Today in History

The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Friday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2019. There are 130 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On August 23, 1927, amid worldwide protests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery. (On the 50th anniversary of their executions, then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted.)

On this date:

In 1775, Britain's King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of "open and avowed rebellion."

In 1913, Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, was unveiled in the harbor of the Danish capital.

In 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I.

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.

In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein (HAM'-ur-STYN') II, 65, died in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

In 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage-taking began in Stockholm, Sweden; the four hostages ended up empathizing with their captors, a psychological condition now referred to as "Stockholm Syndrome."

In 1979, Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov (GUD'-u-nawf) defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York.

In 1982, Lebanon's parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (However, Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later.)

In 1999, The Dow Jones industrial average soared 199.15 to a then-record of 11,299.76.

In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama introduced his choice of running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, before a crowd outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

In 2003, Former priest John Geoghan (GAY'-gun), the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in a Massachusetts prison.

In 2013, a military jury convicted Maj. Nidal Hasan in the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that claimed 13 lives; the Army psychiatrist was later sentenced to death. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who'd massacred 16 Afghan civilians, was sentenced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Ten years ago: Reality TV contestant Ryan Jenkins, suspected of killing his wife, former model Jasmine Fiore (fee-OR'-ee), was found hanging in a motel in Hope, British Columbia, Canada, an apparent suicide. Eric Bruntlett turned an unassisted triple play to finish Philadelphia's wild 9-7 victory over the New York Mets. Stefania Fernandez, Miss Venezuela, won the 2009 Miss Universe pageant in the Bahamas; she succeeded fellow Venezuelan Dayana Mendoza, the previous year's winner.

Five years ago: Israel bombed an apartment tower in downtown Gaza City, collapsing the 12-story building in an unprecedented strike. Hundreds of Russian aid trucks returned home from eastern Ukraine, a day after a bitterly disputed crossing.

One year ago: Mark David Chapman, the killer of former Beatle John Lennon, was denied parole for a 10th time. The long-running rift between President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions exploded into a public smackdown, with Trump accusing Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department and Sessions responding that he "will not be improperly influenced by political considerations." The United States and China imposed tariff increases on an additional $16 billion of each other's goods.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Vera Miles is 89. Actress Barbara Eden is 88. Political satirist Mark Russell is 87. Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen is 85. Actor Richard Sanders is 79. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 77. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 75. Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 74. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 72. Actor David Robb is 72. Singer Linda Thompson is 72. Actress Shelley Long is 70. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 70. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 70. Queen Noor of Jordan is 68. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 68. Actor Skipp Sudduth is 63. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Mike Boddicker is 62. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 58. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 50. Actor Jay Mohr is 49. Actor Ray Park is 45. Actor Scott Caan is 43. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 42. Figure skater Nicole Bobek (BOH'-bek) is 42. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 41. Retired NBA player Kobe Bryant is 41. Actress Joanne Froggatt is 39. Actress Jaime Lee Kirchner is 38. Neo-soul musician Andy Wild (Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats) is 38. Actress Annie Ilonzeh is 36. Dance musician Sky Blu is 33. Actress Kimberly Matula is 31. NBA player Jeremy Lin is 31.

Thought for Today: "All life is a concatenation of ephemeralities." — Alfred E. Kahn, American economist (1917-2010).