Today is Tuesday, August 24th, the 236th day of the year 2021. There are still 129 days in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces marched into Washington, DC and set fire to the Capitol (which was still under construction) and the White House and other public buildings.
On this date:
In the year 79 AD the long dormant Vesuvius erupted and buried the Roman cities Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash; an estimated 20,000 people died.
In 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, becoming the first woman to fly non-stop from coast to coast on her own.
In 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty came into force.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, which banned the Communist Party in the United States.
In 1968, France became the fifth thermonuclear power in the world when it detonated a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.
In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years in prison in New York for the murder of John Lennon. (Chapman remains imprisoned.)
In 1989, Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned Pete Rose from playing for betting on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck Florida, causing $ 30 billion in damage; 43 U.S. deaths were attributed to the storm.
In 2001, Tom Green, a Mormon fundamentalist of five wives and 30 children, was sentenced to five years in prison by a court in Provo, Utah, for four cases of bigamy and one case of failure to pay child support.
In 2003, the Justice Department reported that the US crime rate in 2002 was the lowest since the studies began in 1973.
In 2008, on the final day of the Beijing Games, Kobe Bryant scored two threes in a big fourth quarter to help the United States beat Spain with 118-107 and claim the men’s basketball gold medal for the first time since 2000 to win.
In 2019, in response to a report from a suspect, police in Aurora, Colorado used a stranglehold to overpower Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man; he suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and was later pronounced brain dead and life support withdrawn. (Three officers were on leave but returned to the force after prosecutors failed to find sufficient evidence to support their charges.)
• Ten years ago: A defiant Muammar al-Gaddafi swore to hide, to fight “to victory or to martyrdom” and urged the residents of the Libyan capital and loyal tribesmen of his North African nation, Tripoli, from the “devils and traitors “To free those who had been overrun there. Steve Jobs has stepped down as CEO of Apple Inc.; Tim Cook followed him.
• Five years ago: A 6.2 magnitude earthquake devastated three central Italian cities and killed nearly 300 people. Astronaut Jeffrey Williams, commander of the International Space Station, marked a 521. (When he returned to Earth 13 days later, Williams had logged a total of 534 days in space).
• A year ago: Republicans officially nominated President Donald Trump for a second term on the opening day of a scaled-down congress; During a visit to the convention town of Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump told delegates that “the only way we can take this election away from us is if it is a rigged election.” Anger over the police shooting of Black Jacob Blake spread for a second night on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Authorities in Portland, Oregon said protesters repeatedly set fire to a building at police union headquarters and were repulsed by officers who sprayed tear gas. The World Health Organization said the use of recovered plasma to treat COVID-19 is still viewed as “experimental” therapy; The statement came a day after President Donald Trump announced emergency clearance for treatment. Hong Kong University scientists claimed to have the first evidence that someone was re-infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.
• Today’s birthdays: Composer and musician Mason Williams is 83 years old. R&B singer Marshall Thompson (The Chi-Lites) is 79 years old. Actress Anne Archer is 74 years old. Actor Joe Regalbuto is 72 years old. Actor Kevin Dunn is 66 years old. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is 66. Actor and writer Stephen Fry is 64. Actor Steve Guttenberg is 63. Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. is 61. Actor Jared Harris is 60. Talk show host Craig Kilborn is 59. CBS News correspondent Major Garrett is 59. Rock singer John Bush is 58. Actress Marlee Matlin is 56. Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller is 56. Broadcasting journalist David Gregory is 51. Film director Ava DuVernay is 49. Actor-comedian Dave Chappelle is 48. Actor James D’Arcy is 48. Actor Carmine Giovinazzo is 48. Actor Alex O’Loughlin is 45. Actor Beth Riesgraf is 43. Actor Chad Michael Murray is 40. Singer Mika is 38. Actor Blake Berris is 37. Actor Rupert Grint (“ Harry Potter movies) is 33.