Today is Monday, August 12, the 224th day of 2013. There are 141 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1499 – Turks defeat Venetian fleet at Sapienza, Italy. The battle is the one of several wars between the two sides.
1530 – Florence is restored to Medici family in Italy by Holy Roman Empire troops.
1687 – Duke of Lorraine and Louis of Baden defeat Turks under Suleiman Pasha at Battle of Mohacs, ending Turkish occupation of Hungary.
1759 – Russian and Austrian forces defeat Prussians at Kunersdorf, Germany, and Dresden falls into Austrian hands.
1813 – Austria declares war on France.
1898 – Hawaiian Islands in Pacific are transferred to United States.
1938 – Germany begins mobilization of its armed forces.
1941 – French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain calls on his countrymen to give full support to Nazi Germany in World War II.
1953 – The Soviet Union detonates its first hydrogen bomb.
1958 – Cuban rebel leader Fidel Castro announces the complete “liberation” of the Sierra Maestra area of Oriente Province from President Batista’s army. Three-hundred Cuban soldiers are killed and 420 captured.
1960 – U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold and U.N. troops enter rebel province of Katanga in Zaire.
1961 – The East German parliament votes to erect a wall separating east Berlin from the western part. It goes up the same night.
1965 – A U.S. Navy jet fighter-bomber is shot down by a missile 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Hanoi. It is the second U.S. plane shot down by North Vietnamese in three weeks.
1970 – West Germany and Soviet Union sign nonaggression pact in Moscow.
1971 – Syria severs diplomatic relations with Jordan as border fighting breaks out.
1972 – Last U.S. ground combat unit in South Vietnam is deactivated.
1974 – Floods subside after two months of monsoon rain in Bangladesh, killing at least 2,500 persons and leaving 38 percent of the country under water. Property and crop damage is estimated at US$2 billion.
1978 – Japan and China sign a peace treaty, implemented in October.
1980 – Chilean President Augusto Pinochet announces that 20 police detectives have been arrested and will stand trial for the kidnappings and tortures of leftist students.
1985 – Japan Airlines Flight 123 from Osaka to Tokyo crashes into a mountainside, killing more than 520 people.
1988 – Sein Lwin resigns as president of Myanmar and all other major posts following three days of violent anti-government protests.
1990 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein offers to withdraw from Kuwait if Israel withdraws from occupied territories.
1991 – Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev authorizes the establishment of an agency to oversee the denationalization of large-scale state enterprises.
1992 – United States, Canada and Mexico reach a free-trade agreement.
1993 – American troops open fire on stone-throwing Somali civilians in Mogadishu. Italy, protesting the new U.N. military aggressiveness, asks to pull out of the Somali capital.
1995 – Iari President Saddam Hussein’s former right-hand man and son-in-law, Hussein Kamel al-Majid, who defected to Jordan, announces a campaign to topple him.
1996 – Germany asks Italy to extradite former SS captain Erich Priebke, who was freed by a military court in Rome after a war crimes trial but swiftly re-arrested.
1998 – Swiss banks agree to pay $1.25 billion to Holocaust survivors as restitution for lost assets.
2000 – A Russian nuclear submarine, the Kursk, malfunctions in the Barents Sea and sinks after two explosions in its forward weapons bay, killing 118 crewmen aboard.
2003 – More than 50 people are killed in Afghanistan when a bomb exploded in a bus in the southern province of Helmand.
2004 – Thousands of U.S. troops unleashed a tank, infantry and helicopter assault in Najaf, against militants loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr. They also stormed the radical cleric’s home, but he was not there.
2005 – In one of his first acts as pope, Benedict XVI invites Rome’s chief rabbi to his installation ceremony and issues special greetings to Jews. He also assures Muslims the Roman Catholic Church wants to build “bridges of friendship.”
2006 – China’s southeast braces for more torrential rain after Typhoon Saomai strikes the region earlier in the week, killing more than 100 people and leaving almost 200 missing.
2007 – Forty-six children believed abducted or coerced from their parents are rescued from a Guatemalan adoption home catering to foreigners that is run by an American man and his Guatemalan wife.
2008 —The military junta that overthrew Mauritania’s government adopts a law transferring the power of the presidency to the head of the junta.
2009 – U.S. Marines battle Taliban fighters for control of a strategic southern town in a new operation to cut militant supply lines and allow Afghan residents to vote in a presidential election.
2010 – WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange says his organization is preparing to release the rest of the secret Afghan war documents it has on file. The Pentagon warns that would be more damaging to security and risk more lives than the organization’s initial release of some 76,000 war documents.
2011 – Italy’s government approves euro45.5 billion ($64.84 billion) in emergency austerity measures over two years to balance the budget by 2013 in response to demands by the European Central Bank.
2012 — Egypt’s Islamist president orders the retirement of the defense minister and chief of staff and makes the boldest move so far to seize back powers that the military stripped from his office right before he took over.
Robert Mills, U.S. architect (1781-1855); Katherine Lee Bates, U.S. author of ‘America the Beautiful’ (1859-1929); Cecil B. DeMille, U.S. film producer and director (1881-1959); Erwin Schroedinger, Austrian physicist (1887-1961); Cantinflas (Mario Moreno), Mexican comedian (1911-1993); William Goldman, U.S. novelist-screenwriter (1931–); Pete Sampras, U.S. tennis player (1971–); Casey Affleck, U.S. actor (1975–).
Thought For Today:
Regrets are as personal as fingerprints — Margaret Culkin Banning, American writer (1891-1982).