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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Aug. 19, the 231st day of 2017. There are 134 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On August 19, 1942, during World War II, about 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launched a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering more than 50- per cent casualties.

On this date:

In A.D. 14, Caesar Augustus, Rome's first emperor, died at age 76 after a reign lasting four decades; he was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius.

In 1812, the USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia during the War of 1812, earning the nickname "Old Ironsides."

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces landed at Benedict, Maryland, with the objective of capturing Washington D.C.

In 1918, "Yip! Yip! Yaphank," a musical revue by Irving Berlin featuring Army recruits from Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, opened on Broadway.

In 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.

In 1936, the first of a series of show trials orchestrated by Soviet leader Josef Stalin began in Moscow as 16 defendants faced charges of conspiring against the government (all were convicted and executed).

In 1955, torrential rains caused by Hurricane Diane resulted in severe flooding in the northeastern U.S., claiming some 200 lives.

In 1964, The Beatles opened their first full-fledged U.S. tour as they performed at San Francisco's Cow Palace.

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford won the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Kansas City.

In 1980, 301 people aboard a Saudi Arabian L-1011 died as the jetliner made a fiery emergency return to the Riyadh airport.

In 1987, a gun collector ran through Hungerford, England, 60 miles west of London, killing 16 people, including his mother, before turning his gun on himself.

In 1991, Soviet hard-liners stunned the world by announcing that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev had been removed from power. (The coup attempt collapsed two days later.)

Ten years ago: Hurricane Dean, which had already killed eight people on its destructive march across the Caribbean, pummeled Jamaica with gusting winds and torrential rains as a Category 4 storm. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner paid an unannounced and highly symbolic visit to Baghdad — the first by a senior French official since the war started. Elvira Arellano (el-VEE'-ruh ah-ray-AH'-noh), an immigrant without legal status who'd taken refuge in a Chicago church to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born son, was deported to Mexico. (Arellano eventually made her way back to the U.S. and was paroled by immigration authorities in March 2014; her case remains under review.)

Five years ago: Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, the conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said in an interview on KTVI-TV in St. Louis that it was "really rare" for women to become pregnant when they were raped. (Akin afterwards backed off his on-air comments, saying that he'd misspoken; Akin lost the November election to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.) NATO said a man in an Afghan police uniform shot and killed an international service member, raising the death toll to 10 in such attacks in the space of just two weeks. Tony Scott, 68, director of such Hollywood hits as "Top Gun," and "Days of Thunder," jumped to his death from a suspension bridge over Los Angeles Harbor.

One year ago: The Obama administration defended its decision to make a $400 million cash delivery to Iran contingent on the release of American prisoners, saying the payment wasn't ransom because the Islamic Republic would have soon recouped the money one way or another. Usain Bolt scored another sweep at the Rio Games, winning three gold medals in his third consecutive Olympics by turning a close 4x100 relay race against Japan and the United States into a typical, Bolt-like runaway, helping Jamaica cross the line in 37.27 seconds. Allyson Felix won an unprecedented fifth gold medal in women's track and field, running the second leg of the 4x100-meter relay team. Actor Jack Riley, 80, died in Los Angeles.

Today's Birthdays: Actor L.Q. Jones is 90. Actress Debra Paget is 84. USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Famer Renee Richards is 83. Former MLB All-Star Bobby Richardson is 82. Actress Diana Muldaur is 79. Rock musician Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith) is 78. Singer Johnny Nash is 77. Actress Jill St. John is 77. Singer Billy J. Kramer is 74. Country singer-songwriter Eddy Raven is 73. Rock singer Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) is 72. Former President Bill Clinton is 71. Actor Gerald McRaney is 70. Tipper Gore, wife of former Vice-President Al Gore, is 69. Actor Jim Carter is 69. Pop singer-musician Elliot Lurie (Looking Glass) is 69. Rock musician John Deacon (Queen) is 66. Bluegrass musician Marc Pruett (Balsam Range) is 66. Actor-director Jonathan Frakes is 65. Political consultant Mary Matalin is 64. Actor Peter Gallagher is 62. Actor Adam Arkin is 61. Singer-songwriter Gary Chapman is 60. Actor Martin Donovan is 60. Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Anthony Munoz is 59. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ivan Neville is 58. Actor Eric Lutes is 55. Actor John Stamos is 54. Actress Kyra Sedgwick is 52. Actor Kevin Dillon is 52. Country singer Lee Ann Womack is 51. TV reporter Tabitha Soren is 50. Country singer-songwriter Mark McGuinn is 49. Actor Matthew Perry is 48. Country singer Clay Walker is 48. Rapper Fat Joe is 47. Olympic gold medal tennis player Mary Joe Fernandez is 46. Actress Tracie Thoms is 42. Actor Callum Blue is 40. Country singer Rissi (REE'-see) Palmer is 36. Actress Erika Christensen is 35. Actress Melissa Fumero is 35. Pop singer Missy Higgins is 34. Actor Peter Mooney is 34. Actress Tammin Sursok is 34. Country singer Karli Osborn is 33. Olympic silver medal snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis is 32. Actor J. Evan Bonifant is 32. Rapper Romeo is 28.

Thought for Today: "Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers." — Janis Joplin, American rock singer (1943-1970).

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