Today is Tuesday, August 4, the 216th day of 2015. There are 149 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 4, 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard had its beginnings as President George Washington signed a measure authorizing a group of revenue cutters to enforce tariff and trade laws and prevent smuggling.
On this date:
In 1735, a jury found John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal not guilty of committing seditious libel against the colonial governor of New York, William Cosby.
In 1830, plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.
In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were axed to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden, Andrew’s daughter from a previous marriage, was accused of the killings, but acquitted at trial.
In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany for invading Belgium; the United States proclaimed its neutrality in the mushrooming world conflict.
In 1915, English nurse Edith Cavell was arrested by German authorities in occupied Belgium; she was executed later that year.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the U.S. won the second of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he prevailed in the long jump over German Luz Long, who was the first to congratulate him.
In 1944, 15-year-old diarist Anne Frank was arrested with her sister, parents and four others by the Gestapo after hiding for two years inside a building in Amsterdam. (Anne and her sister, Margot, died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.)
In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.
In 1975, the Swedish pop group ABBA began recording their hit single “Dancing Queen” at Glen Studio outside Stockholm (it was released a year later).
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission voted to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required radio and television stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues.
In 1991, the Greek luxury liner Oceanos sank in heavy seas off South Africa’s southeast coast; all the passengers and crew members survived.
Ten years ago: Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri (AY’-muhn ahl-ZWAH’-ree), threatened more destruction in London in a videotape aired on Al-Jazeera. He also threatened the United States with tens of thousands of military dead if it did not withdraw from Iraq; President George W. Bush responded by saying, “We will stay the course, we will complete the job.” A 19-year-old Israeli soldier opened fire inside a bus, killing four Israeli Arabs; an angry crowd then killed the gunman. A mini-submarine carrying seven Russians became caught on an underwater antenna 600 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean; the men were rescued three days later with help from a British vessel.
Five years ago: BP PLC reported the broken well head at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico was plugged up with mud; President Barack Obama said the battle to contain one of the world’s worst oil spills was “finally close to coming to an end.” Eight days after turning 35, Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run, becoming the youngest player to attain the milestone. (A-Rod’s two-run, first-inning drive off Toronto’s Shaun Marcum put New York ahead, and the Yankees coasted to a 5-1 victory over the Blue Jays.)
One year ago: On the first day of a U.S.-Africa summit in Washington, President Barack Obama announced $33 billion in commitments aimed at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships. Israel and Hamas accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal meant to halt a bruising monthlong war that had claimed nearly 2,000 lives. James Brady, 73, the affable, witty press secretary who had survived a devastating head wound in the 1981 assassination attempt against President Ronald Reagan and undertook a personal campaign for gun control, died in Alexandria, Virginia.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer Frankie Ford is 76. Actress-singer Tina Cole is 72. Actor-comedian Richard Belzer is 71. Football Hall-of-Famer John Riggins is 66. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is 60. Actor-screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton is 60. Actress Kym Karath (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 57. Hall of Fame track star Mary Decker Slaney is 57. Actress Lauren Tom is 56. President Barack Obama is 54. Producer Michael Gelman (TV: “Live! With Kelly and Michael”) is 54. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens is 53. Actress Crystal Chappell is 50. Author Dennis Lehane is 50. Rock musician Rob Cieka (Boo Radleys) is 47. Actor Daniel Dae Kim is 47. Actor Michael DeLuise is 46. Actor Ron Lester is 45. Race car driver Jeff Gordon is 44. Rapper-actress Yo-Yo is 44. Country singer Jon Nicholson is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Marques (MAR’-kus) Houston is 34. Actress Meghan Markle is 34. Actress Greta Gerwig is 32. Country singer Crystal Bowersox (TV: “American Idol”) is 30. Rock singer Tom Parker (The Wanted) is 27. Actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse are 23. Singer Jessica Sanchez (TV: “American Idol”) is 20.
Thought for Today: “A man does not know what he is saying until he knows what he is not saying.” — G.K. Chesterton, English poet-essayist (1874-1936).