Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Aug. 14, the 227th day of 2012. There are 139 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 14, 1962, robbers held up a U.S. mail truck in Plymouth, Mass., making off with more than $1.5 million; the loot has never been recovered.
On this date:
In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created.
In 1908, a race riot erupted in Springfield, Ill., as a white mob began setting black-owned homes and businesses on fire; at least two blacks and five whites were killed in the violence.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, a statement of principles that renounced aggression.
In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.
In 1947, Pakistan became independent of British rule.
In 1948, the Summer Olympics in London ended; they were the first Olympic games held since 1936.
In 1951, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, 88, died in Beverly Hills, Calif.
In 1969, British troops went to Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.
In 1973, U.S. bombing of Cambodia came to a halt.
In 1992, the White House announced that the Pentagon would begin emergency airlifts of food to Somalia to alleviate mass deaths by starvation. Federal judge John J. Sirica, who had presided over the Watergate trials, died in Washington at age 88.
In 1997, an unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.
Ten years ago: Mexican President Vicente Fox angrily canceled a scheduled meeting with President George W. Bush hours after Texas executed Javier Suarez Medina, a Mexican national, for killing Dallas police officer Lawrence Cadena. Pop artist pioneer Larry Rivers died in Southampton, N.Y., at age 78.
Five years ago: Teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan transformed the space shuttle Endeavour and space station into a classroom for her first educational session from orbit, fulfilling the legacy of Christa McAuliffe, who died in the Challenger disaster. Toy company Mattel recalled 18.6 million lead-tainted, Chinese-made toys worldwide, its second such recall in as many weeks.
One year ago: Syria used gunboats for the first time to crush the uprising against Bashar Assad's regime, hammering parts of the Mediterranean coastal city of Latakia after thousands marched there to demand the president's ouster. Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship after staging an amazing comeback to force a three-hole playoff and beat Jason Dufner at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Today's Birthdays: Broadway lyricist Lee Adams ("Bye Bye Birdie") is 88. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russell Baker is 87. Singer Buddy Greco is 86. Baseball Hall of Fame coach Earl Weaver is 82. College Football Hall of Famer John Brodie is 77. Singer Dash Crofts is 74. Rock singer David Crosby is 71. Country singer Connie Smith is 71. Comedian-actor Steve Martin is 67. Actor Antonio Fargas is 66. Singer-musician Larry Graham is 66. Actress Susan Saint James is 66. Actor David Schramm is 66. Author Danielle Steel is 65. Rock singer-musician Terry Adams (NRBQ) is 62. "Far Side" cartoonist Gary Larson is 62. Actor Carl Lumbly is 61. Olympic gold medal swimmer Debbie Meyer is 60. Film composer James Horner is 59. Actress Jackee Harry is 56. Actress Marcia Gay Harden is 53. Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson is 53. Singer Sarah Brightman is 52. Actress Susan Olsen is 51. Actress-turned-fashion/interior designer Cristi Conaway is 48. Rock musician Keith Howland (Chicago) is 48. Actress Halle Berry is 46. Actress Catherine Bell is 44. Country musician Cody McCarver (Confederate Railroad) is 44. Rock musician Kevin Cadogan is 42. Actor Scott Michael Campbell is 41. Actress Lalanya Masters is 40. Actor Christopher Gorham is 38. Actress Mila Kunis is 29. TV personality Spencer Pratt is 29. NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is 25.
Thought for Today: "The aims of life are the best defense against death." -- Primo Levi, Italian chemist and writer (1919-1987).
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.