Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, August 13, the 225th day of 2015. There are 140 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 13, 1961, East Germany sealed off the border between Berlin’s eastern and western sectors; within days, the Communist authorities began building a wall that would stand for the next 28 years.

On this date:

In 1624, King Louis XIII of France appointed Cardinal Richelieu (ree-shuh-LYOO’) his first minister.

In 1792, French revolutionaries imprisoned the royal family.

In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.

In 1910, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.

In 1923, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was again elected Speaker of Turkey’s Grand Assembly.

In 1934, the satirical comic strip “Li’l Abner,” created by Al Capp, made its debut.

In 1946, author H.G. Wells, 79, died in London.

In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1. The Central African Republic became totally independent of French rule.

In 1979, Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals became the 14th player in major league baseball history to reach the 3,000th career hit plateau as his team defeated the Chicago Cubs, 3-2.

In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Ronald Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.

In 1989, searchers in Ethiopia found the wreckage of a plane which had disappeared almost a week earlier while carrying Rep. Mickey Leland, D-Texas, and 14 other people — there were no survivors.

In 1995, Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle died at a Dallas hospital of rapidly spreading liver cancer; he was 63.

Ten years ago: The Pentagon said for the second time since the Iraq war began that it was replacing body armor for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, citing a need for better protection. Former New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange died in Auckland at age 63.

Five years ago: Weighing in for the first time on a controversy gripping New York City and the nation, President Barack Obama endorsed allowing a mosque near ground zero, telling a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan that the country’s founding principles demanded no less. Veteran NBC newsman Edwin Newman died in Oxford, England, at age 91.

One year ago: Six people — including Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli — were killed when leftover ordnance believed to have been dropped in an Israeli airstrike blew up in the Gaza Strip. Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos died when the small plane that was carrying him and several campaign officials plunged into a residential neighborhood in the port city of Santos.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is 89. Actor Pat Harrington is 86. Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 82. Actor Kevin Tighe is 71. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is 69. Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 67. High wire aerialist Philippe Petit is 66. Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke is 66. Golf Hall of Famer Betsy King is 60. Movie director Paul Greengrass is 60. Actor Danny Bonaduce is 56. TV weatherman Sam Champion is 54. Actress Dawnn (correct) Lewis is 54. Actor John Slattery is 53. Actress Debi Mazar is 51. Actress Quinn Cummings is 48. Actress Seana Kofoed is 45. Country singer Andy Griggs is 42. Actor Gregory Fitoussi is 39. Country musician Mike Melancon (Emerson Drive) is 37. Actress Kathryn Fiore is 36. Pop-rock singer James Morrison is 31. Actress Lennon Stella is 16.

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