (Gibson later pleaded no contest to drunken driving under a deal in which he received three years’ probation, paid a fine and agreed to attend alcohol rehabilitation classes.)

Five years ago: The Senate passed, and President Barack Obama signed, legislation to avoid an unprecedented national default. New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR’-uh) set a major league record when he homered from both sides of the plate for the 12th time in his career during a 6-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.

One year ago: The International Olympic Committee said it would order testing for disease-causing viruses in the sewage-polluted waters where athletes would be competing in the 2016 Rio Games, days after an Associated Press investigation revealed high counts of viruses directly linked to human waste in the waters. Inbee Park of South Korea rallied to win the Women’s British Open to become the seventh women to win four different major championships.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Nehemiah Persoff is 97. Former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 94. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 79. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 73. Actor Max Wright is 73. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 71. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 66. Actor Butch Patrick (TV: “The Munsters”) is 63. Rock music producer/drummer Butch Vig (Garbage) is 61. Singer Mojo Nixon is 59. Actress Victoria Jackson is 57. Actress Apollonia is 57. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 54. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 52. Rock musician John Stanier is 48. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 46. Actor Sam Worthington is 40. Figure skater Michael Weiss is 40. Actor Edward Furlong is 39. Rock musician Devon Glenn is 36. TV meterologist Dylan Dreyer (TV: “Today”) is 35. Singer Charli XCX is 24. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 24.

Thought for Today: “We look forward to the time when the power to love will replace the love of power.” — William Ellery Channing, American clergyman (1780-1842).

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