Today's Highlight in History:
On August 12, 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.
On this date:
In 1813, Austria declared war on France.
In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
In 1898, fighting in the Spanish-American War came to an end.
In 1902, International Harvester Co. was formed by a merger of McCormick Harvesting Machine Co., Deering Harvester Co. and several other manufacturers.
In 1912, comedy producer Mack Sennett founded the Keystone Pictures Studio in Edendale, Calif.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Hugo Black to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1944, during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.
In 1960, the first balloon communications satellite — the Echo 1 — was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral.
In 1962, one day after launching Andrian Nikolayev into orbit, the Soviet Union also sent up cosmonaut Pavel Popovich; both men landed safely August 15.
In 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had died August 6 at age 80, was buried in St. Peter's Basilica.
In 1985, the world's worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survived.)
In 1988, the controversial movie "The Last Temptation of Christ," directed by Martin Scorsese, opened in nine cities despite objections by some who felt the film was sacrilegious.
Ten years ago: Liberia's leading rebel movement agreed to lift its siege of the capital and vital port, allowing food to flow to hundreds of thousands of hungry people.
Five years ago: Declaring "the aggressor has been punished," the Kremlin ordered a halt to Russia's devastating assault on Georgia — five days of air and ground attacks that had left homes in smoldering ruins and uprooted 100,000 people. Michael Phelps won the 200-meter freestyle for his third gold medal at the Beijing Games.
One year ago: The U.S. men's basketball team defended its title by fighting off another huge challenge from Spain, pulling away in the final minutes for a 107-100 victory and its second straight Olympic championship. The victory by the men's basketball team gave the United States its 46th gold medal in London, the most ever by Americans in a "road" Olympics. The U.S. won 104 medals overall. With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on the Olympic Games with a spectacular pageant. Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship with a 6-under 66 for an eight-shot victory at Kiawah Island, S.C.
Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., is 88. Actor George Hamilton is 74. Actress Dana Ivey is 72. Actress Jennifer Warren is 72. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 64. Actor Jim Beaver is 63. Singer Kid Creole is 63. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 59. Actor Sam J. Jones is 59. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 57. Country singer Danny Shirley is 57. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 52. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 50. Actor Peter Krause is 48. International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 42. Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 42. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown is 42. Actress Rebecca Gayheart is 42. Actor Casey Affleck is 38. Rock musician Bill Uechi (Save Ferris) is 38. Actress Maggie Lawson is 33. Actress Dominique Swain is 33. Actress Imani Hakim is 20.
Thought for Today: "Wisdom is born, stupidity is learned." — Russian proverb.
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