Today in History
Today is Thursday, Aug. 12, the 224th day of 2021. There are 141 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 12, 1985, the world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Airlines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survived.)
On this date:
In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, with whom he had clashed over Reconstruction policies. (Johnson was acquitted by the Senate.)
In 1902, International Harvester Co. was formed by a merger of McCormick Harvesting Machine Co., Deering Harvester Co. and several other manufacturers.
In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, first opened.
In 1939, the MGM movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, had its world premiere at the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc (oh-KAH’-noh-moh-wahk), Wisconsin, three days before opening in Hollywood.
In 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.
In 1960, the first balloon communications satellite — the Echo 1 — was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral.
In 1964, author Ian Fleming, 56, the creator of James Bond, died in Canterbury, Kent, England.
In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.
In 1994, in baseball’s eighth work stoppage since 1972, players went on strike rather than allow team owners to limit their salaries. (The strike ended in April 1995.)
In 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk and its 118-man crew were lost during naval exercises in the Barents Sea.
In 2013, James “Whitey” Bulger, the feared Boston mob boss who became one of the nation’s most-wanted fugitives, was convicted in a string of 11 killings and dozens of other gangland crimes, many of them committed while he was said to be an FBI informant. (Bulger was sentenced to life; he was fatally beaten at a West Virginia prison in 2018, hours after being transferred from a facility in Florida.)
In 2017, a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in the Virginia college town of Charlottesville, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and hurting more than a dozen others. (The attacker, James Alex Fields, was sentenced to life in prison on 29 federal hate crime charges, and life plus 419 years on state charges.) President Donald Trump condemned what he called an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”
Ten years ago: A divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta struck down the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care overhaul, the so-called individual mandate. (The mandate was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012.) Tiger Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club with a 3-over 73, finishing out of the top 100 for the first time ever in a major.
Five years ago: The Pentagon said that Hafiz Saeed Khan, a top Islamic State group leader in Afghanistan, had been killed in a U.S. drone strike the previous month. A judge in Milwaukee overturned the conviction of Brendan Dassey, who was found guilty of helping his uncle kill a woman in a case profiled in the Netflix series “Making a Murderer,” ruling that investigators coerced a confession using deceptive tactics. (The ruling was later overturned by a federal appeals court; the U.S. Supreme Court would decline to hear the case.) Katie Ledecky won her fourth gold medal of the Rio Olympics, shattering her own mark in the 800-meter freestyle.
One year ago: Appearing together for the first time as running mates, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris put aside their one-time political rivalry to deliver an aggressive attack on the character and performance of President Donald Trump; because of the coronavirus, their appearance came in a mostly empty high school gym in Delaware. Trump again pressed Congress to steer future coronavirus funding away from schools that did not reopen in the fall. Seattle’s school board voted unanimously to begin the academic year with remote teaching only. Tribune Publishing said it would be closing the newsrooms at five newspapers, including The Daily News in New York; employees would continue to work from home as they had during the pandemic. Hank Williams Jr., Marty Stuart and songwriter Dean Dillon were named as the new inductees to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Hamilton is 82. Actor Dana Ivey is 80. Actor Jennifer Warren is 80. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 72. Actor Jim Beaver is 71. Singer Kid Creole is 71. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 67. Actor Sam J. Jones is 67. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 65. Country singer Danny Shirley is 65. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 60. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 58. Actor Peter Krause (KROW’-zuh) is 56. Actor Brent Sexton is 54. International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 50. Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 50. Actor Yvette Nicole Brown is 50. Actor Rebecca Gayheart is 50. Actor Casey Affleck is 46. Rock musician Bill Uechi is 46. Actor Maggie Lawson is 41. Actor Dominique Swain is 41. Actor Leah Pipes is 33. Actor Lakeith Stanfield is 30. NBA All-Star Khris Middleton is 30. Actor Cara Delevingne (DEHL’-eh-veen) is 29. Actor Imani Hakim is 28.