Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 30, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, which was intended to promote private development of nuclear energy.
On this date:
In 1861, Union Gen. John C. Fremont instituted martial law in Missouri and declared slaves there to be free. (However, Fremont’s emancipation order was countermanded by President Abraham Lincoln).
In 1862, Confederate forces won victories against the Union at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia, and the Battle of Richmond in Kentucky.
In 1905, Ty Cobb made his major-league debut as a player for the Detroit Tigers, hitting a double in his first at-bat in a game against the New York Highlanders. (The Tigers won, 5-3.)
In 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Japan to set up Allied occupation headquarters.
In 1963, the “Hot Line” communications link between Washington and Moscow went into operation.
In 1967, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1983, Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first black American astronaut to travel in space as he blasted off aboard the Challenger.
In 1984, the space shuttle Discovery was launched on its inaugural flight.
In 1986, Soviet authorities arrested Nicholas Daniloff, a correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, as a spy a week after American officials arrested Gennadiy Zakharov, a Soviet employee of the United Nations, on espionage charges in New York. (Both men were later released.)
In 1987, a redesigned space shuttle booster, created in the wake of the Challenger disaster, roared into life in its first full-scale test-firing near Brigham City, Utah.
In 1989, a federal jury in New York found “hotel queen” Leona Helmsley guilty of income tax evasion, but acquitted her of extortion. (Helmsley ended up serving 18 months behind bars, a month at a halfway house and two months under house arrest.)
In 1991, Azerbaijan (ah-zur-by-JAHN’) declared its independence, joining the stampede of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.
Ten years ago: Republicans opened their national convention in New York, with speakers belittling Democratic Sen. John Kerry as a shift-in-the-wind campaigner unworthy of the White House and lavishing praise on President George W. Bush as a steady, decisive leader in an age of terrorism. President Bush ignited a Democratic inferno of criticism by suggesting on NBC’s “Today” show that an all-out victory against terrorism might not be possible.
Five years ago: Voters in Japan ousted the country’s conservatives after more than a half century of rule and put the untested Democratic Party of Japan in control. The space shuttle Discovery docked at the international space station, delivering a full load of gear and science experiments. Chula Vista, California, came up big late to win the Little League World Series, defeating Taoyuan, Taiwan, 6-3.
One year ago: Indonesia’s highest court upheld a death sentence for Lindsay Sandiford, a British woman convicted of smuggling $2.5 million worth of cocaine into the resort island of Bali. Seamus Heaney, 74, who won the Nobel Prize for literature and gained a global reputation as Ireland’s greatest poet since William Butler Yates, died in Dublin.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bill Daily is 87. Actress Elizabeth Ashley is 75. Actor Ben Jones is 73. Cartoonist R. Crumb is 71. Olympic gold medal skier Jean-Claude Killy is 71. Actress Peggy Lipton is 67. Comedian Lewis Black is 66. Actor Timothy Bottoms is 63. Actor David Paymer is 60. Jazz musician Gerald Albright is 57. Actor Michael Chiklis is 51. Music producer Robert Clivilles is 50. Actress Michael Michele is 48. Country musician Geoff Firebaugh is 46. Country singer Sherrie Austin is 43. Rock singer-musician Lars Frederiksen (Rancid) is 43. Actress Cameron Diaz is 42. Rock musician Leon Caffrey (Space) is 41. TV personality Lisa Ling is 41. Rock singer-musician Aaron Barrett (Reel Big Fish) is 40. Actor Michael Gladis is 37. Rock musician Matt Taul (Tantric; Days of the New) is 36. Tennis player Andy Roddick is 32. Rock musician Ryan Ross is 28. Actor Cameron Finley is 27.
Thought for Today: “Walk on air against your better judgement.” – Seamus Heaney (1939-2013).
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