Today in History
Today is Thursday, Aug. 5, the 217th day of 2021. There are 148 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 5, 1962, South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was arrested on charges of leaving the country without a passport and inciting workers to strike; it was the beginning of 27 years of imprisonment.
On this date:
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Adm. David G. Farragut led his fleet to victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
In 1921, a baseball game was broadcast for the first time as KDKA radio announcer Harold Arlin described the action between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies from Forbes Field. (The Pirates won, 8-5.)
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the 200-meter dash at the Berlin Olympics, collecting the third of his four gold medals.
In 1953, Operation Big Switch began as remaining prisoners taken during the Korean War were exchanged at Panmunjom.
In 1954, 24 boxers became the first inductees into the Boxing Hall of Fame, including Henry Armstrong, Gentleman Jim Corbett, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and John L. Sullivan.
In 1964, U.S. Navy pilot Everett Alvarez Jr. became the first American flier to be shot down and captured by North Vietnam; he was held prisoner until February 1973.
In 1974, the White House released transcripts of subpoenaed tape recordings showing that President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, had discussed a plan in June 1972 to use the CIA to thwart the FBI’s Watergate investigation; revelation of the tape sparked Nixon’s resignation.
In 1981, the federal government began firing air traffic controllers who had gone out on strike.
In 1991, Democratic congressional leaders formally launched an investigation into whether the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign had secretly conspired with Iran to delay release of American hostages until after the presidential election, thereby preventing an “October surprise” that supposedly would have benefited President Jimmy Carter. (A task force later concluded there was “no credible evidence” of such a deal.)
In 2002, the coral-encrusted gun turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, nearly 140 years after the historic warship sank during a storm.
In 2010, the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan, 63-37, as the Supreme Court’s 112th justice and the fourth woman in its history. Thirty-three workers were trapped in a copper mine in northern Chile after a tunnel caved in (all were rescued after being entombed for 69 days).
In 2019, Toni Morrison, the first Black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, died at 88 in New York; her novels included “Beloved,” and “The Bluest Eye.”
Ten years ago: Standard & Poor’s lowered the United States’ AAA credit rating by one notch to AA-plus. A federal jury convicted three New Orleans police officers, a former officer and a retired sergeant of civil rights violations in the 2005 shooting deaths of a teenager and a mentally disabled man crossing the Danziger Bridge following Hurricane Katrina. (The convictions were overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct, and the former officers pleaded guilty in April 2016 to a reduced number of charges.) The sun-powered robotic explorer Juno rocketed toward Jupiter on a five-year quest to discover the secret recipe for making planets. (Juno reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016.)
Five years ago: The opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro as Brazil laced its high-energy party with a sobering message of the dangers of global warming.
One year ago: Authorities said protesters in Portland, Oregon, barricaded about 20 police officers inside a precinct and tried to set it on fire; police used tear gas on the crowd for the first time since U.S. agents sent by President Donald Trump left the city the previous week. A city commission in Minneapolis blocked a November vote on a proposal to dismantle the city’s police department in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Democratic Party officials said Joe Biden would not travel to Milwaukee to accept the party’s presidential nomination in person because of concerns over the coronavirus; party leaders had earlier told delegates not to travel to Milwaukee. (President Donald Trump had already abandoned plans to accept the Republican nomination in person.) Longtime New York City newspaper columnist and author Pete Hamill died at 85.
Today’s Birthdays: College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Roman Gabriel is 81. Country songwriter Bobby Braddock is 81. Actor Loni Anderson is 76. Actor Erika Slezak is 75. Rock singer Rick Derringer is 74. Actor Holly Palance is 71. Pop singer Samantha Sang is 70. Rock musician Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) is 66. Actor-singer Maureen McCormick is 65. Rock musician Pat Smear is 62. Author David Baldacci is 61. Actor Janet McTeer is 60. Country musician Mark O’Connor is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing is 59. Actor Mark Strong is 58. Director-screenwriter James Gunn is 55. Actor Jonathan Silverman is 55. Country singer Terri Clark is 53. Actor Stephanie Szostak is 50. Retired MLB All-Star John Olerud is 53. Rock musician Eicca Toppinen (EYE’-kah TAH’-pihn-nehn) (Apocalyptica) is 46. Actor Jesse Williams is 41. Actor Brendon Ryan Barrett is 35. Actor Meegan Warner (TV: “TURN: Washington’s Spies”) is 30. Actor/singer Olivia Holt is 24. Actor Albert Tsai is 17. Actor Devin Trey Campbell is 13.