Today in History
Today is Monday, Aug. 5, the 217th day of 2019. There are 148 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History: On August 5, 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe, 36, was found dead in her Los Angeles home; her death was ruled a probable suicide from “acute barbiturate poisoning.”
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 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Labor Board, which was later replaced with the National Labor Relations Board.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the 200-meter dash at the Berlin Olympics, collecting the third of his four gold medals.
In 1953, Operation Big Switch began as remaining prisoners taken during the Korean War were exchanged at Panmunjom.
In 1961, the amusement park Six Flags Over Texas had its official grand opening day in Arlington.
In 1962, South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was arrested on charges of leaving the country without a passport and inciting workers to strike; 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 1967, 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 1981, the federal government began firing air traffic controllers who had gone out on strike.
In 1991, Democratic congressional leaders formally launched an investigation into whether the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign had secretly conspired with Iran to delay release of American hostages until after the presidential election, thereby preventing an “October surprise” that supposedly would have benefited President Jimmy Carter. (A task force later concluded there was “no credible evidence” of such a deal.)
In 2002, the coral-encrusted gun turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, nearly 140 years after the historic warship sank during a storm.
Ten 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 (ah-muh-DEE’-neh-zhahd) was sworn in for a second term as Iran’s president.
Five years ago: U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold Greene was shot to death near Kabul in one of the bloodiest insider attacks in the long Afghanistan war; the gunman, dressed as an Afghan soldier, turned on allied troops, wounding about 15, including a German general and two Afghan generals. American aid worker Nancy Writebol, infected with Ebola while in Liberia, arrived in Atlanta, joining Dr. Kent Brantly, a fellow patient being given an experimental treatment. (Both recovered.) The San Antonio Spurs hired WNBA star Becky Hammon as an assistant coach, making her the first woman to join an NBA coaching staff.
One year ago: President Donald Trump tweeted that a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower involving his son and a lawyer with Kremlin connections had been aimed at collecting information about his opponent, an apparent change from an earlier assertion that the meeting “primarily” dealt with adoption of Russian children. Authorities in Venezuela detained six people suspected of using drones packed with explosives in a failed bid to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro. Actress Charlotte Rae, best known as the housemother on the long-running sitcom “The Facts of Life,” died at her Los Angeles home at the age of 92.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Saxon is 83. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Roman Gabriel is 79. Country songwriter Bobby Braddock is 79. Actress Loni Anderson is 74. Actress Erika Slezak is 73. Rock singer Rick Derringer is 72. Actress Holly Palance is 69. Pop singer Samantha Sang is 68. Rock musician Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) is 64. Actress-singer Maureen McCormick is 63. Rock musician Pat Smear is 60. Author David Baldacci is 59. Actress Tawney Kitaen is 58. Actress Janet McTeer is 58. Country musician Mark O’Connor is 58. Basketball Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing is 57. Actor Mark Strong is 56. Director-screenwriter James Gunn is 53. Actor Jonathan Silverman is 53. Country singer Terri Clark is 51. Actress Stephanie Szostak is 48. Retired MLB All-Star John Olerud is 51. Rock musician Eicca Toppinen (EYE’-kah TAH’-pihn-nehn) (Apocalyptica) is 44. Country musician Will Sellers (Old Dominion) is 41. Actor Jesse Williams is 39. Actor Brendon Ryan Barrett is 33. Actress Meegan Warner (TV: “TURN: Washington’s Spies”) is 28. Actress/singer Olivia Holt is 22. Actor Albert Tsai is 15. Actor Devin Trey Campbell is 11.
Thought for Today: “We are all snobs of the Infinite, parvenus of the Eternal.” — James Gibbons Huneker, American author and critic (1860-1921).