On August 5, 1962, South African anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela was arrested on charges of leaving the country without a passport and inciting workers to strike; it was the beginning of 27 years of imprisonment.
On this date:
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Adm. David G. Farragut led his fleet to victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
In 1884, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal was laid on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.
In 1921, a baseball game was broadcast for the first time as KDKA radio announcer Harold Arlin described the action between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies from Forbes Field. (The Pirates won, 8-5.)
In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Labor Board, which was later replaced with the National Labor Relations Board.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the 200-meter dash at the Berlin Olympics, collecting the third of his four gold medals.
In 1953, Operation Big Switch began as remaining prisoners taken during the Korean War were exchanged at Panmunjom.
In 1957, the teenage dance show “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, made its network debut on ABC-TV.
In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe, 36, was found dead in her Los Angeles home; her death was ruled a probable suicide from “acute barbiturate poisoning.”
In 1967, the U.S. space probe Mariner 7 flew by Mars, sending back photographs and scientific data.
In 1974, the White House released transcripts of subpoenaed tape recordings showing that President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, had discussed a plan in June 1972 to use the CIA to thwart the FBI’s Watergate investigation; revelation of the tape sparked Nixon’s resignation.
In 1981, the federal government began firing air traffic controllers who had gone out on strike.
In 1984, actor Richard Burton died in Geneva, Switzerland, at age 58.
In 1991, Democratic congressional leaders formally launched an investigation into whether the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign had secretly conspired with Iran to delay release of American hostages until after the presidential election, thereby preventing an “October surprise” that supposedly would have benefited President Jimmy Carter. (A task force later concluded there was “no credible evidence” of such a deal.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush arrived in South Korea to begin a three-country Asia tour. Seven firefighters and two pilots were killed when their helicopter crashed on takeoff while ferrying the crew members from fire lines in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California. Jose Medellin, a Mexican-born condemned killer, was executed by the state of Texas for his part in the gang rape and murder of two teenage girls, Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman, in 1993.
Five years ago: A gunman opened fire at a municipal meeting in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, killing three people before he was tackled and shot with his own gun; authorities say the shooting stemmed from a dispute over living conditions at his ramshackle, trash-filled property. (Rockne Newell pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.) Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece as Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case.
One year ago: The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions against North Korea for its escalating nuclear and missile programs. Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt finished third in the 100-meter dash at the world track championships in London, which marked his farewell from the sport; the winner was American Justin Gatlin.