Today in History
Today is Monday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2021. There are 130 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 23, 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama introduced his choice of running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, before a crowd outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.
On this date:
In 1305, Scottish rebel leader Sir William Wallace was executed by the English for treason.
In 1754, France’s King Louis XVI was born at Versailles.
In 1775, Britain’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.”
In 1912, actor, dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly was born Eugene Curran Kelly in Pittsburgh.
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 1962, John Lennon married his first wife, Cynthia Powell, in Liverpool, England. (The marriage lasted until 1968.)
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 1979, Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov (GUD’-u-nawf) defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York.
In 2003, former priest John Geoghan (GAY’-gun), the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in a Massachusetts prison.
In 2013, a military jury convicted Maj. Nidal Hasan in the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that claimed 13 lives; the Army psychiatrist was later sentenced to death. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who’d massacred 16 Afghan civilians, was sentenced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Ten years ago: A pair of judges in New York put an end to the sensational sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, setting him free after prosecutors questioned the credibility of the hotel housekeeper who’d accused the French diplomat. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered near Mineral, Virginia, the strongest on the East Coast since 1944, caused cracks in the Washington Monument and damaged Washington National Cathedral.
Five years ago: Standing amid piles of waterlogged debris, President Barack Obama promised a sustained national effort to rebuild flood-ravaged southern Louisiana. Actor Steven Hill, 94, died in New York City.
One year ago: A white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot a black man, Jacob Blake, seven times as officers tried to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant; the shooting left Blake partially paralyzed and triggered several nights of violent protests. (Blake, who was shot as he was about to get into an SUV with a pocketknife that had fallen from his pants, later said he’d been prepared to surrender after putting the knife in the vehicle. Officer Rusten Sheskey was not charged.) Demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, hurled rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers and set fires in the streets as they marched on a precinct station; police used tear gas to scatter the demonstrators. President Donald Trump announced emergency authorization to treat COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma; some health experts said the treatment needed more study. Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s most influential and longest serving advisers, announced that she would leave the White House at the end of the month. Takuma Sato won his second Indianapolis 500; it was held in front of empty grandstands because of the pandemic.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Vera Miles is 91. Actor Barbara Eden is 90. Political satirist Mark Russell is 89. Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen is 87. Actor Richard Sanders is 81. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 79. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 77. Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 76. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 74. Actor David Robb is 74. Singer Linda Thompson is 74. Actor Shelley Long is 72. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 72. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 72. Queen Noor of Jordan is 70. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 70. Actor Skipp Sudduth is 65. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 60. Actor Jay Mohr is 51. Actor Ray Park is 47. Actor Scott Caan is 45. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 44. Figure skater Nicole Bobek (BOH’-bek) is 44. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 43. Actor Joanne Froggatt is 41. Actor Jaime Lee Kirchner is 40. Neo-soul musician Actor Annie Ilonzeh is 38. Dance musician Sky Blu is 35. Actor Kimberly Matula is 33. Basketball player Jeremy Lin is 33.