Today in History – Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017


Today is Tuesday, Aug. 8, the 220th day of 2017. There are 145 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon, facing damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal, announced he would resign the following day.

On this date:

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for St. Helena to spend the remainder of his days in exile.

In 1911, President William Howard Taft signed a measure raising the number of U.S. representatives from 391 to 433, effective with the next Congress, with a proviso to add two more when New Mexico and Arizona became states.

In 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan completed its occupation of Beijing.

In 1942, during World War II, six Nazi saboteurs who were captured after landing in the U.S. were executed in Washington, D.C.; two others who cooperated with authorities were spared.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II.

In 1953, the United States and South Korea initialed a mutual security pact.

In 1963, Britain’s “Great Train Robbery” took place as thieves made off with 2.6 million pounds in banknotes.

In 1968, the Republican national convention in Miami Beach nominated Richard Nixon for president on the first ballot.

In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew branded as “damned lies” reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland, and vowed not to resign — which he ended up doing.

In 1992, AIDS activist Alison Gertz died in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, New York, at age 26.

In 1994, Israel and Jordan opened the first road link between the two once-warring countries.

In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic and third female justice.

Ten years ago: Space shuttle Endeavour roared into orbit with teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan on board. Screenwriter-director Mel Shavelson died in Studio City, California, at age 90.

Five years ago: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi fired his intelligence chief for failing to act on an Israeli warning of an imminent attack days before militants stormed a border post in the Sinai Peninsula and killed 16 soldiers. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States became the first three-time gold medalists in Olympic beach volleyball history, beating Jennifer Kessy and April Ross 21-16, 21-16 in the all-American final.

One year ago: A fire and power outage at a Delta Air Lines data center in Atlanta resulted in the cancellation of 2,300 flights over a four-day period. Japan’s 82-year-old emperor, Akihito, expressed concern about fulfilling his duties in a public address that was remarkable for its rarity and its suggestion that he would like to abdicate. At the Rio Olympics, Ryan Murphy gave the Americans their sixth straight gold medal in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, winning with a time of 51.97 seconds; Lilly King of the United States has won gold in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1 minute, 4.93 seconds.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Richard Anderson is 91. Actress Nita Talbot is 87. Singer Mel Tillis is 85. Actor Dustin Hoffman is 80. Actress Connie Stevens is 79. Country singer Phil Balsley (The Statler Brothers) is 78. Actor Larry Wilcox is 70. Actor Keith Carradine is 68. Movie director Martin Brest is 66. Radio-TV personality Robin Quivers is 65. Percussionist Anton Fig is 64. Actor Donny Most is 64. Rock musician Dennis Drew (10,000 Maniacs) is 60. TV personality Deborah Norville is 59. Actor-singer Harry Crosby is 59. Rock musician The Edge (U2) is 56. Rock musician Rikki Rockett (Poison) is 56. Rapper Kool Moe Dee is 55. Rock musician Ralph Rieckermann is 55. Middle distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton is 49. Rock singer Scott Stapp is 44. Country singer Mark Wills is 44. Actor Kohl Sudduth is 43. Rock musician Tom Linton (Jimmy Eat World) is 42. Singer JC Chasez (‘N Sync) is 41. Actress Tawny Cypress is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Drew Lachey (lah-SHAY’) (98 Degrees) is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marsha Ambrosius is 40. Actress Lindsay Sloane is 40. Actress Countess Vaughn is 39. Actor Michael Urie is 37. Tennis player Roger Federer is 36. Actress Meagan Good is 36. Actress Jackie Cruz (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 33. Britain’s Princess Beatrice of York is 29. Actor Ken Baumann is 28. Pop singer Shawn Mendes is 19. Actress Bebe Wood (TV: “The Real O’Neals”) is 16.

Thought for Today: “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” — Sydney J. Harris, American journalist (1917-1986).