Today in History


Today is Wednesday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2023. There are 151 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 2, 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.

On this date:

In 1776, members of the Second Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

In 1873, inventor Andrew S. Hallidie (HAH’-lih-day) successfully tested a cable car he had designed for the city of San Francisco.

In 1876, frontiersman “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, by Jack McCall, who was later hanged.

In 1921, a jury in Chicago acquitted several former members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team and two others of conspiring to defraud the public in the notorious “Black Sox” scandal.

In 1922, Alexander Graham Bell, generally regarded as the inventor of the telephone, died in Nova Scotia, Canada, at age 75.

In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler’s complete takeover.

In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Britain’s new prime minister, Clement Attlee, concluded the Potsdam conference.

In 1974, former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate cover-up. (Dean ended up serving four months.)

In 1980, 85 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the train station in Bologna, Italy.

In 1985, 137 people were killed when Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out by the U.S. in Operation Desert Storm.)

Ten years ago: The United States issued an extraordinary global travel warning to Americans about the threat of an al-Qaida attack and closed down 21 embassies and consulates across the Muslim world for the weekend. Samantha Power was sworn in as the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations by Vice President Joe Biden, a day after the Senate approved her appointment by President Barack Obama 87-10.

Five years ago: Pope Francis decreed that the death penalty is “inadmissible” under all circumstances and the Catholic Church should campaign to abolish it. The Vatican said that Francis had amended the Catechism of the Catholic Church — the compilation of official Catholic teaching — to say that capital punishment can never be sanctioned because it constitutes an “attack” on the dignity of human beings. Apple became the world’s first publicly-traded company to be valued at $1 trillion. The Trump administration proposed weakening Obama-era mileage standards designed to make cars more fuel efficient and less polluting.

One year ago: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China, which quickly announced that would will conduct military maneuvers in retaliation for her presence. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s restrictive abortion law, arguing that it conflicts with a federal law requiring doctors to provide pregnant women medically necessary treatment that could include abortion. The San Diego Padres acquired superstar outfielder Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals in one of baseball’s biggest deals at the trade deadline

Today’s Birthdays: Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 86. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 80. Actor Joanna Cassidy is 78. Actor Kathryn Harrold is 73. Actor Butch Patrick (TV: “The Munsters”) is 70. Rock music producer/drummer Butch Vig (Garbage) is 68. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is 66. Singer Mojo Nixon is 66. Actor Victoria Jackson is 64. Actor Apollonia is 64. Actor Cynthia Stevenson is 61. Actor Mary-Louise Parker is 59. Rock musician John Stanier (Helmet) is 55. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 53. Actor Jacinda Barrett is 51. Actor Sam Worthington is 47. Actor Edward Furlong is 46. TV meteorologist Dylan Dreyer (TV: “Today”) is 42. Actor Marci Miller is 38. Singer Charli XCX is 31. Actor Hallie Eisenberg is 31.

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