Today is Thursday, Aug. 23, the 236th day of 2012. There are 130 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 23, 1912, actor, dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly was born Eugene Curran Kelly in Pittsburgh.
On this date:
In 1305, Scottish rebel leader Sir William Wallace was executed by the English for treason.
In 1775, Britain's King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of "open and avowed rebellion."
In 1858, "Ten Nights in a Bar-room," a play by Timothy Shay Arthur about the perils of alcohol, opened in New York.
In 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I.
In 1926, silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31.
In 1927, amid protests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery.
In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.
In 1944, Romanian prime minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.
In 1962, John Lennon married his first wife, Cynthia Powell, in Liverpool, England. (The marriage lasted until 1968.)
In 1972, the Republican National Convention, meeting in Miami Beach, nominated Vice President Spiro T. Agnew for a second term.
In 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage-taking began in Stockholm, Sweden; the four hostages ended up empathizing with their captors, a psychological condition now referred to as "Stockholm Syndrome."
In 1982, Lebanon's parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (However, Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later.)
Ten years ago: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made his second visit to Russia in a year, meeting with President Vladimir Putin outside Vladivostok. New York publicist Lizzie Grubman pleaded guilty in a hit-and-run crash that injured 16 people outside a Hamptons nightclub. (Grubman ended up serving 37 days of a 60-day sentence at the Suffolk County, N.Y., jail, with time off for good behavior.)
Five years ago: A report by top U.S. spy analysts concluded the Iraqi government was strained by rampant violence, deep sectarian differences among its political parties and stymied leadership. Reality TV star Nicole Richie spent 82 minutes in a Los Angeles County jail to complete a four-day sentence for driving under the influence of drugs.
One year ago: A pair of judges in New York put an end to the sensational sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, setting him free after prosecutors questioned the credibility of the hotel housekeeper who'd accused the French diplomat. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered near Mineral, Va., the strongest on the East Coast since 1944, caused cracks in the Washington Monument and damaged Washington National Cathedral.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Vera Miles is 82. Political satirist Mark Russell is 80. Actress Barbara Eden is 78. Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen is 78. Actor Richard Sanders is 72. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 70. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 68. Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 67. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 65. Singer Linda Thompson is 65. Actress Shelley Long is 63. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 63. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 63. Queen Noor of Jordan is 61. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 61. MLB All-Star pitcher Mike Boddicker is 55. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 51. Tejano singer Emilio Navaira (nah-VY'-rah) is 50. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 43. Actor Jay Mohr is 42. Actor Ray Park is 38. Actor Scott Caan is 36. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 35. Figure skater Nicole Bobek is 35. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 34. NBA player Kobe Bryant is 34. Actress Joanne Froggatt is 32. Actress Annie Ilonzeh is 29. Dance musician Sky Blu is 26. Actress Kimberly Matula is 24. NBA player Jeremy Lin is 24.
Thought for Today: "A wise man without a book is like a workman with no tools." — Moroccan proverb.
(Above Advance for Use Thursday, Aug. 23)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.