IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in history: August 5

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

Today is Saturday, August fifth, the 217th day of 2006. There are 148 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History
On August fifth, 1864, during the Civil War, Union Admiral David G. Farragut is said to have ordered, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” as he led his fleet to victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.

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

In 1906, 100 years ago, movie director John Huston was born in Nevada, Missouri.

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

In 1953, Operation “Big Switch” was under way 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 at a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 58.

In 1986, it was revealed that artist Andrew Wyeth had, over a 15-year period, secretly created 240 drawings and paintings of a woman named Helga Testorf, a neighbor in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

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

Ten years ago: In a bold bid to capture a skeptical public’s attention, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole proposed a $548 billion tax cut. A jury in San Jose, California, recommended the death penalty for Richard Allen Davis, convicted of kidnapping and murdering 12-year-old Polly Klaas of Petaluma.

Five years ago: A van driven by a drunken off-duty New York City policeman hit and killed a pregnant woman, her young son and teen-age sister. (The off-duty officer, Joseph Gray, was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.) Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban jailed eight foreign aid workers, including two Americans, for allegedly preaching Christianity. (The workers were rescued in November 2001 as the Taliban regime began collapsing during U-S military operations launched in the wake of September eleventh.)

One year ago: British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced new deportation measures against people who foster hatred and advocate violence. The N-C-A-A announced it would shut American Indian nicknames and images out of postseason tournaments. Hunter Kelly, whose battle with a nervous system disease inspired fund-raising crusade by his father, Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, died in Orchard Park, New York, at age eight.

Today’s Birthdays: Former astronaut Neil A. Armstrong is 76. Country singer Vern Gosdin is 72. Actress Cammie King (“Gone with the Wind”) is 72. Actor John Saxon is 71. Actor Zakes Mokae is 71. Country songwriter Bobby Braddock is 66. Actress Loni Anderson is 60. Actress Erika Slezak is 60. Rock singer Rick Derringer is 59. Actress Holly Palance is 56. Singer Samantha Sang is 53. Actress-singer Maureen McCormick is 50. Rock musician Pat Smear is 47. Actress Tawney Kitaen is 45. Country musician Mark O’Connor is 45. Rapper MCA (The Beastie Boys) is 42. Actor Jonathan Silverman is 40. Country singer Terri Clark is 38. Actor Brendon Ryan Barrett is 20.

Thought for Today: “We are all snobs of the Infinite, parvenus of the Eternal.” -- James Gibbons Huneker, American author and critic (1860-1921).