Today in History

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Posted: Aug 13, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Saturday, Aug. 13, the 225th day of 2011. There are 140 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 13, 1961, Berlin was divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city's eastern and western sectors and began building a wall that would stand for the next 28 years until it finally came down in 1989.

On this date:

In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan (teh-natch-teet-LAHN'), present-day Mexico City, from the Aztecs.

In 1624, King Louis XIII of France appointed Cardinal Richelieu (ree-shuh-LYOO') his first minister.

In 1704, the Battle of Blenheim was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession, resulting in a victory for English-led forces over French and Bavarian soldiers.

In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.

In 1910, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.

In 1932, Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out "for all or nothing."

In 1934, the satirical comic strip "Li'l Abner," created by Al Capp, made its debut.

In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1. The Central African Republic became totally independent of French rule.

In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Ronald Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.

In 1989, searchers in Ethiopia found the wreckage of a plane which had disappeared almost a week earlier while carrying Texas Congressman Mickey Leland and 14 other people _ there were no survivors.

Ten years ago: Macedonia's rival political leaders signed a landmark peace accord aimed at ending six months of bloody conflict and clearing the way for NATO troops to disarm ethnic Albanian rebels. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (joon-ee-chee-roh koh-ee-zoo-mee) tried, with little apparent success, to ease the anger of Asian neighbors by visiting a controversial war shrine two days before the actual anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.

Five years ago: Israel's Cabinet became the final party to sign on to a U.N. cease-fire deal with Hezbollah. Fidel Castro sent Cubans a sober greeting on his 80th birthday, saying he faced a long recovery from surgery.

One year ago: Weighing in for the first time on a controversy gripping New York City and the nation, President Barack Obama endorsed allowing a mosque near ground zero, telling a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan that the country's founding principles demanded no less. Former veteran NBC newsman Edwin Newman died in Oxford, England, at age 91.

Today's Birthdays: Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is 85. Actor Pat Harrington is 82. Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 78. Actor Kevin Tighe is 67. Actress Gretchen Corbett is 64. Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 63. High wire aerialist Philippe Petit is 62. Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke is 62. Comedian-writer Tom Davis is 59. Golf Hall of Famer Betsy King is 56. Movie director Paul Greengrass is 56. Actor Danny Bonaduce is 52. TV host/weatherman Sam Champion (TV: "Good Morning America") is 50. Actress Dawnn (correct) Lewis is 50. Actor John Slattery is 49. Actress Debi Mazar is 47. Actress Quinn Cummings is 44. Actress Seana Kofoed is 41. Country singer Andy Griggs is 38. Country musician Mike Melancon (Emerson Drive) is 33. Actress Kathryn Fiore is 32. Pop-rock singer James Morrison is 27.

Thought for Today: "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know / What I was walling in or walling out, / And to whom I was like to give offence." _ From the poem "Mending Wall" by American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, Aug. 13)

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