Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Aug 15, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Monday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2011. There are 138 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 15, 1961, as workers began constructing a Berlin Wall made of concrete, East German soldier Conrad Schumann leapt to freedom over a tangle of barbed wire in a scene captured in a famous photograph.

On this date:

In 1057, Macbeth, King of Scots, was killed in battle by Malcolm, the eldest son of King Duncan, whom Macbeth had slain.

In 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island of Corsica.

In 1914, the Panama Canal opened to traffic.

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow in the Alaska Territory.

In 1945, in a radio address, Japan's Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.

In 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.

In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents. Bahrain declared its independence from Britain.

In 1974, a gunman attempted to shoot South Korean President Park Chung-hee during a speech; although Park was unhurt, his wife was struck and killed, along with a teenage girl. (The gunman was later executed.)

In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh (OH'-mah), Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

Ten years ago: A Texas appeals court halted the execution of Napoleon Beazley just hours before he was scheduled to die for a murder he'd committed as a teenager. (Beazley was executed in May 2002.) The Air Force gave the go-ahead to build its new F-22 fighter. Robert R. Courtney, a Kansas City, Mo., pharmacist accused of diluting chemotherapy drugs, surrendered to the FBI. (He was later sentenced to 30 years in prison.) Astronomers announced the discovery of the first solar system outside our own.

Five years ago: Israel began withdrawing its forces from southern Lebanon. Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu (teh-ah-ree-kee-noo-ee, Dame teh-ah-ty-rung-ee-kah-hoo), the queen of New Zealand's indigenous Maori population, died on North Island, New Zealand, at age 75.

One year ago: Former medical student Philip Markoff, charged with killing Julissa Brisman, a masseuse he'd met through Craigslist, was found dead in his Boston jail cell, a suicide. Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship in Sheboygan, Wis., in a three-hole playoff that did not include Dustin Johnson, who was penalized two strokes for grounding his club in a bunker on the last hole.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Rose Marie is 88. Political activist Phyllis Schlafly is 87. Actor Mike Connors is 86. Game show host Jim Lange is 79. Actress Lori Nelson is 78. Civil rights activist Vernon Jordan is 76. Actor Jim Dale is 76. Actress Pat Priest is 75. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 73. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is 73. Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 69. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 67. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 65. Rock singer-musician Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers) is 63. Actress Phyllis Smith (TV: "The Office") is 62. Britain's Princess Anne is 61. Actress Tess Harper is 61. Actor Larry Mathews is 56. Actor Zeljko Ivanek (ZEHL'-koh eh-VON'-ehk) is 54. Actor-comedian Rondell Sheridan is 53. Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson (The The) is 50. Movie director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (ihn-YAH'-ee-tu) is 48. Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 45. Actor Peter Hermann is 44. Actress Debra Messing is 43. Actor Anthony Anderson is 41. Actor Ben Affleck is 39. Singer Mikey Graham (Boyzone) is 39. Actress Natasha Henstridge is 37. Actress Nicole Paggi is 34. Figure skater Jennifer Kirk is 27. Latin pop singer Belinda (cq) (Film: "The Cheetah Girls 2") is 22. Rock singer Joe Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 22. Actor-singer Carlos Pena is 22. Actress Jennifer Lawrence (TV: "The Bill Engvall Show") is 21.

Thought for Today: "Life has taught me to think, but thinking has not taught me how to live." _ Alexander Herzen, Russian author (1812-1870).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, Aug. 15)

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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