Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Aug 02, 2015 12:00 AM

Today is Sunday, August 2, the 214th day of 2015. There are 151 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On August 2, 1985, 137 people were killed when Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

On this date:

In 1776, members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

In 1873, inventor Andrew S. Hallidie (HAH'-lih-day) successfully tested a cable car he had designed for the city of San Francisco.

In 1876, frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, by Jack McCall, who was later hanged.

In 1909, the original Lincoln "wheat" penny first went into circulation, replacing the "Indian Head" cent.

In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.

In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler's complete takeover.

In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program. President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act, which prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Navy boat PT-109, commanded by Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed in the middle of the night by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands. Two crew members were killed.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Britain's new prime minister, Clement Attlee, concluded the Potsdam conference.

In 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox suffered light damage during a skirmish with North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. (This and an alleged second incident two days later led to congressional approval of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that propelled America deep into war.)

In 1974, former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate coverup. (Dean ended up serving four months.)

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)

Ten years ago: An Air France jetliner from Paris skidded off a runway while landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport during a storm and burst into flames; all 309 people aboard survived. President George W. Bush signed a free trade pact with six Latin American countries known as CAFTA. American freelance journalist Steven Vincent was found shot to death in Basra, Iraq, after being abducted by armed men.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama, addressing the Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta, said the U.S. would leave Iraq "as promised and on schedule," portraying the end of America's combat role in the 7-year war as a personal promise kept. Actress Lindsay Lohan was released from a Los Angeles jail after serving 14 days of a 90-day sentence for violating her probation in a 2007 drug case. The Washington Post Co. announced that billionaire Sidney Harman would buy Newsweek for $1 and assume the magazine's debts.

One year ago: Dr. Kent Brantly, the first Ebola victim to be brought to the United States from Africa, was safely escorted into a specialized isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where he recovered from the disease. Author Billie Letts, 76, died in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Former CBS News President Ed Joyce, 81, died in Redding, Connecticut.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Nehemiah Persoff is 96. Former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 93. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 78. Movie director Wes Craven is 76. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 72. Actor Max Wright is 72. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 70. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 65. Actor Butch Patrick (TV: "The Munsters") is 62. Rock music producer/drummer Butch Vig (Garbage) is 60. Singer Mojo Nixon is 58. Actress Victoria Jackson is 56. Actress Apollonia is 56. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 53. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 51. Rock musician John Stanier is 47. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 45. Actor Sam Worthington is 39. Figure skater Michael Weiss is 39. Actor Edward Furlong is 38. Rock musician Devon Glenn is 35. Singer Charli XCX is 23. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 23.

Thought for Today: "Ideas are powerful things, requiring not a studious contemplation but an action, even if it is only an inner action." — Midge Decter, American writer.

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, August 2)

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