Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 12, 2017, a car plowed into a crowd of people peacefully protesting a white nationalist rally in the Virginia college town of Charlottesville, 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.)
On this date:
In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, first opened.
In 1939, the MGM movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, had its world premiere at the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, three days before opening in Hollywood.
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 1962, one day after launching Andrian Nikolayev into orbit, the Soviet Union also sent up cosmonaut Pavel Popovich; both men landed safely Aug. 15.
In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York.
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.)
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.
International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 48.