Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2017. There are 151 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On August 2, 1776, members of the Second Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.
On this date:
In 216 B.C., during the Second Punic War, Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal defeated the Roman army in the Battle of Cannae.
In 1876, frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, by Jack McCall, who was later hanged.
In 1892, movie producer Jack L. Warner was born in London, Ontario, Canada.
In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.
In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge issued a written statement to reporters: "I do not choose to run for President in nineteen twenty-eight."
In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program. President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act, which prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.
In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Navy boat PT-109, commanded by Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed in the middle of the night by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands. Two crew members were killed.
In 1967, the crime drama "In the Heat of the Night," starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, premiered in New York.
In 1974, former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate cover-up. (Dean ended up serving four months.)
In 1985, 137 people were killed when Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)
In 1997, "Naked Lunch" author William S. Burroughs, the godfather of the "Beat generation," died in Lawrence, Kansas, at age 83.
Ten years ago: Mattel apologized to customers as it recalled nearly a million Chinese-made toys from its Fisher-Price division that were found to have excessive amounts of lead in their paint. A Marine Corps squad leader was convicted at Camp Pendleton, California, of murdering an unarmed Iraqi man during a frustrated search for an insurgent. (Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III was sentenced to 11 years in prison; he served more than half of his sentence before his conviction was overturned. Although convicted in a 2015 retrial, Hutchins received no additional prison time.) Two small Russian submarines completed a voyage below the North Pole where they planted the country's flag on the Arctic Ocean floor.
Five years ago: Kofi Annan resigned as peace envoy to Syria, blaming the Syrian government's intransigence, the growing militancy of Syrian rebels and a divided U.N. Security Council that he said failed to forcefully back his effort. Gabby Douglas became the third American in a row to win gymnastics' biggest prize when she claimed the all-around Olympic title; Michael Phelps added to his medal collection with his first individual gold medal of the London Games in the 200-meter individual medley.
One year ago: President Barack Obama castigated Donald Trump as "unfit" and "woefully unprepared" to serve in the White House, and challenged Republicans to withdraw their support for their party's nominee, declaring "there has to come a point at which you say 'enough.'"
President Obama welcomed Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (lee shyehn loong) to the White House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of U.S. diplomatic relations with the Southeast Asian city state. A bus plowed into a highway pole in California's heavily agricultural San Joaquin (san wah-KEEN') Valley, killing four passengers. Actor David Huddleston ("The Big Lebowski"), 85, died in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Nehemiah Persoff is 98. Former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 95. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 80. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 74. Actor Max Wright is 74. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 72. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 67. Actor Butch Patrick (TV: "The Munsters") is 64. Rock music producer/drummer Butch Vig (Garbage) is 62. Singer Mojo Nixon is 60. Actress Victoria Jackson is 58. Actress Apollonia is 58. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 55. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 53. Rock musician John Stanier is 49. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 47. Actress Jacinda Barrett is 45. Actor Sam Worthington is 41. Figure skater Michael Weiss is 41. Actor Edward Furlong is 40. Rock musician Devon Glenn is 37. TV meteorologist Dylan Dreyer (TV: "Today") is 36. Singer Charli XCX is 25. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 25.
Thought for Today: "The trouble with this country is that there are too many people going about saying, 'The trouble with this country is...'" — Sinclair Lewis, American author (1885-1951).