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Friday, August 29

August 21, 2014

Today is Friday, August 29, the 241st day of 2014. There are 124 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1499 - Turkish forces take Lepanto in Greece.

1526 - Turks defeat Hungarians at Battle of Mohacs, ending the Hungarian monarchy and giving way to 150 years of Turkish occupation.

1533 - Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro gives Atahuallpa, last Incan king, a choice of being burned at the stake or converting to Christianity. He converts and is strangled the same day.

1756 - Frederick II of Prussia invades Saxony, marking start of Seven Years’ War.

1782 - Almost 1,100 people drown when English Man-of-War sinks while being repaired at Portsmouth, England.

1793 - The French commissioner Leger-Felicite Sonthonax, facing a slave army and a British invasion, declares all slaves free in Haiti.

1842 - Anglo-Chinese war ends with Treaty of Nanking, whereby Britain gains an indemnity and the right to trade at Canton, Shanghai and other Chinese ports.

1935 - Queen Astrid of Belgium is killed in car accident in Switzerland.

1943 - Danish warships are scuttled at Copenhagen in World War II uprising against Nazis.

1944 - Slovaks rise against Nazis. The rebellion is put down after two months.

1945 - U.S. General Douglas MacArthur leaves Manila for Japan to accept Japanese surrender.

1952 - Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, undergoes the heaviest air raid of the Korean war. U.S. South African, Australian and South Korean air forces strike the city with about 600 tons of bombs, 4,000 gallons of firebombs and 52,000 rounds of machine-gun ammunition.

1957 - U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond from South Carolina, then a Democrat, ends a filibuster against a civil rights bill by talking for more than 24 hours.

1960 - Jordan’s Premier Hazza el-Majali is assassinated.

1965 - U.S. astronauts L. Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad make safe landing after a record eight days of orbiting around Earth in Gemini 5.

1970 - The Soviet Union delivers arms to Egypt to replace the heavy losses suffered during three months of intensive Israeli air strikes.

1972 - North and South Korean Red Cross officials meet in North Korea openly for first time to discuss reuniting divided families.

1978 - China’s Communist Party Chairman Hua Guofeng completes visit to Eastern Europe, symbolizing historic break with China’s traditional isolation.

1980 - A crowd of 400 Cuban refugees swarm onto a runway at Lima’s International Airport. Some 168 of them force their way onto a jet and demand to go to Miami. They surrender the next day.

1983 - U.S. Veterans Administration announces tests of 85,000 Vietnam vets reveal no adverse health effects related to Agent Orange exposure.

1987 - Two bombs explode five minutes apart in crowded main square of Syrian-policed Tripoli, Lebanon, killing three people and wounding 25.

1991 - Soviet lawmakers suspend Communist Party activities nationwide and freeze its bank accounts because of party’s role in failed coup attempt.

1992 - The last Russian diplomats pull out of Kabul, ending a decade of involvement in Afghanistan.

1993 - Twenty-one people are murdered in a slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when hooded gunmen fire indiscriminately at residents, who claim the police were responsible. They were retaliating for the killing of four officers.

1994 - Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization sign an early empowerment accord under which Israel agrees to transfer administrative powers throughout the West Bank to the Palestinian National Authority.

1996 - A Russian plane carrying coal miners to work at a remote arctic island smashes into a mountain top, killing all 41 people aboard in the worst air disaster on Norwegian soil.

1997 - Hooded men kill more than 300 people in an Algerian farm village in the worst carnage since an Islamic insurgency began.

1998 - A Cuban airplane bursts into flames and crashes during takeoff from Quito, Ecuador, killing 79 people.

1999 - East Timorese vote in a historic referendum on independence from Indonesia.

2000 - Six former hostages released after months in captivity in the Philippines arrive in Libya, which had taken the lead in negotiations to win their freedom from their Muslim rebel captors.

2002 - Michael Skakel, a member of America’s politically prominent Kennedy family, is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the 1975 murder of neighbor Martha Moxley.

2003 - A large car bomb explodes outside the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq. The explosion killed at least 80 people, including Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim, a top Shiite Muslim cleric.

2004 - Chechens battered by five years of war and misery vote for a regional president in an election that the Kremlin portrays as step toward stability and critics denounce as a fraud. Violence shadows the balloting when a man blows himself up near a polling station.

2005 - Hurricane Katrina plows into the below-sea-level U.S. city of New Orleans with 145-mph (233-kph) winds and rain that submerges neighborhoods up to the rooflines as it moves into the state of Mississippi.

2006 - A cease-fire aimed at ending Uganda’s brutal war — between its government and the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army that has terrorized the east African nation for nearly two decades — goes into effect.

2007 - Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr orders a six-month suspension of his Mahdi Army to reorganize it. An aide confirms that in this time the militia will not launch attacks against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.

2008 - Georgia says it will sever diplomatic ties with Moscow to protest the presence of Russian troops on its territory.

2009 - Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai widens his lead over his main challenger in election returns, creeping toward the 50 percent mark that would enable him to avoid a run-off in the divisive presidential contest.

2010 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warns that he will not back down from his threat to pull out of new peace talks with Israel if it resumes construction in West Bank settlements.

2011 - Moammar Gadhafi’s wife and three of his children flee Libya to neighboring Algeria, firm evidence that the longtime leader has lost his grip on the country.

2012 - In a striking admission, President Syrian President Bashar Assad says that his armed forces will need time to defeat the rebels, an acknowledgement that a stalemate has developed that could prolong the civil war.

2013 — The Washington-Moscow Hot Line, used by U.S. and Russian leaders for frank discussions about crises including the 1967 Middle East war and the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, marks its 50th birthday with the nations still grappling with competing interests in regional conflicts.

Today’s Birthdays:

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, French painter (1780-1867); John Locke, English philosopher (1632-1704); Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian author (1862-1949); Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (1917-1982); Charlie Parker, U.S. jazz musician (1920-1955); Slobodan Milosevic, Yugoslav president and war crimes suspect (1941-2006); Michael Jackson, American pop star (1958--2009); Richard Attenborough, British actor, director (1923 --);Rebecca DeMornay, U.S. actress (1962--).

Thought for Today:

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad — Euripides, Greek poet (480 B.C.-406 B.C.)

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