updated 8/23/2007 12:11:43 AM ET 2007-08-23T04:11:43

Today is Thursday, Aug. 23, the 235th day of 2007. There are 130 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 23, 1927, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery. (Fifty years later, on this date in 1977, Mass. Gov. Michael S. Dukakis proclaimed that “any stigma and disgrace should be forever removed” from their names.)

On this date:
In 1754, France’s King Louis the XVI was born at Versailles.

In 1775, Britain’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies 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 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.

In 1944, Romanian prime minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.

In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II died in Doylestown, Pa., at age 65.

In 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage standoff began in Stockholm, Sweden; by the time the crisis ended, the four hostages had come to empathize with their captors, an occurrence that came to be known as “Stockholm Syndrome.”

In 1982, Lebanon’s parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (However, Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later.)

In 1989, in a case that inflamed racial tensions in New York City, Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black youth, was shot dead after he and his friends were confronted by white youths in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.

Ten years ago: In his weekly radio address, President Bill Clinton said he would ask Congress to renew his authority for speedy negotiation of trade agreements, saying the “fast track” approach was needed to make U.S. companies more competitive worldwide.

Five years ago: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made his second visit to Russia in a year, meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok. New York publicist Lizzie Grubman pleaded guilty in a hit-and-run crash that injured 16 people outside a Hamptons nightclub. (Grubman ended up serving 37 days of a 60-day sentence at the Suffolk County, N.Y., jail, with time off for good behavior.)

One year ago: A previously unknown militant group released the first video of two kidnapped Fox News journalists. (Correspondent Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig were later freed.) The Citadel released the results of a survey in which almost 20 percent of female cadets reported being sexually assaulted since enrolling at the South Carolina military college. Jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson died in Ventura, Calif., at age 78.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Robert Mulligan is 82. Actress Vera Miles is 77. Political satirist Mark Russell is 75. Actress Barbara Eden is 73. Actor Richard Sanders is 67. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 65. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 63. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 60. Singer Linda Thompson is 60. Actress Shelley Long is 58. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 58. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 58. Queen Noor of Jordan is 56. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 56. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone and Stone Temple Pilots) is 46. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 38. Actor Jay Mohr is 37. Actor Scott Caan is 31. Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 30. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 29.

Thought for Today: “All life is a concatenation of ephemeralities.” — Alfred Kahn, American economist.

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