Today in History

Today is Monday, Aug. 1, the 214th day of 2016. There are 152 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman, 25, an engineering student at the University of Texas in Austin, went on an armed rampage that killed 14 people, most of whom were shot by Whitman while he was perched in the clock tower of the main campus building. Whitman, who had also slain his wife and mother hours earlier, was finally gunned down by police.

On this date:

In 1714, Britain’s Queen Anne died at age 49; she was succeeded by George I.

In 1876, Colorado was admitted as the 38th state.

In 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps established an aeronautical division, the forerunner of the U.S. Air Force.

In 1913, the Joyce Kilmer poem “Trees” was first published in “Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.”

In 1936, the Olympics opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.

In 1944, an uprising broke out in Warsaw, Poland, against Nazi occupation; the revolt lasted two months before collapsing.

In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed measures establishing the Fulbright Program and the Atomic Energy Commission.

In 1957, the United States and Canada agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).

In 1971, the Concert for Bangladesh, organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

In 1975, a 35-nation summit in Finland concluded with the signing of a declaration known as the Helsinki Accords dealing with European security, human rights and East-West contacts.

In 1981, the rock music video channel MTV made its debut.

In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley confirmed they’d been secretly married 11 weeks earlier. (Presley filed for divorce from Jackson in January 1996, citing irreconcilable differences.)

Ten years ago: Mel Gibson issued a statement in which he denied being a bigot; he also apologized to “everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words” he’d used when he was arrested for investigation of drunken driving. Fidel Castro released a statement a day after ceding power to his brother Raul in which he sought to reassure Cubans that his health was stable after intestinal surgery.

Five years ago: The U.S. House of Representatives passed, 269-161, emergency legislation to avert the nation’s first-ever financial default; Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House for the first time since being shot in January 2011 to cast a “yes” vote.

One year ago: Japan’s Imperial Household Agency released a digital version of Emperor Hirohito’s radio address on Aug. 15, 1945, announcing his country’s surrender in World War II; the digital recording offered clearer audio, although Hirohito spoke in an arcane form of Japanese that many of his countrymen would have found difficult to comprehend. British singer and TV host Cilla Black, 72, died in Estepona in southern Spain.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is 85. Former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-N.Y., is 79. Actor Giancarlo Giannini is 74. Basketball Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams is 66. Blues singer-musician Robert Cray is 63. Singer Michael Penn is 58. Rock singer Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) is 57. Rock singer-musician Suzi Gardner (L7) is 56. Rapper Chuck D (Public Enemy) is 56. Actor Jesse Borrego is 54. Actor Demian Bichir is 53. Rapper Coolio is 53. Actor John Carroll Lynch is 53. Rock singer Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) is 52. Movie director Sam Mendes is 51. Country singer George Ducas is 50. Country musician Charlie Kelley is 48. Actress Jennifer Gareis is 46. Actor Charles Malik Whitfield is 44. Actress Tempestt Bledsoe is 43. Actor Jason Momoa is 37. Actress Honeysuckle Weeks (TV: “Foyle’s War”) is 37. Singer Ashley Parker Angel is 35. Actress Taylor Fry is 35. Actor Elijah Kelley is 30. Actor James Francis Kelly is 27. Actress Ella Wahlestedt is 18.

Thought for Today: “The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all is the person who argues with him.” — Stanislaw J. Lec, Polish writer (1909-1966).

Associated Press

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