updated 8/5/2007 12:06:52 AM ET 2007-08-05T04:06:52

Today is Sunday, Aug. 5, the 217th day of 2007. There are 148 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

Fifty years ago, on Aug. 5, 1957, the teenage dance show “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark, made its network debut on ABC-TV.

On this date:

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Adm. David G. Farragut led his fleet to victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay in Alabama.

In 1884, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal was laid on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.

In 1914, one of the first, if not the first, electric traffic light systems was installed in Cleveland at the intersection of 105th Street and Euclid Avenue.

In 1924, the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” by Harold Gray, made its debut.

In 1953, Operation Big Switch began as prisoners taken during the Korean conflict were exchanged at Panmunjom.

In 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe, 36, was found dead in her Los Angeles home; her death was ruled a probable suicide from an overdose of sleeping pills.

In 1963, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union signed a treaty in Moscow banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in space and underwater.

In 1981, the federal government began firing air traffic controllers who had gone out on strike.

In 1984, actor Richard Burton died in Geneva at age 58.

In 2000, actor Sir Alec Guinness died in Midhurst, Sussex, England, at age 86.

Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton signed budget-balancing and tax-cutting bills into law, calling the legislation “a true milestone for our nation.” A two-man Russian crew blasted off for Mir in a smooth launch that was upstaged by another breakdown aboard the aging space station, this time involving the oxygen generators.

Five years ago: Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a suspected weapons factory in Gaza City following attacks that killed 13 people in 24 hours. The coral-encrusted gun turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, nearly 140 years after the historic warship sank during a storm. Death claimed Los Angeles Lakers play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn at age 85; former “Sesame Street” cast member Matt Robinson at age 65; and soap opera actor Joshua Ryan Evans at age 20.

One year ago: Floyd Landis was fired by his team and the Tour de France no longer considered him its champion after his second doping sample tested positive for higher-than-allowable levels of testosterone (Landis maintained his innocence). The late Reggie White was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, John Madden, Rayfield Wright and Harry Carson. Four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher died in Seattle at age 51.

Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Neil A. Armstrong is 77. Country singer Vern Gosdin is 73. Actress Cammie King (“Gone with the Wind”) is 73. Actor John Saxon is 72. Actor Zakes Mokae is 72. Country songwriter Bobby Braddock is 67. Actress Loni Anderson is

61. Actress Erika Slezak is 61. Rock singer Rick Derringer is 60. Actress Holly Palance is 57. Singer Samantha Sang is 54. Actress-singer Maureen McCormick is 51. Rock musician Pat Smear is

48. Actress Tawney Kitaen is 46. Country musician Mark O’Connor is

46. Rapper MCA (The Beastie Boys) is 43. Actor Jonathan Silverman is 41. Country singer Terri Clark is 39. Actor Brendon Ryan Barrett is 21.

Thought for Today: “Music is the soundtrack of your life.” — Dick Clark, American producer and TV personality.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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