Today In History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Aug. 13, the 226th day of 2020. 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 before building a wall that would divide the city for the next 28 years.

On this date:

In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan (teh-natch-teet-LAHN’), present-day Mexico City, from the Aztecs.

In 1704, the Battle of Blenheim was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession, resulting in a victory for English-led forces over French and Bavarian soldiers.

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

In 1889, William Gray of Hartford, Conn., received a patent for a coin-operated telephone.

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

In 1913, British metallurgist Harry Brearley developed an alloy that came to be known as “stainless steel.” (Although Brearley is often credited as the “inventor” of stainless steel, he was hardly alone in working to create steel that resisted corrosion.)

In 1932, Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out “for all or nothing.”

In 1967, the crime caper biopic “Bonnie and Clyde,” starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, had its U.S. premiere; the movie, directed by Arthur Penn, was considered shocking as well as innovative for its graphic portrayal of violence.

In 1989, searchers in Ethiopia found the wreckage of a plane that 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.

In 2003, Iraq began pumping crude oil from its northern oil fields for the first time since the start of the war. Libya agreed to set up a $2.7 billion fund for families of the 270 people killed in the 1988 Pan Am bombing.

In 2017, in a statement, the White House said President Donald Trump “very strongly” condemned individual hate groups such as “white supremacists, KKK and neo-Nazis;” the statement followed criticism of Trump for blaming the previous day’s deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on “many sides.” Protesters decrying hatred and racism converged around the country, saying they felt compelled to respond to the white supremacist rally in Virginia.

Ten 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.

Five years ago: In one of the deadliest single attacks in postwar Baghdad, a truck bomb shattered a popular fruit-and-vegetable market in a teeming Shiite neighborhood, killing dozens of people. The New York Times reported that DNA testing had proved that President Warren G. Harding fathered a child with long-rumored mistress Nan Britton, according to AncestryDNA, a division of Ancestry.com.

One year ago: The Associated Press reported that numerous women had accused opera legend Plácido Domingo of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior spanning decades, and music companies began canceling appearances by Domingo in response to the story; Domingo issued a statement calling the allegations “deeply troubling and, as presented inaccurate.” Ken Cuccinelli, the Trump administration’s acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcoming “huddled masses” to American shores referred to “people coming from Europe.” The warden at the New York federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein had taken his own life was removed, and two guards who were supposed to be watching Epstein were placed on leave while federal authorities investigated the death.

Today’s Birthdays:

Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 87.

Actor Kevin Tighe is 76.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is 74.

Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 72.

High wire aerialist Philippe Petit is 71.

Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke is 71.

Golf Hall of Famer Betsy King is 65.

Movie director Paul Greengrass is 65.

Actor Danny Bonaduce (bahn-uh-DOO’-chee) is 61.

TV weatherman Sam Champion is 59.

Actor Dawnn (correct) Lewis is 59.

Actor John Slattery is 58.

Actor Debi Mazar is 56.

Actor Quinn Cummings is 53.

Actor Seana Kofoed is 50.

Country singer Andy Griggs is 47.

Actor Gregory Fitoussi is 44.

Country musician Mike Melancon (Emerson Drive) is 42.

Actor Kathryn Fiore is 41.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is 38.

Actor Sebastian Stan is 38.

Actor Eme Ikwuakor (IK’-wah-ker) is 36.

Pop-rock singer James Morrison is 36.

Actor Lennon Stella is 21.