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Today in history: August 4

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Friday, August fourth, the 216th day of 2006. There are 149 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History
On August fourth, 1944, Nazi police raided the secret annex of a building in Amsterdam and arrested eight people, including 15-year-old Anne Frank, whose diary became a famous account of the Holocaust. (Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.)

On this date
In 1735, a jury acquitted John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal of seditious libel.

In 1790, the Coast Guard had its beginnings as the Revenue Service.

In 1792, English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Field Place, England.

In 1830, plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.

In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were axed to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden, Andrew Borden’s daughter from a previous marriage, was accused of the killings, but acquitted at trial.

In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany while the United States proclaimed its neutrality.

In 1916, the United States reached agreement with Denmark to purchase the Danish Virgin Islands for $25 million.

In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.

In 1977, President Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.

In 1991, the Greek luxury liner Oceanos sank in heavy seas off South Africa’s southeast coast; all 402 passengers and 179 crew members survived.

Ten years ago: On the final day of the Atlanta Olympics, Josia Thugwane became the first black South African to win a gold medal as he finished first in the marathon; the U-S women’s basketball team defeated Brazil 111-to-87 to win the gold; David Reid won the only boxing gold medal for the U-S. A three-hour closing ceremony of music, dance and light brought the games to an official close.

Five years ago: Thousands of admirers turned out in London to celebrate the 101st birthday of Britain’s Queen Mother Elizabeth in what would be the last such celebration. (The Queen Mother died in March 2002.) North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Moscow.

One year ago: Al-Qaida’s Number Two, Ayman al-Zawahri, threatened more destruction in London in a videotape aired on Al-Jazeera. He also threatened the United States with tens of thousands of military dead if it did not withdraw from Iraq; President Bush responded by saying, “We will stay the course, we will complete the job.” A 19-year-old Israeli soldier opened fire inside a bus, killing four Israeli Arabs; an angry crowd then killed the gunman. A mini-submarine carrying seven Russians became caught on an underwater antenna 600 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean; the men were rescued three days later with help from a British vessel.

Today’s Birthdays: Journalist Helen Thomas is 86. Singer Frankie Ford is 67. Actor-comedian Richard Belzer is 62. Actor-screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton is 51. Actress Kym Karath (“The Sound of Music”) is 48. Track star Mary Decker Slaney is 48. T-V producer Michael Gelman (“Live with Regis and Kelly”) is 45. Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens is 44. Rock musician Rob Cieka (Boo Radleys) is 38. Actor Daniel Dae Kim is 38. Actor Michael DeLuise is 37. Actor Andy Hallett is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Marques Houston is 25. Actors Cole and Dylan Sprouse are 14.

Thought for Today: “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” -- Anne Frank (1929-1945), in her diary entry of July 15th, 1944.