Undated -- Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2011. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 3, 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.
On this date:
In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Va., charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)
In 1811, Elisha Otis, founder of the elevator company that still bears his name, was born in Halifax, Vt.
In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.
In 1921, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis refused to reinstate the former Chicago White Sox players implicated in the "Black Sox" scandal, despite their acquittals in a jury trial.
In 1943, Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 1960, the African country of Nige achieved full independence from French rule.
In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, 40, was found dead in his Los Angeles home.
In 1981, US air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
Ten years ago: US Fulbright scholar John Tobin was released from a Russian prison after serving half of a one-year drug sentence and winning parole. Actor Christopher Hewett died in Los Angeles at age 80.
Five years ago: In Afghanistan, 21 civilians were killed in a suicide car bombing near Canadian military vehicles in a town market in Kandahar province; US forces killed 25 Taliban in a raid in Helmand province. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, a soprano who'd won global acclaim for her renditions of Mozart and Strauss, died in Schruns, Austria, at age 90.
One year ago: Engineers began pumping heavy drilling mud into the blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well in an attempt to permanently plug the leak. Warehouse driver Omar Thornton killed eight co-workers and himself in a shooting rampage at a Manchester, Conn., beer distributorship.