updated 8/12/2006 12:01:39 AM ET 2006-08-12T04:01:39

Today is Saturday, Aug. 12, the 224th day of 2006. There are 141 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 12, 1944, 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.

On this date:
In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

In 1898, fighting in the Spanish-American War came to an end.

In 1898, Hawaii was formally annexed to the United States.

In 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.

In 1960, the first balloon satellite — the Echo 1 — was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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 1972, the last American combat ground troops left Vietnam.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had died Aug. 6 at age 80, was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.

In 1985, the world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people.

In 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk and its 118-man crew were lost during naval exercises in the Barents Sea.

Ten years ago: The Republican Party opened its 36th national convention in San Diego by celebrating Bob Dole as a tested, trustworthy leader who would lower taxes and bring compassionate conservatism to the White House.

Five years ago: A suicide bomber blew himself up on the patio of a restaurant near the northern Israeli coastal town of Haifa, killing himself and wounding 21 people.

One year ago: A NASA spacecraft, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, began a seven-month voyage to the Red Planet. An Ecuadorean boat overloaded with 113 U.S.-bound illegal migrants capsized off Colombia’s Pacific coast; only nine people survived. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister (Lakshman Kadirgamar), an ethnic Tamil, was shot to death in Colombo.

Today’s Birthdays: Choreographer Michael Kidd is 87. Former Sen. Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., is 81. Country singer Porter Wagoner is 79. Actor George Hamilton is 67. Actress Jennifer Warren is 65. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 57. Singer Kid Creole is 56. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 52. Actor Sam J. Jones is 52. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 50. Country singer Danny Shirley is 50. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 45. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 43. Actor Peter Krause is 41. Tennis player Pete Sampras is 35. Actor Michael Ian Black is 35. Actress Rebecca Gayheart is 34. Actor Casey Affleck is 31. Rock musician Bill Uechi (Save Ferris) is 31. Actress Dominique Swain is 26. Actress Imani Hakim (“Everybody Hates Chris”) is 13.

Thought for Today: “Bigotry has no head, and cannot think; no heart, and cannot feel.” — Daniel O’Connell, Irish political leader (1775-1847).

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