Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 11, the 223rd day of 2021. There are 142 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 11, 1992, the Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping-entertainment center, opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.
On this date:
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman nominated General Omar N. Bradley to become the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In 1952, Hussein bin Talal was proclaimed King of Jordan, beginning a reign lasting nearly 47 years.
In 1964, the Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night” had its U.S. premiere in New York.
In 1965, rioting and looting that claimed 34 lives broke out in the predominantly Black Watts section of Los Angeles.
In 1984, at the Los Angeles Olympics, American runner Mary Decker fell after colliding with South African-born British competitor Zola Budd in the 3,000-meter final; Budd finished seventh.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton named Army Gen. John Shalikashvili (shah-lee-kash-VEE’-lee) to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding the retiring Gen. Colin Powell.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton made the first use of the historic line-item veto, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court later struck down the veto as unconstitutional.)
In 2006, TV talk show host Mike Douglas died in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on his 81st birthday.
In 2009, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy and founder of the Special Olympics, died in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at age 88.
In 2012, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney announced his choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate. Usain Bolt capped his perfect London Olympics by leading Jamaica to victory in a world-record 36.84 seconds in the 4x100 meters.
In 2017, a federal judge ordered Charlottesville, Virginia, to allow a weekend rally of white nationalists and other extremists to take place at its originally planned location downtown. (Violence erupted at the rally, and a woman was killed when a man plowed his car into a group of counterprotesters.)
In 2014, Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, died in Tiburon, California, a suicide.
Ten years ago: Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann sparred bitterly during an eight-candidate Republican debate in Ames, Iowa; Mitt Romney sought to stay above the fray as he focused on President Barack Obama, saying, “Our president simply doesn’t understand how to lead and how to grow the economy.”
Five years ago: The Obama administration said it had decided marijuana would remain on the list of most dangerous drugs, rebuffing growing support across the country for broad legalization, but said it would allow more research into its medical uses. Michael Phelps won his fourth gold medal of the Rio Olympics and 22nd overall with a victory in the 200-meter individual medley. Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming with her win in the 100-meter freestyle, upsetting world-record holder Cate Campbell and tying with Penny Oleksiak of Canada. Simone Biles of the U.S. soared to the all-around title in women’s gymnastics.
One year ago: Democrat Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate; Harris was the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a businesswoman who had expressed support for the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon and had been criticized for racist comments, won the Republican nomination in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. (Greene would win election to Congress in November.) College football’s Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences said they would not play football in the fall because of concerns about COVID-19. (Weeks later, both conferences reversed those decisions and scheduled abbreviated seasons.) Russia became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine. The newly elected district attorney in Portland, Oregon, said he would not prosecute people arrested on non-violent misdemeanor charges during protests. Singer and guitarist Trini Lopez, known for his versions of “Lemon Tree” and “If I Had a Hammer” in the 1960s, died in California at 83 from complications of COVID-19.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Arlene Dahl is 96. Songwriter-producer Kenny Gamble is 78. Rock musician Jim Kale (Guess Who) is 78. Magazine columnist Marilyn Vos Savant is 75. Country singer John Conlee is 75. Singer Eric Carmen is 72. Computer scientist and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is 71. Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan is 68. Singer Joe Jackson is 67. Playwright David Henry Hwang is 64. Actor Miguel A. Nunez Jr. is 62. Actor Viola Davis is 56. Actor Embeth Davidtz is 56. Actor Duane Martin is 56. Actor-host Joe Rogan is 54. R&B musician Chris Dave is 53. Actor Anna Gunn is 53. Actor Ashley Jensen is 53. Actor Sophie Okonedo (oh-koh-NAY’-doh) is 53. Rock guitarist Charlie Sexton is 53. Hip-hop artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad is 51. Actor Nigel Harman is 48. Actor Will Friedle is 45. Rock singer Ben Gibbard is 45. Actor Rob Kerkovich is 42. Actor Merritt Wever is 41. Actor Chris Hemsworth is 38. Rock musician Heath Fogg (Alabama Shakes) is 37. Singer J-Boog is 36. Rapper Asher Roth is 36. Actor Alyson Stoner is 28.