Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 14, the 226th day of 2013. There are 139 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 14, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.

On this date:

In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created.

In 1908, a race riot erupted in Springfield, Ill., as a white mob began setting black-owned homes and businesses on fire; at least two blacks and five whites were killed in the violence.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, a statement of principles that renounced aggression.

In 1947, Pakistan became independent of British rule.

In 1951, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, 88, died in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1962, robbers held up a U.S. mail truck in Plymouth, Mass., making off with more than $1.5 million; the loot was never recovered.

In 1963, playwright Clifford Odets, 57, died in Los Angeles.

In 1969, British troops went to Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

In 1973, U.S. bombing of Cambodia came to a halt.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II denounced abortion and euthanasia as well as sexual abuse by American priests in a speech at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver.

In 1997, an unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.

Ten years ago: A huge blackout hit the northeastern United States and part of Canada; 50 million people lost power. The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, said he would not remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, defying a federal court order to remove the granite monument. Rebels lifted their siege of Liberia’s capital.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush signed consumer-safety legislation that banned lead from children’s toys, imposing the toughest standard in the world.

One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden sparked a campaign commotion, telling an audience in southern Virginia that included hundreds of black voters that Republican Mitt Romney wanted to put them “back in chains” by deregulating Wall Street. (Biden later mocked Republican criticism over the remark while conceding he’d meant to use different words.) Ron Palillo, the actor best known as the nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., at age 63.

Today’s Birthdays: Broadway lyricist Lee Adams (“Bye Bye Birdie”) is 89. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russell Baker is 88. Singer Buddy Greco is 87. College Football Hall of Famer John Brodie is 78. Singer Dash Crofts is 75. Rock singer David Crosby is 72. Country singer Connie Smith is 72. Comedian-actor Steve Martin is 68. Actor Antonio Fargas is 67. Singer-musician Larry Graham is 67. Actress Susan Saint James is 67. Actor David Schramm is 67. Author Danielle Steel is 66. Rock singer-musician Terry Adams (NRBQ) is 63. “Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larson is 63. Actor Carl Lumbly is 62. Olympic gold medal swimmer Debbie Meyer is 61. Film composer James Horner is 60. Actress Jackee Harry is 57. Actress Marcia Gay Harden is 54. Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson is 54. Singer Sarah Brightman is 53. Actress Susan Olsen is 52. Actress-turned-fashion/interior designer Cristi Conaway is 49. Rock musician Keith Howland (Chicago) is 49. Actress Halle Berry is 47. Actress Catherine Bell is 45. Country musician Cody McCarver (Confederate Railroad) is 45. Rock musician Kevin Cadogan is 43. Actor Scott Michael Campbell is 42. Actress Lalanya Masters is 41. Actor Christopher Gorham is 39. Actress Mila Kunis is 30. TV personality Spencer Pratt is 30. NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is 26.

Thought for Today: “The old forget. The young don’t know.” — Japanese proverb.

(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, Aug. 14)

Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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