Today in History: August 19, “Old Ironsides” wins a battle

August 19, 2022 GMT

Today in History

Today is Friday, Aug. 19, the 231st day of 2022. There are 134 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 19, 1960, a tribunal in Moscow convicted American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage. (Although sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, Powers was returned to the United States in 1962 as part of a prisoner exchange.)

On this date:

In A.D. 14, Caesar Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, died at age 76 after a reign lasting four decades; he was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius.

In 1807, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat arrived in Albany, two days after leaving New York.

In 1812, the USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia during the War of 1812, earning the nickname “Old Ironsides.”

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces landed at Benedict, Maryland, with the objective of capturing Washington D.C.

In 1848, the New York Herald reported the discovery of gold in California.

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In 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.

In 1942, during World War II, about 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launched a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering more than 50-percent casualties.

In 1955, torrential rains caused by Hurricane Diane resulted in severe flooding in the northeastern U.S., claiming some 200 lives.

In 1980, 301 people aboard a Saudi Arabian L-1011 died as the jetliner made a fiery emergency return to the Riyadh airport.

In 1987, a gun collector ran through Hungerford, England, 60 miles west of London, killing 16 people, including his mother, before turning his gun on himself.

In 2010, the last American combat brigade exited Iraq, seven years and five months after the U.S.-led invasion began.

In 2020, Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president in a speech to the party’s virtual convention, cementing her place in history as the first Black woman on a major party ticket. Apple became the first U.S. company to boast a market value of $2 trillion, just two years after becoming the first U.S. company with a $1 trillion market value.

Ten years ago: Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, the conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said in an interview on KTVI-TV in St. Louis that it was “really rare” for women to become pregnant when they were raped. (Akin afterwards backed off his on-air comments, saying that he’d misspoken; Akin lost the November election to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.) Tony Scott, 68, director of such Hollywood hits as “Top Gun,” and “Days of Thunder,” died in Los Angeles after jumping from a suspension bridge.

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Five years ago: Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans and denouncing white nationalism upstaged a small group of conservatives in Boston who had gathered for a “free speech rally.” In Dallas, police on horseback broke up a scuffle at a cemetery between people rallying against white supremacy and supporters of Confederate monuments. Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee after it was vandalized. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory, who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and later spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, died in Washington, D.C., at the age of 84.

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One year ago: As the Taliban moved to consolidate their rule less than a week after seizing power in Afghanistan, they violently dispersed scattered protests for a second day. At Kabul’s airport, military evacuation flights continued for Americans and others seeking to leave, but access to the airport remained difficult. A standoff in Texas over new voting restrictions that gridlocked the state Capitol for 38 consecutive days ended when some Democrats who fled to Washington dropped their holdout, paving the way for Republicans to resume pushing an elections overhaul. (The overhaul would win legislative approval on Aug. 31.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Debra Paget is 89. USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Famer Renee Richards is 88. Former MLB All-Star Bobby Richardson is 87. Actor Diana Muldaur is 84. Actor Jill St. John is 82. Singer Billy J. Kramer is 79. Country singer-songwriter Eddy Raven is 78. Rock singer Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) is 77. Former President Bill Clinton is 76. Actor Gerald McRaney is 75. Actor Jim Carter is 74. Pop singer-musician Elliot Lurie (Looking Glass) is 74. Rock musician John Deacon (Queen) is 71. Bluegrass musician Marc Pruett (Balsam Range) is 71. Actor-director Jonathan Frakes is 70. Political consultant Mary Matalin is 69. Actor Peter Gallagher is 67. Actor Adam Arkin is 66. Singer-songwriter Gary Chapman is 65. Actor Martin Donovan is 65. Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Anthony Munoz is 64. R&B singer Ivan Neville is 63. Actor Eric Lutes is 60. Actor John Stamos is 59. Actor Kyra Sedgwick is 57. Actor Kevin Dillon is 57. Country singer Lee Ann Womack is 56. TV reporter Tabitha Soren is 55. Country singer-songwriter Mark McGuinn is 54. Actor Matthew Perry is 53. Country singer Clay Walker is 53. Rapper Fat Joe is 52. Olympic gold medal tennis player Mary Joe Fernandez is 51. Actor Tracie Thoms is 47. Actor Callum Blue is 45. Country singer Rissi (REE’-see) Palmer is 41. Actor Erika Christensen is 40. Actor Melissa Fumero is 40. Pop singer Missy Higgins is 39. Actor Peter Mooney is 39. Actor Tammin Sursok is 39. Olympic silver medal snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis (jay-kuh-BEHL’-ihs) is 37. Actor J. Evan Bonifant is 37. Rapper Romeo is 33. Actor Ethan Cutkosky is 23.