Today in History
Today is Sunday, Aug. 9, the 222nd day of 2020. There are 144 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed 18-year-old Black man, was shot to death by a police officer following an altercation in Ferguson, Missouri; Brown’s death led to sometimes-violent protests in Ferguson and other U.S. cities, spawning a national “Black Lives Matter” movement.
On this date:
In 1814, the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ended the Creek War, was signed in Alabama.
In 1842, the United States and Canada resolved a border dispute by signing the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.
In 1910, the U.S. Patent Office granted Alva J. Fisher of the Hurley Machine Co. a patent for an electrically powered washing machine.
In 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay.
In 1942, British authorities in India arrested nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi; he was released in 1944.
In 1944, 258 African-American sailors based at Port Chicago, California, refused to load a munitions ship following a cargo vessel explosion that killed 320 men, many of them Black. (Fifty of the sailors were convicted of mutiny, fined and imprisoned.)
In 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a U.S. B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar dropped a nuclear device (“Fat Man”) over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.
In 1969, actor Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally slain at Tate’s Los Angeles home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his followers were later convicted of the crime.
In 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon’s resignation took effect.
In 1982, a federal judge in Washington ordered John W. Hinckley Jr., who’d been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.
In 1985, a federal judge in Norfolk, Virginia, found retired Navy officer Arthur J. Walker guilty of seven counts of spying for the Soviet Union. (Walker, who was sentenced to life, died in prison in 2014 at the age of 79.)
In 2004, Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, addressing a court for the first time, asked victims of the blast for forgiveness as a judge sentenced him to 161 consecutive life sentences.
Ten years ago: Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, 86, the longest serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, was killed in a plane crash in the southwestern part of his state while on his way to a fishing trip (four others died in the crash outside Dillingham). A fed-up JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, cursed out a passenger he said had treated him rudely, grabbed a beer and slid down the emergency chute of an Embraer 190 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Five years ago: A year after the shooting that cast greater scrutiny on how police interacted with Black communities, the father of slain 18-year-old Michael Brown led a march in Ferguson, Missouri, after a crowd of hundreds observed 4½ minutes of silence.
One year ago: President Donald Trump said he had received a “beautiful” three-page letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and predicted there would be more talks to try to resolve the standoff over that country’s nuclear weapons program. (Negotiations remain stalled; Kim entered 2020 vowing to bolster his nuclear deterrent in the face of what he called “gangster-like” sanctions from the U.S.)
Today’s Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy is 92. Actor Cynthia Harris is 86. Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver is 82. Jazz musician Jack DeJohnette is 78. Comedian-director David Steinberg is 78. Actor Sam Elliott is 76. Singer Barbara Mason is 73. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player John Cappelletti is 68. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Doug Williams is 65. Actor Melanie Griffith is 63. Actor Amanda Bearse is 62. Rapper Kurtis Blow is 61. Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull is 56. TV host Hoda Kotb (HOH’-duh KAHT’-bee) is 56. Actor Pat Petersen is 54. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is 53. Actor Gillian Anderson is 52. Actor Eric Bana is 52. Producer-director McG (aka Joseph McGinty Nichol) is 52. NHL player-turned-coach Rod Brind’Amour is 50. TV anchor Chris Cuomo is 50. Actor Thomas Lennon is 50. Rock musician Arion Salazar is 50. Rapper Mack 10 is 49. Actor Nikki Schieler Ziering is 49. Latin rock singer Juanes is 48. Actor Liz Vassey is 48. Actor Kevin McKidd is 47. Actor Rhona Mitra (ROH’-nuh MEE’-truh) is 45. Actor Texas Battle is 44. Actor Jessica Capshaw is 44. Actor Ashley Johnson is 37. Actor Anna Kendrick is 35.