Today in History
On Aug. 5, 1914, what’s believed to be the first electric traffic light system was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, at the intersection of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue. Montenegro declared war on Austria-Hungary at the start of World War I.
On this date:
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Adm. David G. Farragut led his fleet to victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
In 1884, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal was laid on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.
In 1924, the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray made its debut.
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Labor Board, which was later replaced with the National Labor Relations Board.
In 1953, Operation Big Switch began as remaining prisoners taken during the Korean War were exchanged at Panmunjom.
In 1954, 24 boxers became the first inductees into the Boxing Hall of Fame, including Henry Armstrong, Gentleman Jim Corbett, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and John L. Sullivan.
In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe, 36, was found dead in her Los Angeles home; her death was ruled a probable suicide from “acute barbiturate poisoning.” South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was arrested; it was the beginning of 27 years of imprisonment.
In 1964, U.S. Navy pilot Everett Alvarez Jr. became the first American flier to be shot down and captured by North Vietnam; he was held prisoner until February 1973.
In 1969, the U.S. space probe Mariner 7 flew by Mars, sending back photographs and scientific data.
In 1974, the White House released transcripts of subpoenaed tape recordings showing that President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, had discussed a plan in June 1972 to use the CIA to thwart the FBI’s Watergate investigation; revelation of the tape sparked Nixon’s resignation.
In 1984, actor Richard Burton died in Geneva, Switzerland, at age 58.
In 1994, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington chose Kenneth W. Starr to take over the Whitewater investigation from Robert Fiske.
Ten years ago: New York City’s director of ferries pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter in the wreck of a Staten Island ferry. (Patrick Ryan later pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in prison.) Two-year-old twins from the Philippines, Carl and Clarence Aguirre, born with the tops of their heads fused together, were separated after a 17-hour operation at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. The Georgia men’s basketball team was placed on four years’ probation for rules violations under former coach Jim Harrick.
Five years ago: Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee arrived in Burbank, California, for a tearful reunion with their families after a flight from North Korea, where they’d been held for 4 1/2 months until former President Bill Clinton helped secure their release. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term as Iran’s president. Budd Schulberg, 95, who’d written the Oscar-winning screenplay for the Marlon Brando classic “On the Waterfront,” died in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, New York.
One year ago: A gunman opened fire at a municipal meeting in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, killing three people before he was tackled and shot with his own gun; authorities say the shooting stemmed from a dispute over living conditions at his ramshackle, trash-filled property. (Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Rockne Newell.) Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece as Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Saxon is 78. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Roman Gabriel is 74. Country songwriter Bobby Braddock is 74. Actress Loni Anderson is 69. Actress Erika Slezak is 68. Rock singer Rick Derringer is 67. Actress Holly Palance is 64. Singer Samantha Sang is 61. Actress-singer Maureen McCormick is 58. Rock musician Pat Smear is 55. Author David Baldacci is 54. Actress Tawney Kitaen is 53. Actress Janet McTeer is 53. Country musician Mark O’Connor is 53. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Patrick Ewing is 52. Actor Jonathan Silverman is 48. Country singer Terri Clark is 46. Retired MLB All-Star John Olerud is 46. Rock musician Eicca Toppinen (Apocalyptica) is 39. Actor Brendon Ryan Barrett is 28.
Thought for Today: “We are all snobs of the Infinite, parvenus of the Eternal.” — James Gibbons Huneker, American author and critic (1860-1921).
Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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