Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2017. There are 130 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 23, 1927, amid worldwide protests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery.
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 1913, Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, was unveiled in the harbor of the Danish capital.
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 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.
In 1947, an audience at the Hollywood Bowl heard President Harry S. Truman’s daughter, Margaret, give her first public concert as a singer (she had previously peformed on the radio).
In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein (HAM’-ur-STYN’) II, 65, died in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
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.)
In 1989, in a case that inflamed racial tensions in New York, Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black youth, was shot dead after he and his friends were confronted by a group of white youths in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. (Gunman Joey Fama was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison; he will be eligible for parole in 2022.)
Ten 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.
Five years ago: First lady Michelle Obama consoled relatives of worshippers gunned down at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee. Lance Armstrong chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, setting the stage for his Tour de France titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled.
One year ago: Standing amid piles of waterlogged debris, President Barack Obama promised a sustained national effort to rebuild flood-ravaged southern Louisiana “even after the TV cameras leave” on a visit aimed in part at stemming campaign-season criticism that he was slow to respond to the disaster. Prosecutors charged a Tulsa man with first-degree murder and committing a hate crime in the killing of his Lebanese Christian neighbor — a culmination of what authorities said was the man’s violent feud with the family that spanned several years and included a regular barrage of racial insults and personal confrontations. Actor Steven Hill, 94, died in New York City.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Vera Miles is 87. Actress Barbara Eden is 86. Political satirist Mark Russell is 85. Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen is 83. Actor Richard Sanders is 77. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 75. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 73. Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 72. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 70. Actor David Robb is 70. Singer Linda Thompson is 70. Actress Shelley Long is 68. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 68. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 68. Queen Noor of Jordan is 66. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 66. Actor Skipp Sudduth is 61. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Mike Boddicker is 60. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 56. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 48. Actor Jay Mohr is 47. Actor Ray Park is 43. Actor Scott Caan is 41. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 40. Figure skater Nicole Bobek is 40. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 39. Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant is 39. Actress Joanne Froggatt is 37. Neo-soul musician Andy Wild is 36. Actress Annie Ilonzeh is 34. Dance musician Sky Blu is 31. Actress Kimberly Matula is 29. NBA player Jeremy Lin is 29.
Thought for Today: “The chains which cramp us most are those which weigh on us least.” — Anne Sophie Swetchine, Russian-French author (1782-1857).
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