Today in history


By the Associated Press



Today is Sunday, Aug. 23, the 236th day of 2020. There are 130 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.

On this date:

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 1927, amid worldwide protests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery. (On the 50th anniversary of their executions, then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted.)

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 1982, Lebanon’s parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later.)

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 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.

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.

In 2018, the United States and China imposed tariff increases on an additional $16 billion of each other’s goods.

Ten years ago: A jury in Goldsboro, North Carolina, convicted former Marine Cesar Laurean of first-degree murder in the death of a pregnant colleague, Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach. (Laurean was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.) Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin (EE’-lihn) Nordegren, officially divorced.

Five years ago: Islamic State militants destroyed a temple at ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria, realizing the worst fears archaeologists had for the fate of the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city after the extremists seized it and beheaded a local scholar. The United Arab Emirates said its military had freed a British hostage, Robert Douglas Semple, who was kidnapped 18 months earlier ago by al-Qaida in Yemen. Ohio State became the first unanimous preseason No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll.

One year ago: The Supreme Court said 86-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had completed radiation therapy for a cancerous tumor on her pancreas, and there was no evidence of the disease remaining. Billionaire industrialist David Koch, who with his brother Charles was a major donor to conservative causes and educational groups, died at the age of 79. President Donald Trump threatened to use the emergency power granted by a powerful but obscure federal law to make good on his tweeted “order” to U.S. businesses to cut ties in China.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Vera Miles is 90. Actor Barbara Eden is 89. Political satirist Mark Russell is 88. Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen is 86. Actor Richard Sanders is 80. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 78. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 76. Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 75. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 73. Actor David Robb is 73. Singer Linda Thompson is 73. Actor Shelley Long is 71. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 71. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 71. Queen Noor of Jordan is 69. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 69. Actor Skipp Sudduth is 64. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Mike Boddicker is 63. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 59. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 51. Actor Jay Mohr is 50. Actor Ray Park is 46. Actor Scott Caan is 44. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 43. Figure skater Nicole Bobek (BOH’-bek) is 43. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 42. Actor Joanne Froggatt is 40. Actor Jaime Lee Kirchner is 39. Neo-soul musician Actor Annie Ilonzeh is 37. Dance musician Sky Blu is 34. Actor Kimberly Matula is 32. Basketball player Jeremy Lin is 32.

By the Associated Press