Today in History


Today is Tuesday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2023. There are 138 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.

On this date:

In 1057, Macbeth, King of Scots, was killed in battle by Malcolm, the eldest son of King Duncan, whom Macbeth had slain.

In 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island of Corsica.

In 1914, the Panama Canal officially opened as the SS Ancon crossed the just-completed waterway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow in the Alaska Territory.

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 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.

In 1961, as workers began constructing a Berlin Wall made of concrete, East German soldier Conrad Schumann leapt to freedom over a tangle of barbed wire.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.

In 1989, F.W. de Klerk was sworn in as acting president of South Africa, one day after P.W. Botha resigned as the result of a power struggle within the National Party.

In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh (OH’-mah), Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

In 2003, bouncing back from the largest blackout in U.S. history, cities from the Midwest to Manhattan restored power to millions of people.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama scrapped plans for joint military exercises with Egypt, where spiraling violence in and around Cairo was claiming hundreds of lives. A powerful car bomb ripped through a crowded southern Beirut stronghold of Hezbollah, killing at least 27 people.

Five years ago: President Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of ex-CIA Director John Brennan in an unprecedented act of retribution against a vocal critic; Trump later told The Wall Street Journal that Brennan was among those he held responsible for the Russia investigation. In a speech blasting Trump and his “Make America Great Again” slogan, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said America “was never that great,” and wouldn’t be great until all Americans share true equality. (Cuomo would later say that his words had been “inartful,” and that “America has always been great.”) A suicide bomber struck a private education center in a Shiite neighborhood of the Afghan capital, killing 34 young men and women; the Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

One year ago: Prosecutors in Atlanta told lawyers for Rudy Giuliani that he was a target of their criminal investigation into possible illegal attempts by then-President Donald Trump and others to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia. It was the latest step as the probe edged closer to the former president. An Iranian government official denied that Tehran was involved in the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie. But the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry sought to justify the attack, saying Iran did not “consider anyone deserving reproach, blame or even condemnation, except for himself and his supporters.” Legendary college coach Pete Carril, who led Princeton to 11 appearances in the NCAA basketball tournament, died at age 92.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jim Dale is 88. Actor Pat Priest is 87. Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 85. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is 85. Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 81. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 79. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 77. Rock singer-musician Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers) is 75. Actor Phyllis Smith is 74. Britain’s Princess Anne is 73. Actor Tess Harper is 73. Actor Larry Mathews is 68. Actor Zeljko Ivanek (ZEHL’-koh eh-VAHN’-ehk) is 66. Actor-comedian Rondell Sheridan is 65. Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson (The The) is 62. Movie director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (ihn-YAH’-ee-tu) is 60. Philanthropist Melinda Gates is 59. Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 57. Actor Peter Hermann is 56. Actor Debra Messing is 55. Actor Anthony Anderson is 53. Actor Ben Affleck is 51. Singer Mikey Graham (Boyzone) is 51. Actor Natasha Henstridge is 49. Actor Nicole Paggi is 46. Christian rock musician Tim Foreman (Switchfoot) is 45. Actor Emily Kinney is 39. Figure skater Jennifer Kirk is 39. Latin pop singer Belinda is 34. Actor Courtney Hope is 34. Rock singer Joe Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 34. Actor-singer Carlos PenaVega is 34. Actor Jennifer Lawrence is 33.

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