Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2011. There are 150 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 3, 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.

On this date:

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.

In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Va., charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)

In 1811, Elisha Otis, founder of the elevator company that still bears his name, was born in Halifax, Vt.

In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.

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 1943, 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 1960, the African country of Niger (nee-ZHEHR') achieved full independence from French rule.

In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, 40, was found dead in his Los Angeles home.

In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.

Ten years ago: U.S. Fulbright scholar John Tobin was released from a Russian prison after serving half of a one-year drug sentence and winning parole. Actor Christopher Hewett died in Los Angeles at age 80.

Five years ago: In Afghanistan, 21 civilians were killed in a suicide car bombing near Canadian military vehicles in a town market in Kandahar province; U.S. forces killed 25 Taliban in a raid in Helmand province. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, a soprano who'd won global acclaim for her renditions of Mozart and Strauss, died in Schruns, Austria, at age 90.

One year ago: Engineers began pumping heavy drilling mud into the blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well in an attempt to permanently plug the leak. Warehouse driver Omar Thornton killed eight co-workers and himself in a shooting rampage at a Manchester, Conn., beer distributorship.

Today's Birthdays: Author P.D. James is 91. Broadway composer Richard Adler is 90. Singer Gordon Stoker (The Jordanaires) is 87. Football Hall-of-Fame coach Marv Levy is 86. Singer Tony Bennett is 85. Actor Martin Sheen is 71. College and Pro Foootball Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 71. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 70. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 70. Rock musician B.B. Dickerson is 62. Movie director John Landis is 61. Actress JoMarie Payton is 61. Actor Jay North ("Dennis the Menace") is 60. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 60. Country musician Randy Scruggs is 58. Actor Philip Casnoff is 57. Actor John C. McGinley is 52. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 50. Actress Lisa Ann Walter is 50. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 48. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 48. Actor Isaiah Washington is 48. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 45. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 41. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 40. Actress Brigid Brannagh is 39. Country musician Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 35. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 34. Actress Evangeline (ee-VAN'-gel-een) Lilly is 32. Country singer Whitney Duncan is 27. Actor Jon Foster is 27. Singer Holly Arnstein (Dream) is 26. Actress Tanya Fischer (TV: "The Defenders") is 26. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 26.

Thought for Today: "We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full." _ Marcel Proust, French author (1871-1922).

(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, Aug. 3)

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