Today in History
Today is Saturday, Aug. 8, the 221st day of 2020. There are 145 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon, facing damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal, announced he would resign the following day.
On this date:
In 1814, during the War of 1812, peace talks between the United States and Britain began in Ghent, Belgium.
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for St. Helena to spend the remainder of his days in exile.
In 1911, President William Howard Taft signed a measure raising the number of U.S. representatives from 391 to 433, effective with the next Congress, with a proviso to add two more when New Mexico and Arizona became states.
In 1942, during World War II, six Nazi saboteurs who were captured after landing in the U.S. were executed in Washington, D.C.; two others who cooperated with authorities were spared.
In 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II.
In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew branded as “damned lies” reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland, and vowed not to resign — which he ended up doing.
In 1994, Israel and Jordan opened the first road link between the two once-warring countries.
In 2000, the wreckage of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which sank in 1864 after attacking the Union ship Housatonic, was recovered off the South Carolina coast and returned to port.
In 2003, the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese offered $55 million to settle more than 500 lawsuits stemming from alleged sex abuse by priests. (The archdiocese later settled for $85 million.)
In 2006, Roger Goodell was chosen as the NFL’s next commissioner.
In 2008, China opened the Summer Olympic Games with an extravaganza of fireworks and pageantry.
In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic and third female justice.
Ten years ago: Flooding in Gansu province in China resulted in mudslides that killed more than 1,400 people. Academy Award-winning film star Patricia Neal died in Edgartown, Massachusetts, at 84.
Five years ago: Several rivals of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized his treatment of a debate moderator; Trump refused to apologize for saying on CNN that Megyn Kelly, who had aggressively questioned him during the primary debate on Fox News, had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” when she asked him about his incendiary comments toward women.
One year ago: Just days after a shooting at a Texas Walmart killed 22 people, a man carrying a rifle and wearing body armor walked around a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, causing panicked shoppers to flee; police said the man told them he was testing whether Walmart would honor his right to bear arms. (Dmitriy Andreychenko later pleaded guilty to making a false report after initially being charged with a more serious terrorism-related felony.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Nita Talbot is 90. Actor Dustin Hoffman is 83. Actor Connie Stevens is 82. Country singer Phil Balsley (The Statler Brothers) is 81. Actor Larry Wilcox is 73. Actor Keith Carradine is 71. Movie director Martin Brest is 69. Radio-TV personality Robin Quivers is 68. Percussionist Anton Fig is 67. Actor Donny Most is 67. Rock musician Dennis Drew (10,000 Maniacs) is 63. TV personality Deborah Norville is 62. Former actor Harry Crosby is 62. Rock musician The Edge (U2) is 59. Rock musician Rikki Rockett (Poison) is 59. Rapper Kool Moe Dee is 58. Rock musician Ralph Rieckermann is 58. Middle distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton is 52. Rock singer Scott Stapp is 47. Country singer Mark Wills is 47. Actor Kohl Sudduth is 46. Rock musician Tom Linton (Jimmy Eat World) is 45. Singer JC Chasez (‘N Sync) is 44. Actor Tawny Cypress is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Drew Lachey (lah-SHAY’) (98 Degrees) is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marsha Ambrosius is 43. Actor Lindsay Sloane is 43. Actor Countess Vaughn is 42. Actor Michael Urie is 40. Tennis player Roger Federer is 39. Actor Meagan Good is 39. Rock musician Eric Howk (Portugal. The Man) is 39. Actor Jackie Cruz (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 36. Britain’s Princess Beatrice of York is 32. Actor Ken Baumann is 31. Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 31. Pop singer Shawn Mendes is 22. Actor Bebe Wood (TV: “The Real O’Neals”) is 19.