Today in history
Aug. 15 is the 228th day of 2020. There are 138 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 15, 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.
On this date:
In 1483, the Sistine Chapel was consecrated by Pope Sixtus IV.
In 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island of Corsica.
In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow in the Alaska Territory.
In 1939, the MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz” opened at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces landed in southern France in Operation Dragoon.
In 1945, in a pre-recorded radio address, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.
In 1965, the Beatles played to a crowd of more than 55,000 at New York’s Shea Stadium.
In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh, Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.
In 2004, in Athens, the U.S. men’s basketball team lost 92-73 to Puerto Rico, only the third Olympic defeat ever for the Americans and the first since adding pros.
In 2017, President Donald Trump, who’d faced harsh criticism for initially blaming the deadly weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., on “many sides,” told reporters that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the confrontation and that groups protesting against the white supremacists were “also very violent.” (In between those statements, at the urging of aides, Trump had offered a more direct condemnation of white supremacists.)
Ten years ago: Former medical student Philip Markoff, charged with killing Julissa Brisman, a masseuse he’d met through Craigslist, was found dead in his Boston jail cell, a suicide. Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship in Sheboygan, Wisc., in a three-hole playoff that did not include Dustin Johnson, who was penalized two strokes for grounding his club in a bunker on the last hole.
Five years ago: Japanese Emperor Akihito expressed rare “deep remorse” over his country’s wartime actions in an address marking the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II, a day after the prime minister fell short of apologizing to victims of Japanese aggression. Civil rights leader Julian Bond, 75, died in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
One year ago: After being urged to do so by President Donald Trump, Israel barred two Muslim-American congresswomen from entering the country for a visit. (Israel later granted permission for Rep. Rashida Tlaib to visit her grandmother in the occupied West Bank on humanitarian grounds; she declined, saying Israel’s “oppressive” conditions were designed to humiliate her.) A federal appeals panel ruled that immigrant children detained by the U.S. government should get edible food, clean water, soap and toothpaste under a longstanding agreement over detention conditions; the court dismissed a Trump administration bid to limit what must be provided. U.S. government climate scientists said July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Abby Dalton is 88. Actor Lori Nelson is 87. Civil rights activist Vernon Jordan is 85. Actor Jim Dale is 85. Actor Pat Priest is 84. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 82. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is 82. Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 78. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 76. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 74. Rock singer-musician Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers) is 72. Actor Phyllis Smith is 71. Britain’s Princess Anne is 70. Actor Tess Harper is 70. Actor Larry Mathews is 65. Actor Zeljko Ivanek is 63. Actor-comedian Rondell Sheridan is 62. Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson is 59. Movie director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is 57. Philanthropist Melinda Gates is 56. Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 54. Actor Peter Hermann is 53. Actor Debra Messing is 52. Actor Anthony Anderson is 50. Actor Ben Affleck is 48. Singer Mikey Graham (Boyzone) is 48. Actor Natasha Henstridge is 46. Actor Nicole Paggi is 43. Christian rock musician Tim Foreman (Switchfoot) is 42. Actor Emily Kinney is 36. Figure skater Jennifer Kirk is 36. Latin pop singer Belinda (cq) is 31. Actor Courtney Hope is 31. Rock singer Joe Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 31. Actor-singer Carlos PenaVega is 31. Actor Jennifer Lawrence is 30. Rap DJ Smoove da General (Cali Swag District) is 30.
Aug. 16 is the the 229th day of 2020. There are 137 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 16, 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.
On this date:
In 1777, American forces won the Battle of Bennington in what was considered a turning point of the Revolutionary War.
In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.
In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued Proclamation 86, which prohibited the states of the Union from engaging in commercial trade with states that were in rebellion — i.e., the Confederacy.
In 1920, Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians was struck in the head by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees; Chapman died the following morning.
In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York at age 53.
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 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tenn., at age 42.
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 2002, terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal reportedly was found shot to death in Baghdad, Iraq; he was 65.
In 2014, 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.
In 2018, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul,” died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.
Ten 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, Ga., at age 86.
Five years ago: Trigana Air Service Flight 257, an Indonesian ATR 42-300, crashed during a domestic flight; all 54 people on board were killed. Tens of thousands of Brazilians demonstrated their discontent with President Dilma Roussef.
One year ago: New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled that the death of jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein was a suicide, confirming that Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell as he faced sex trafficking charges. Actor Peter Fonda died at his California home of complications from lung cancer at the age of 79.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Ann Blyth is 92. Actor Gary Clarke is 87. Actor Julie Newmar is 87. Actor-singer Ketty Lester is 86. Actor John Standing is 86. College Football Hall of Famer and NFL player Bill Glass is 85. Actor Anita Gillette is 84. Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 81. Movie director Bruce Beresford is 80. Actor Bob Balaban is 75. Ballerina Suzanne Farrell is 75. Actor Lesley Ann Warren is 74. Actor Marshall Manesh is 70. Actor Reginald VelJohnson is 68. Former TV host Kathie Lee Gifford is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.T. Taylor is 67. Movie director James Cameron is 66. Actor Jeff Perry is 65. Rock musician Tim Farriss (INXS) is 63. Actor Laura Innes is 63. Singer Madonna is 62. Actor Angela Bassett is 62. Actor Timothy Hutton is 60. Actor Steve Carell is 58. Former tennis player Jimmy Arias is 56. Actor-singer Donovan Leitch is 53. Actor Andy Milder is 52. Actor Seth Peterson is 50. Country singer Emily Robison (The Chicks) is 48. Actor George Stults is 45. Singer Vanessa Carlton is 40. Actor Cam Gigandet is 38. Actor Agnes Bruckner is 35. Singer-musician Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) is 35. Actor Cristin Milioti is 35. Actor Shawn Pyfrom is 34. Country singer Ashton Shepherd is 34. Actor Okieriete Onaodowan is 33. Country singer Dan Smyers (Dan & Shay) is 33. NHL goalie Carey Price is 33. Actor Kevin G. Schmidt is 32. Actor Rumer Willis is 32. Actor Parker Young is 32. Rapper Young Thug is 29.