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Today in History

Last Updated Aug 15, 2017 at 10:20 pm MST

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 16, the 228th day of 2017. There are 137 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 42.

On this date:

In 1777, American forces won the Battle of Bennington in what was considered a turning point of the Revolutionary War.

In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

In 1858, a telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.

In 1937, the American Federation of Radio Artists was chartered.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York at age 53.

In 1954, Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Inc.

In 1956, Adlai E. Stevenson was nominated for president at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

In 1967, Louis Armstrong recorded “What a Wonderful World” by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss for ABC Records.

In 1977, a judge in New York ruled that Renee Richards, a male-to-female transgender, had the right to compete in the U.S. Open without having to pass a sex chromosome test. (In the opening round of the Open, Richards lost to Virginia Wade in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4). The Debby Boone recording of “You Light Up My Life” by Joseph Brooks was released by Warner Bros./Curb Records.

In 1987, 156 people were killed when Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed while trying to take off from Detroit; the sole survivor was 4-year-old Cecelia Cichan (SHEE’-an).

In 1987, people worldwide began a two-day celebration of the “harmonic convergence,” which heralded what believers called the start of a new, purer age of humankind.

In 1991, Pope John Paul II began the first-ever papal visit to Hungary.

Ten years ago: Jose Padilla (hoh-ZAY’ puh-DEE’-uh), a U.S. citizen held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant, was convicted in Miami of helping Islamic extremists and plotting overseas attacks. (Padilla, once accused of plotting with al-Qaida to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb,” was later sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison on the unrelated terror support charges, but that sentence was later increased to 21 years.) A cave-in killed three rescuers in the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah; the search for six trapped miners was later abandoned. Master jazz percussionist Max Roach died in New York at age 83.

Five years ago: Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney declared he had paid at least 13 per cent of his income in federal taxes every year for the previous decade; President Barack Obama’s campaign shot back: “Prove it.” A U.S. military helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in southern Afghanistan, killing seven Americans and four Afghans. Ecuador decided to identify WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a refugee and give him asylum in its London embassy. Actor William Windom, 88, died in Woodacre, California.

One year ago: Democrat Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania’s first elected female attorney general, announced her resignation a day after being convicted of abusing the powers of the state’s top law enforcement office to smear a rival and lying under oath to cover it up. (Kane, who was succeeded by Republican Bruce L. Castor Jr., was later sentenced to 10 to 23 months in jail, but remains free while she appeals.) Simone Biles captured her fourth gold of the Rio Games with an electric performance in the floor exercise. Political commentator and TV host John McLaughlin, 89, died in Washington, D.C.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Ann Blyth is 89. Actor Gary Clarke is 84. Actress Julie Newmar is 84. Actress-singer Ketty Lester is 83. Actor John Standing is 83. College Football Hall of Famer and NFL player Bill Glass is 82. Actress Anita Gillette is 81. Actress Carole Shelley is 78. Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 78. Movie director Bruce Beresford is 77. Actor Bob Balaban is 72. Ballerina Suzanne Farrell is 72. Actress Lesley Ann Warren is 71. Actor Marshall Manesh is 67. Rock singer-musician Joey Spampinato is 67. Actor Reginald VelJohnson is 65. TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford is 64. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.T. Taylor is 64. Movie director James Cameron is 63. Actor Jeff Perry is 62. Rock musician Tim Farriss (INXS) is 60. Actress Laura Innes is 60. Singer Madonna is 59. Actress Angela Bassett is 59. Actor Timothy Hutton is 57. Actor Steve Carell (kuh-REHL’) is 55. Former tennis player Jimmy Arias is 53. Actor-singer Donovan Leitch is 50. Actor Andy Milder is 49. Actor Seth Peterson is 47. Country singer Emily Robison (The Dixie Chicks) is 45. Actor George Stults is 42. Singer Vanessa Carlton is 37. Actor Cam Gigandet is 35. Actress Agnes Bruckner is 32. Singer-musician Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) is 32. Actress Cristin Milioti is 32. Actor Shawn Pyfrom is 31. Country singer Ashton Shepherd is 31. Country singer Dan Smyers (Dan & Shay) is 30. Actor Kevin G. Schmidt is 29. Actress Rumer Willis is 29. Actor Parker Young is 29. Actor Cameron Monaghan is 24. Singer-pianist Greyson Chance is 20.

Thought for Today: “In politics people give you what they think you deserve and deny you what they think you want.” — Cyril Northcote Parkinson, British historian and author (1909-1993).