Today in History
Today is Monday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2021. There are 130 days left in the year.
On this date:
In 1305, Scottish rebel leader Sir William Wallace was executed by the English for treason.
In 1775, Britain’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.”
In 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I.
In 1926, silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31.
In 1962, John Lennon married his first wife, Cynthia Powell, in Liverpool, England. (The marriage lasted until 1968.)
In 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage-taking began in Stockholm, Sweden; the four hostages ended up empathizing with their captors, a psychological condition now referred to as “Stockholm Syndrome.”
In 1979, Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York.
In 2003, former priest John Geoghan the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in a Massachusetts prison.
In 2013, a military jury convicted Maj. Nidal Hasan in the deadly 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that claimed 13 lives; the Army psychiatrist was later sentenced to death. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier who’d massacred 16 Afghan civilians, was sentenced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Ten years ago: A pair of judges in New York put an end to the sensational sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, setting him free after prosecutors questioned the credibility of the hotel housekeeper who’d accused the French diplomat. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered near Mineral, Virginia, the strongest on the East Coast since 1944, caused cracks in the Washington Monument and damaged Washington National Cathedral.
Five years ago: Standing amid piles of waterlogged debris, President Barack Obama promised a sustained national effort to rebuild flood-ravaged southern Louisiana. Actor Steven Hill, 94, died in New York City.
One year ago: A white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot a black man, Jacob Blake, seven times as officers tried to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant; the shooting left Blake partially paralyzed and triggered several nights of violent protests. (Blake, who was shot as he was about to get into an SUV with a pocketknife that had fallen from his pants, later said he’d been prepared to surrender after putting the knife in the vehicle. Officer Rusten Sheskey was not charged.)