Today In History, August 3
Today is Sunday, August 3, the 215th day of 2014. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On August 3, 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.
On this date:
In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Virginia, charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)
In 1863, the first thoroughbred horse races took place at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.
In 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.
In 1943, Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, 40, was found dead in his Los Angeles home.
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 96-3 to confirm U.S. 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.
Ten years ago: Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge defended the decision to tighten security in New York and Washington even though the intelligence behind the latest terror warnings was as much as four years old. The Statue of Liberty pedestal in New York City reopened to the public for the first time since the 9/11 attacks. NASA launched space probe Messenger on a quest to reveal the secrets of mysterious, superhot Mercury, the sun's nearest planet. French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson died at age 95.
Five years ago: Iran's supreme leader formally endorsed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term as president. A court in Los Angeles appointed Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine, permanent guardian of the late pop star's children.
One year ago: President Barack Obama's trade representative, Michael Froman, vetoed a yet-to-be-enacted ban on imports of Chinese-made Apple iPads and iPhones, overruling the U.S. International Trade Commission and dealing a setback to rival South Korean electronics company Samsung. Zimbabwe's electoral panel declared that longtime President Robert Mugabe had won re-election by a landslide.
Today's Birthdays: Author P.D. James is 94. Football Hall-of-Fame coach Marv Levy is 89. Singer Tony Bennett is 88. Actor Martin Sheen is 74. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 74. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 73. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 73. Rock musician B.B. Dickerson is 65. Movie director John Landis is 64. Actress JoMarie Payton is 64. Actor Jay North ("Dennis the Menace") is 63. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 63. Country musician Randy Scruggs is 61. Actor Philip Casnoff is 60. Actor John C. McGinley is 55. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 53. Actress Lisa Ann Walter is 53. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 51. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 51. Actor Isaiah Washington is 51. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 48. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 44. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 43. Actress Brigid Brannagh is 42. Actor Michael Ealy is 41. Country musician Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 38. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 37. Actress Evangeline Lilly is 35. Actress Mamie Gummer is 31. Country singer Whitney Duncan is 30. Actor Jon Foster is 30. Actress Georgina Haig (TV: "Once Upon a Time"; "Reckless") is 29. Singer Holly Arnstein (Dream) is 29. Actress Tanya Fischer is 29. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 29.
Thought for Today: "It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature." - Henry James, American author (1843-1916).