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Today in history: August 16

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

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 16, the 228th day of 2006. There are 137 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tenn., at age 42.

On this date:
In 1777, American forces won the Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington.

In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

In 1858, a telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.

In 1861, President Lincoln prohibited the states of the Union from trading with the seceding states of the Confederacy.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York at age 53.

In 1954, Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Incorporated.

In 1956, 50 years ago, Adlai E. Stevenson was nominated for president at the Democratic national convention in Chicago.

In 1960, Britain granted independence to the crown colony of Cyprus.

In 1987, 156 people were killed when Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed while trying to take off from Detroit.

In 2000, delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles formally nominated Al Gore for president.

Ten years ago: A jubilant Bob Dole set out from the Republican convention, promoting his tax-cut plan as a boon to working families.

Five years ago: Paul Burrell, trusted butler of Princess Diana for many years, was charged with the theft of hundreds of royal family items, a charge he denied. (The case collapsed when Queen Elizabeth told prosecutors that Burrell had told her he was holding some of Diana’s things for safekeeping. )

One year ago: Hundreds of defiant Jewish settlers hunkered down in advance of a midnight deadline to leave Gaza. A plane carrying vacationers home from Panama to Martinique crashed in western Venezuela, killing all 160 people on board. Two transport helicopters carrying NATO peacekeepers crashed in western Afghanistan, killing 17 Spanish troops.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Fess Parker is 82. Actress Ann Blyth is 78. Actor Robert Culp is 76. Sportscaster Frank Gifford is 76. Actress Julie Newmar is 73. Actor John Standing is 72. Actor Gary Clarke is 70. Actress Anita Gillette is 70. Actress Carole Shelley is 67. Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 67. Movie director Bruce Beresford is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Robert “Squirrel” Lester (The Chi-Lites) is 64. Actor Bob Balaban is 61. Ballerina Suzanne Farrell is 61. Actress Lesley Ann Warren is 60. Rock singer-musician Joey Spampinato (NRBQ) is 56. Actor Reginald VelJohnson is 54. TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.T. Taylor is 53. Movie director James Cameron is 52. Actor Jeff Perry is 51. Rock musician Tim Farriss (INXS) is 49. Singer Madonna is 48. Actress Angela Bassett is 48. Actress Laura Innes is 47. Actor Timothy Hutton is 46. Actor Steve Carell is 43. Actor Donovan Leitch is 38. Country singer Emily Robison (The Dixie Chicks) is 34. Actor George Stults is 31. Singer Vanessa Carlton is 26. Actor Shawn Pyfrom is 20.

Thought for Today: “The most persistent threat to freedom, to the rights of Americans, is fear.” — George Meany, American labor leader (1894-1980).