Today in History
Today is Friday, Aug. 12, the 224th day of 2022. There are 141 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 12, 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.
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 1898, fighting in the Spanish-American War came to an end.
In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, first opened.
In 1944, during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.
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 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had died Aug. 6 at age 80, was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.
In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.
In 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.)
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.)
Ten years ago: With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on the Olympic Games with a spectacular pageant. Before the closing ceremony, the U.S. men’s basketball team defended its title by fighting off another huge challenge from Spain, pulling away in the final minutes for a 107-100 victory and its second straight Olympic championship. The victory by the men’s basketball team gave the United States its 46th gold medal in London; the U.S. initially won 104 medals overall, but was later stripped of a silver medal after a men’s relay team member tested positive for steroids. Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship with a 6-under 66 for an eight-shot victory at Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Five years ago: 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.”
One year ago: The Taliban captured two major Afghan cities – Kandahar and Herat – and a strategic provincial capital, further squeezing the country’s embattled government. The Pentagon said an additional 3,000 U.S. troops would go to Afghanistan to assist in the evacuation of some personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. U.S. health regulators authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in people with weakened immune systems to better protect them from the virus. The Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 9-8 in the first Major League Baseball game ever played in Iowa; the teams combined to hit eight home runs into the cornstalks beyond the outfield fence, next to the site used for the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams.”
Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Hamilton is 83. Actor Dana Ivey is 81. Actor Jennifer Warren is 81. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 73. Actor Jim Beaver is 72. Singer Kid Creole (of Kid Creole and the Coconuts) is 72. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 68. Actor Sam J. Jones is 68. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 66. Country singer Danny Shirley is 66. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 61. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 59. Actor Peter Krause (KROW’-zuh) is 57. Actor Brent Sexton is 55. International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 51. Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 51. Actor Yvette Nicole Brown is 51. Actor Rebecca Gayheart is 51. Actor Casey Affleck is 47. Actor Maggie Lawson is 42. Actor Dominique Swain is 42. Actor Leah Pipes is 34. Actor Lakeith Stanfield is 31. NBA All-Star Khris Middleton is 31. Actor Cara Delevingne (DEHL’-eh-veen) is 30. Actor Imani Hakim is 29.