Today in history


Today is Sunday, August 16, the 228th day of 2015. There are 137 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 42.

On this date:

In 1777, American forces won the Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington.

In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

In 1858, a telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.

In 1937, the American Federation of Radio Artists was chartered.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York at age 53.

In 1954, Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Inc.

In 1956, Adlai E. Stevenson was nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

In 1960, Britain ceded control of the crown colony of Cyprus.

In 1962, The Beatles fired their original drummer, Pete Best, replacing him with Ringo Starr.

In 1978, James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., told a Capitol Hill hearing he did not commit the crime, saying he’d been set up by a mysterious man called “Raoul.”

In 1987, 156 people were killed when Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed while trying to take off from Detroit; the sole survivor was 4-year-old Cecelia Cichan (SHEE’-an). People worldwide began a two-day celebration of the “harmonic convergence,” which heralded what believers called the start of a new, purer age of humankind.

In 1999, the U.S. version of the quiz show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” hosted by Regis Philbin, began a limited two-week run on ABC.

Ten years ago: Hundreds of defiant Jewish settlers hunkered down in advance of a midnight deadline to leave Gaza. A chartered plane carrying vacationers home from Panama to Martinique crashed in western Venezuela, killing all 160 people on board. Two transport helicopters carrying NATO peacekeepers crashed in western Afghanistan, killing 17 Spanish troops.

Five years ago: A Boeing 737 filled with vacationers crashed in a thunderstorm and broke apart as it slid onto the runway on Colombia’s San Andres Island; all but two of the 131 people on board survived. China eclipsed Japan as the world’s second biggest economy after three decades of blistering growth. Bobby Thomson, whose 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” clinched the National League pennant for the New York Giants, died in Savannah, Georgia, at age 86.

One year ago: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where police and protesters repeatedly clashed in the week since a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer. Pope Francis beatified 124 Korean martyrs during an open-air Mass in Seoul (sohl).

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Ann Blyth is 87. Actor Gary Clarke is 82. Actress Julie Newmar is 82. Actor John Standing is 81. College Football Hall of Famer and NFL player Bill Glass is 80. Actress Anita Gillette is 79. Actress Carole Shelley is 76. Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 76. Movie director Bruce Beresford is 75. Actor Bob Balaban is 70. Ballerina Suzanne Farrell is 70. Actress Lesley Ann Warren is 69. Actor Marshall Manesh is 65. Rock singer-musician Joey Spampinato is 65. Actor Reginald VelJohnson is 63. TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford is 62. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.T. Taylor is 62. Movie director James Cameron is 61. Actor Jeff Perry is 60. Rock musician Tim Farriss (INXS) is 58. Actress Laura Innes is 58. Singer Madonna is 57. Actress Angela Bassett is 57. Actor Timothy Hutton is 55. Actor Steve Carell (kuh-REHL’) is 53. Former tennis player Jimmy Arias is 51. Actor-singer Donovan Leitch is 48. Actor Andy Milder is 47. Actor Seth Peterson is 45. Country singer Emily Robison (The Dixie Chicks) is 43. Actor George Stults is 40. Singer Vanessa Carlton is 35. Actor Cam Gigandet is 33. Actress Agnes Bruckner is 30. Singer-musician Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) is 30. Actress Cristin Milioti is 30. Actor Shawn Pyfrom is 29. Country singer Ashton Shepherd is 29. Country singer Dan Smyers (Dan & Shay) is 28. Actor Kevin G. Schmidt is 27. Actress Rumer Willis is 27. Actor Parker Young is 27. Singer-pianist Greyson Chance is 18.

Thought for Today: “Genius is the ability to act rightly without precedent — the power to do the right thing the first time.” — Elbert Hubbard, American writer (1856-1915).

By The Associated Press

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