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Old Thursday, August 14, 2008
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Today in History August 14

Today is Thursday, Aug. 14, the 227th day of 2008. There are 139 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

Before 61 years, on Aug. 14, 1947. Muslims got independence from English peoples and Hindus of subcontinent and Pakistan became independent of British rule.

One hundred years ago, on Aug. 14, 1908, rioting erupted in Springfield, Ill., as a white mob, enraged that two black criminal suspects (one later convicted of murder, the other exonerated of rape) had been spirited away from the city jail by authorities, began setting black-owned homes and businesses on fire. At least two blacks and five whites were killed in the violence. (The riot helped inspire the creation of the NAACP the following year.)

On this date:

In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created.

In 1900, international forces, including U.S. Marines, entered Beijing to put down the Boxer Rebellion, which was aimed at purging China of foreign influence.

In 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

In 1945, President Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.

In 1948, the summer Olympic games in London ended.

In 1958, Elvis Presley's mother, Gladys Love Smith Presley, died in Memphis, Tenn., at age 46.

In 1969, British troops went to Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

In 1973, the U.S. bombing of Cambodia came to a halt effective at midnight.

In 1980, workers went on strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, in a job action that resulted in the creation of the Solidarity labor movement.

Ten years ago: A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled that the Food and Drug Administration had no authority to regulate tobacco, striking down FDA rules making it harder for minors to buy cigarettes; the Clinton administration said it would appeal. (The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the government lacked the authority to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug.)

Five years ago: A huge blackout hit the northeastern United States and part of Canada; 50 million people lost power. The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, said he would not remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, defying a federal court order to remove the granite monument. Rebels lifted their siege of Liberia's capital.

One year ago: Teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan transformed the space shuttle Endeavour and space station into a classroom for her first educational session from orbit, fulfilling the legacy of Christa McAuliffe, who died in the 1986 Challenger disaster. Toy company Mattel recalled 18.6 million lead-tainted, Chinese-made toys worldwide. Suicide bombers targeted the Yazidis sect in northern Iraq; some 500 are thought to have died in the attacks.

Today's Birthdays: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russell Baker is 83. Singer Buddy Greco is 82. Singer Dash Crofts is 70. Rock singer David Crosby is 67. Country singer Connie Smith is 67. Former jockey Robyn Smith Astaire is 64. Comedian-actor Steve Martin is 63. Actor Antonio Fargas is 62. Singer-musician Larry Graham is 62. Actress Susan Saint James is 62. Author Danielle Steel is 61. Rock singer-musician Terry Adams (NRBQ) is 58. "Far Side" cartoonist Gary Larson is 58. Actor Carl Lumbly is 57. Film composer James Horner is 55. Actress Jackee Harry is 52. Actress Marcia Gay Harden is 49. Former basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson is 49. Singer Sarah Brightman is 48. Actress Susan Olsen is 47. Rock musician Keith Howland (Chicago) is 44. Actress Emmanuelle Beart is 43. Actress Halle Berry is 42. Actress Catherine Bell is 40. Country musician Cody McCarver (Confederate Railroad) is 40. Rock musician Kevin Cadogan is 38. Actor Scott Michael Campbell is 37. Actress Lalanya Masters is 36. Actor Christopher Gorham is 34. Actress Mila Kunis is 25.

Thought for Today: "Nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us." _ Van Wyck Brooks, American author (1886-1963).

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