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Sunday, August 03, 2008


Today is Sunday, August 3, the 216th day of 2008.
There are 150 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:
  • On August 3, 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
On this date:
  • In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
  • In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Va., charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)
  • In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.
  • In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the United States, following the death of Warren G. Harding.
  • In 1943, Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)
  • In 1948, former Communist Whittaker Chambers, testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee, accused former State Department official Alger Hiss of having been part of a Communist cell, a charge Hiss denied.
  • In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
  • In 1980, closing ceremonies were held in Moscow for the Summer Olympic Games, which had been boycotted by dozens of countries, including the United States.
  • In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
  • In 1988, the Soviet Union released Mathias Rust, the young West German pilot who had landed a light plane near Moscow's Red Square in May 1987.
Ten years ago:
  • The White House played down the possibility that President Clinton would reverse previous statements and admit to a sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky when he testified before a grand jury.
Five years ago:
  • The Episcopal Church's House of Deputies further paved the way for the Rev. V. Gene Robinson to become the church's first openly gay elected bishop, approving him on a 128-63 vote.
  • Annika Sorenstam completed a career Grand Slam at the Women's British Open, beating Se Ri Pak by a stroke in a thrilling head-to-head showdown.
  • Hank Stram, Marcus Allen, James Lofton, Elvin Bethea and Joe DeLamielleure were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
One year ago:
  • A jury at Camp Pendleton, Calif., sentenced Marine Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III to 15 years in prison for the murder of an Iraqi civilian during a fruitless search for an insurgent.
  • Iraqis welcomed home their soccer team, which had won the Asian Cup.
Today's Birthdays:
  • Author P.D. James is 88.
  • Broadway composer Richard Adler is 87.
  • Singer Gordon Stoker (The Jordanaires) is 84.
  • Singer Tony Bennett is 82.
  • Actor Martin Sheen is 68.
  • Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 67.
  • Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 67.
  • Rock musician B.B. Dickerson is 59.
  • Movie director John Landis is 58.
  • Actress JoMarie Payton is 58.
  • Actor Jay North ("Dennis the Menace") is 57.
  • Country musician Randy Scruggs is 55.
  • Actor John C. McGinley is 49.
  • Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 47.
  • Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 45.
  • Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 45.
  • Actor Isaiah Washington is 45.
  • Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 42.
  • Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 38.
  • Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 37.
  • Actress Brigid Brannagh is 36.
  • Actress Evangeline (ee-VAN'-gel-een) Lilly is 29.
  • Singer Holly Arnstein (Dream) is 23.
Thought for Today:
"The soul of a civilization is its religion, and it dies with its faith."
Will (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant (1898-1981), American historians.

"Let's all be careful out there!"