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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Today is Wednesday, August 13, the 226th day of 2008.
There are 140 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:
  • On August 13, 1961, Berlin was divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city's eastern and western sectors and began building a wall in order to halt the flight of refugees.
On this date:
  • In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan, present-day Mexico City, from the Aztecs.
  • In 1624, French King Louis XIII named Cardinal Richelieu his first minister.
  • In 1704, the Battle of Blenheim was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession, resulting in a victory for English-led forces over French and Bavarian soldiers.
  • In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.
  • In 1889, William Gray of Hartford, Conn., received a patent for a coin-operated telephone.
  • In 1910, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.
  • In 1932, Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice-chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out "for all or nothing."
  • In 1934, the satirical comic strip "Li'l Abner," created by Al Capp, made its debut.
  • In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1.
  • In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.
Ten years ago:
  • President Clinton led the nation in mourning 12 Americans killed in a pair of U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. Standing before black hearses carrying ten of the bodies, the president pledged to seek justice "for these evil acts."
Five years ago:
  • Iraq began pumping crude oil from its northern oil fields for the first time since the start of the war.
  • Libya agreed to set up a $2.7 billion fund for families of 270 people killed in the 1988 Pan Am bombing.
One year ago:
  • President Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove, announced his resignation.
  • A bridge under construction in the ancient Chinese city of Fenghuang collapsed, killing 64 people.
  • Two women among the 23 South Koreans kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan were freed.
  • Philanthropist Brooke Astor died in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., at age 105.
  • Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop and broadcaster Phil Rizzuto died in West Orange, N.J., at age 89.
Today's Birthdays:
  • Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is 82.
  • Actor Pat Harrington is 79.
  • Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 75.
  • Actor Kevin Tighe is 64.
  • Actress Gretchen Corbett is 61.
  • Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 60.
  • Movie director Paul Greengrass is 53.
  • Actor Danny Bonaduce is 49.
  • TV host/weatherman Sam Champion ("Good Morning America") is 47.
  • Actress Dawnn Lewis is 47.
  • Actor John Slattery is 46.
  • Actress Quinn Cummings is 41.
  • Actress Seana Kofoed is 38.
  • Country singer Andy Griggs is 35.
  • Country musician Mike Melancon (Emerson Drive) is 30.
  • Actress Kathryn Fiore is 29.
Thought for Today:
"You should avoid making yourself too clear even in your explanations."
Baltasar Gracian, Spanish philosopher (1601-1658).

"Let's all be careful out there!"