Today in History
Today is Tuesday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2021. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 3, 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.
On this date:
In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, whose raunchy brand of satire and dark humor landed him in trouble with the law, was found dead in his Los Angeles home; he was 40.
In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
In 1993, the Senate voted 96-to-three to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
In 1994, Arkansas carried out the nation’s first triple execution in 32 years. Stephen G. Breyer was sworn in as the Supreme Court’s newest justice in a private ceremony at Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s Vermont summer home.
In 2004, the Statue of Liberty pedestal in New York City reopened to the public for the first time since the 9/11 attacks.
In 2005, fourteen Marines from a Reserve unit in Ohio were killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq.
In 2014, Israel withdrew most of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip in an apparent winding down of a nearly monthlong operation against Hamas that had left more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis dead.
In 2018, Las Vegas police said they were closing their investigation into the Oct. 1 shooting that left 58 people dead at a country music festival without a definitive answer for why Stephen Paddock unleashed gunfire from a hotel suite onto the concert crowd.
In 2019, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, leaving 22 people dead; prosecutors said Patrick Crusius targeted Mexicans in hopes of scaring Latinos into leaving the U.S., and that he had outlined the plot in a screed published online shortly before the attack. (A man who was wounded in the shooting died in April 2020 after months in the hospital, raising the death toll to 23. Crusius has pleaded not guilty to state murder charges; he also faces federal hate crime and gun charges.)
Ten years ago: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denied all charges against him as he went on trial for alleged corruption and complicity in the deaths of protesters who’d helped drive him from power. (Mubarak and his security chief were sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent the killing of hundreds of protesters; they were cleared by a higher court, but Mubarak was later sentenced to three years for corruption.) The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced that Jerry Lewis was no longer its national chairman and would not be appearing on the Labor Day telethon. Former NFL star and actor Bubba Smith died at age 66.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama cut short the sentences of 214 federal inmates, including 67 life sentences, in what the White House called the largest batch of commutations on a single day in more than a century. An Emirates Boeing 777 crash-landed in Dubai and caught fire; all 300 people on board survived, but one firefighter was killed.
One year ago: The St. Louis Cardinals became the second team sidelined by the coronavirus since the shortened baseball season began July 23; seven Cardinals players and six staff members tested positive, causing the team’s four-game series at Detroit to be postponed. (The Miami Marlins would resume play the following day after missing a week of games.) A Norwegian cruise ship line halted all trips after a coronavirus outbreak on one ship infected more than 40 people on board, most of them crew members; the cruise line had been one of the first companies to resume sailing during the pandemic.
Today’s Birthdays: Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy is 96. Singer Tony Bennett is 95. Actor Martin Sheen is 81. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 81. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 80. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 80. Movie director John Landis is 71. Actor JoMarie Payton is 71. Actor Jay North (TV: “Dennis the Menace”) is 70. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 70. Actor Philip Casnoff is 67. Actor John C. McGinley is 62. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 60. Actor Lisa Ann Walter is 60. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 58. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 58. Actor Isaiah Washington is 58. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 55. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 51. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 50. Actor Brigid Brannagh is 49. Actor Michael Ealy is 48. Country musician Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 45. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 44. Actor Evangeline (ee-VAN’-gel-een) Lilly is 42. Actor Mamie Gummer is 38. Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte is 37. Country singer Whitney Duncan is 37. Actor Jon Foster is 37. Actor Georgina Haig is 36. Actor Tanya Fischer is 36. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 36. Rapper Shelley FKA DRAM is 33.