Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Aug. 12, the 224th day of 2017. There are 141 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 12, 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, with whom he had clashed over Reconstruction policies. (Johnson was acquitted by the Senate.)

On this date:

In 1898, fighting in the Spanish-American War came to an end.

In 1915, the novel “Of Human Bondage,” by William Somerset Maugham, was first published in the United States, a day before it was released in England.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Hugo Black to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1944, during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.

In 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.

In 1960, the first balloon communications satellite — the Echo 1 — was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral.

In 1962, one day after launching Andrian Nikolayev into orbit, the Soviet Union also sent up cosmonaut Pavel Popovich; both men landed safely Aug. 15.

In 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test by taking off atop a Boeing 747, separating, then touching down in California’s Mojave (moh-HAH’-vee) Desert.

In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.

In 1985, the world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Airlines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survived.)

In 1992, after 14 months of negotiations, the United States, Mexico and Canada announced in Washington that they had concluded the North American Free Trade Agreement. Avant-garde composer John Cage died in New York at age 79.

In 1994, Woodstock ’94 opened in Saugerties, New York.

Ten years ago: A gunman opened fire in the sanctuary of a southwest Missouri church, killing a pastor and two worshippers. (A suspect later pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and four counts of assault, and received three life sentences without parole, plus four 30-year sentences for the assaults.) Tiger Woods captured the PGA Championship to win at least one major for the third straight season and run his career total to 13. Crooner, talk show host and game show producer Merv Griffin died in Los Angeles at age 82.

Five years ago: With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on the Olympic Games with a spectacular pageant.

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