Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Aug. 15, the 227th day of 2021. There are 138 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 15, 1945, in a pre-recorded radio address, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.

On this date:

In 1057, Macbeth, King of Scots, was killed in battle by Malcolm, the eldest son of King Duncan, whom Macbeth had slain.

In 1914, the Panama Canal officially opened as the SS Ancon crossed the just-completed waterway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow in the Alaska Territory.

In 1939, the MGM musical “The Wizard of Oz” opened at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

In 1944, during World War II, Allied forces landed in southern France in Operation Dragoon.

In 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.

In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.

In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh (OH’-mah), Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

In 2003, bouncing back from the largest blackout in U.S. history, cities from the Midwest to Manhattan restored power to millions of people.

In 2015, Japanese Emperor Akihito expressed rare “deep remorse” over his country’s wartime actions in an address marking the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II, a day after the prime minister fell short of apologizing to victims of Japanese aggression. Civil rights leader Julian Bond, 75, died in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

In 2017, President Donald Trump, who’d faced harsh criticism for initially blaming the deadly weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on “many sides,” told reporters that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the confrontation and that groups protesting against the white supremacists were “also very violent.” (In between those statements, at the urging of aides, Trump had offered a more direct condemnation of white supremacists.)

Ten years ago: Hitting back against an emboldened GOP, President Barack Obama launched a rare direct attack on the Republican presidential field, criticizing his potential 2012 rivals for their blanket opposition to any deficit-cutting compromise involving new taxes. His comments came during a town hall-style meeting in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Jim Thome (TOH’-mee) hit his 600th home run an inning after he hit No. 599 to help the Minnesota Twins outslug the Detroit Tigers 9-6. (Thome became the eighth major league player to reach 600.)

Five years ago: Republican Donald Trump called for “extreme” ideological vetting of immigrants seeking admission to the United States, vowing during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, to significantly overhaul the country’s screening process and block those who sympathized with extremist groups or didn’t embrace American values. President Barack Obama, in Chilmark, Massachusetts, urged Democrats to campaign aggressively for the next 80 days to elect Hillary Clinton, saying that “if we do not do our jobs, then it’s still possible for her to lose.”

One year ago: President Donald Trump’s younger brother, businessman Robert Trump, died after being hospitalized in New York; he was 71. Firefighters struggled to contain three wildfires near Los Angeles, as forecasters warned that the risk of new fires was high.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Jim Dale is 86. Actor Pat Priest is 85. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 83. U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is 83. Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 79. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 77. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 75. Rock singer-musician Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers) is 73. Actor Phyllis Smith is 72. Britain’s Princess Anne is 71. Actor Tess Harper is 71. Actor Larry Mathews is 66. Actor Zeljko Ivanek (ZEHL’-koh eh-VON’-ehk) is 64. Actor-comedian Rondell Sheridan is 63. Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson (The The) is 60. Movie director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (ihn-YAH’-ee-tu) is 58. Philanthropist Melinda Gates is 57. Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 55. Actor Peter Hermann is 54. Actor Debra Messing is 53. Actor Anthony Anderson is 51. Actor Ben Affleck is 49. Singer Mikey Graham (Boyzone) is 49. Actor Natasha Henstridge is 47. Actor Nicole Paggi is 44. Christian rock musician Tim Foreman (Switchfoot) is 43. Actor Emily Kinney is 37. Figure skater Jennifer Kirk is 37. Latin pop singer Belinda is 32. Actor Courtney Hope is 32. Rock singer Joe Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 32. Actor-singer Carlos PenaVega is 32. Actor Jennifer Lawrence is 31.

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