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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2019. There are 132 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 21, 2000, rescue efforts to reach the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk ended with divers announcing none of the 118 sailors had survived.

On this date:

In 1609, Galileo Galilei demonstrated his new telescope to a group of officials atop the Campanile in Venice.

In 1831, Nat Turner launched a violent slave rebellion in Virginia resulting in the deaths of at least 55 whites. (Turner was later executed.)

In 1863, pro-Confederate raiders attacked Lawrence, Kansas, massacring the men and destroying the town’s buildings.

In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris. (The painting was recovered two years later in Italy.)

In 1912, the Boy Scouts of America named its first Eagle Scout, Arthur Rose Eldred of Troop 1 in Rockville Centre, N.Y.

In 1940, exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in a Mexican hospital from wounds inflicted by an assassin the day before.

In 1963, martial law was declared in South Vietnam as police and army troops began a violent crackdown on Buddhist anti-government protesters.

In 1983, Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport. The musical play “La Cage Aux Folles” opened on Broadway.

In 1991, the hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapsed in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.

In 1992, an 11-day siege began at the cabin of white separatist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, as government agents tried to arrest Weaver for failing to appear in court on charges of selling two illegal sawed-off shotguns; on the first day of the siege, Weaver’s teenage son, Samuel, and Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan were killed.

In 1993, in a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the red planet on a $980 million mission.

In 1995, ABC News settled a $10 billion libel suit by apologizing to Philip Morris for reporting the tobacco giant had manipulated the amount of nicotine in its cigarettes.

Ten years ago: A wildfire broke out north of Athens, Greece; in the days that followed, the blaze spread, charring 80 square miles before being extinguished. A high-level delegation of North Korean officials paid their respects to late former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung. Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to lift a ban that prohibited sexually active gays and lesbians from serving as ministers.

Five years ago: Calling it a “miraculous day,” an American doctor infected with Ebola left his isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

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