Today in History 8/12/20
Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2020
By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 12, the 225th day of 2020. There are 141 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 12, 2017, a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in the Virginia college town of Charlottesville, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and hurting more than a dozen others. (The attacker, James Alex Fields, was sentenced to life in prison on 29 federal hate crime charges, and life plus 419 years on state charges.) President Donald Trump condemned what he called an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”
On this date:
In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, with whom he had clashed over Reconstruction policies. (Johnson was acquitted by the Senate.)
In 1902, International Harvester Co. was formed by a merger of McCormick Harvesting Machine Co., Deering Harvester Co. and several other manufacturers.
In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, first opened.
In 1939, the MGM movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, had its world premiere at the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc, Wis., three days before opening in Hollywood.
In 1944, during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.
In 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.
In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.
In 1985, the world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Airlines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survived.)
In 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk and its 118-man crew were lost during naval exercises in the Barents Sea.
In 2004, New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation and acknowledged that he’d had an extramarital affair with another man.
In 2009, guitar virtuoso Les Paul died in White Plains, N.Y., at 94.
In 2013, James “Whitey” Bulger, the feared Boston mob boss who became one of the nation’s most-wanted fugitives, was convicted in a string of 11 killings and dozens of other gangland crimes, many of them committed while he was said to be an FBI informant. (Bulger was sentenced to life; he was fatally beaten at a West Virginia prison in 2018, hours after being transferred from a facility in Florida.)
Ten years ago: General Motors Co. chief Ed Whitacre announced he was stepping down as CEO on September 1, 2010, saying his mission was accomplished as the company reported its second straight quarterly profit. (Whitacre was succeeded as CEO by GM board member Daniel Akerson.)
Five years ago: Islamic State sympathizers circulated an image that appeared to show the body of a Croatian hostage abducted in Egypt, the first such killing of a foreign captive since the extremist group established a branch in the Arab country. Deadly warehouse blasts in the Chinese port city of Tianjin claimed 165 lives. Former President Jimmy Carter announced he had been diagnosed with cancer following recent liver surgery.
One year ago: A whistleblower complaint bearing this date stated: “In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.” (The complaint was addressed to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; it did not reach them until Sept. 25.) The Trump administration said it was moving ahead with one of its most aggressive steps to restrict legal immigration: denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Hamilton is 81. Actor Dana Ivey is 79. Actor Jennifer Warren is 79. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 71. Actor Jim Beaver is 70. Singer Kid Creole is 70. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 66. Actor Sam J. Jones is 66. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 64. Country singer Danny Shirley is 64. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 59. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 57. Actor Peter Krause is 55. Actor Brent Sexton is 53. International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 49. Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 49. Actor Yvette Nicole Brown is 49. Actor Rebecca Gayheart is 49. Actor Casey Affleck is 45. Rock musician Bill Uechi is 45. Actor Maggie Lawson is 40. Actor Dominique Swain is 40. Actor Leah Pipes is 32. Actor Lakeith Stanfield is 29. NBA All-Star Khris Middleton is 29. Actor Cara Deleving is 28. Actor Imani Hakim is 27.