TODAY IN HISTORY

Today is the 224th day of 2019. There are 141 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 12, 2017, a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.,, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and hurting more than a dozen others. (The attacker, James Alex Fields, was sentenced to life in prison on 29 federal hate crime charges, and life plus 419 years on state charges.) Two Virginia state policemen were killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the protests.

On this date:

In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, first opened.

In 1939, the MGM movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, had its world premiere in Oconomowoc, Wis.

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 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150.

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 2013, James “Whitey” Bulger, the feared Boston mob boss who became one of the nation’s most-wanted fugitives, was convicted in a string of 11 killings and dozens of other gangland crimes, many of them committed while he was said to be an FBI informant. (Bulger was sentenced to life; he was fatally beaten at a West Virginia prison in 2018, hours after being transferred from a facility in Florida.)

Ten years ago: Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, a 23-year-old Georgia man, was convicted of aiding terrorist groups by sending videotapes of U.S. landmarks overseas and plotting to support “violent jihad.” Guitar virtuoso Les Paul died in White Plains, N.Y., at 94.

Five years ago: Lauren Bacall, 89, the slinky, sultry-voiced actress who created on-screen magic with Humphrey Bogart died in New York.

One year ago: Fewer than two dozen white nationalists showed up for a rally near the White House, where thousands of counterdemonstrators gathered to send a message that racism is unwelcome.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Hamilton is 80. Actress Dana Ivey is 78. Actress Jennifer Warren is 78. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 70. Actor Jim Beaver is 69. Singer Kid Creole is 69. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 65. Actor Sam J. Jones is 65. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 63. Country singer Danny Shirley is 63. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 58. Actor Peter Krause is 54. Actor Brent Sexton is 52. International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 48. Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 48. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown is 48. Actress Rebecca Gayheart is 48. Actor Casey Affleck is 44. Rock musician Bill Uechi is 44. Actress Maggie Lawson is 39. Actress Dominique Swain is 39. Actress Leah Pipes is 31. Actress Cara Delevingne is 27. Actress Imani Hakim is 26.

Thought for Today: “The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.” — From “Of Human Bondage” by W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965).

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