Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2022. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 3, 2019, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, leaving 22 people dead; prosecutors said Patrick Crusius targeted Mexicans in hopes of scaring Latinos into leaving the U.S., and that he had outlined the plot in a screed published online shortly before the attack. (A man who was wounded in the shooting died in April 2020 after months in the hospital, raising the death toll to 23. Crusius has pleaded not guilty to state murder charges; he also faces federal hate crime and gun charges.)
On this date:
In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
In 1916, Irish-born British diplomat Roger Casement, a strong advocate of independence for Ireland, was hanged for treason.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, whose raunchy brand of satire and dark humor landed him in trouble with the law, was found dead in his Los Angeles home; he was 40.
In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
In 1993, the Senate voted 96-to-three to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In 1994, Arkansas carried out the nation’s first triple execution in 32 years. Stephen G. Breyer was sworn in as the Supreme Court’s newest justice in a private ceremony at Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s Vermont summer home.
In 2005, fourteen Marines from a Reserve unit in Ohio were killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq.
In 2014, Israel withdrew most of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip in an apparent winding down of a nearly monthlong operation against Hamas that had left more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis dead.
In 2018, Las Vegas police said they were closing their investigation into the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting that left 58 people dead at a country music festival without a definitive answer for why Stephen Paddock unleashed gunfire from a hotel suite onto the concert crowd.
Ten years ago: The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly denounced Syria’s crackdown on dissent in a symbolic effort meant to push the deadlocked Security Council and the world at large into action on stopping the country’s civil war. Michael Phelps rallied to win the 100-meter butterfly for his third gold of the London Games and No. 17 of his career. Missy Franklin set a world record in the 200 backstroke for the 17-year-old’s third gold in London.
Five years ago: Senators introduced two bipartisan bills aimed at protecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump. (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the effort was unnecessary, and that he wouldn’t let the legislation reach the floor.) West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he was switching parties to join the Republicans, a move that came as President Donald Trump visited his increasingly conservative state.
One year ago: New York’s state attorney general said an investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo found that he had sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees; the report brought increased pressure on Cuomo to resign, including pressure from President Joe Biden and other Democrats. (Cuomo resigned a week later.) New York became the nation’s first big city to announce it would require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at restaurants, shows and gyms. The Taliban pressed ahead with their advances in southern Afghanistan, capturing most of the Helmand provincial capital. After taking herself out of several competitions at the Tokyo Games to focus on her mental health, U.S. gymnast Simone Biles returned to win a bronze medal in the balance beam.
Today’s Birthdays: Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy is 97. Singer Tony Bennett is 96. Actor Martin Sheen is 82. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 82. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 81. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 81. Movie director John Landis is 72. Actor JoMarie Payton is 72. Actor Jay North (TV: “Dennis the Menace”) is 71. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 71. Actor Philip Casnoff is 68. Actor John C. McGinley is 63. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 61. Actor Lisa Ann Walter is 61. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 59. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 59. Actor Isaiah Washington is 59. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 56. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 52. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 51. Actor Brigid Brannagh is 50. Actor Michael Ealy is 49. Country musician Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 46. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 45. Actor Evangeline (ee-VAN’-gel-een) Lilly is 43. Actor Mamie Gummer is 39. Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte is 38. Country singer Whitney Duncan is 38. Actor Jon Foster is 38. Actor Georgina Haig is 37. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 37. Rapper Shelley FKA DRAM is 34.