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Today in History — August 10

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

Today is Friday, Aug. 10, the 222nd day of 2007. There are 143 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:On Aug. 10, 1846, President James Polk signed a measure establishing the Smithsonian Institution, named after English scientist James Smithson, whose bequest of $500,000 had made it possible.

On this date:In 1792, during the French Revolution, mobs in Paris attacked the Tuileries Palace, where King Louis the XVI resided. (The king was later arrested, put on trial for treason, and executed the following January.)

In 1821, Missouri became the 24th state.

In 1874, Herbert Clark Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, was born in West Branch, Iowa.

In 1921, Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello.

In 1944, during World War II, American forces overcame remaining Japanese resistance on Guam.

In 1949, the National Military Establishment was renamed the Department of Defense.

In 1969, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered in their Los Angeles home by members of Charles Manson’s cult, one day after actress Sharon Tate and four other people were slain.

In 1977, postal employee David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, N.Y., accused of being “Son of Sam,” the gunman responsible for six slayings and seven woundings. (Berkowitz is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences.)

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a measure providing $20,000 payments to Japanese-Americans who’d been interned during World War II.

In 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the second female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ten years ago: U.S. envoy Dennis Ross met separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in an attempt to restart the Mideast peace process.

Five years ago: Leaders of Roman Catholic religious orders, meeting in Philadelphia, approved details of their plan to keep sexually abusive clergy away from children but in the priesthood, creating review boards to monitor how their communities handle offenders. Sammy Sosa hit three 3-run homers in Chicago’s 15-1 rout of Colorado. Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants broke Willie McCovey’s 1969 record for intentional walks in a season with his 46th of the year.

One year ago: British authorities announced they had thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up 10 aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in hand luggage. A suicide bomber blew himself up among pilgrims outside Iraq’s holiest Shiite shrine in Najaf, killing 35 people. Saomai, the most powerful typhoon to hit China in five decades, slammed into the country’s southeastern coast; it ultimately killed at least 483 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Al Alberts is 85. Actress Rhonda Fleming is 84. Singer Jimmy Dean is 79. Singer Eddie Fisher is 79. Actress Kate O’Mara is 68. Singer Ronnie Spector is 64. Actor James Reynolds (“Days of our Lives”) is 61. Rock singer-musician Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) is 60. Singer Patti Austin is 59. Country musician Gene Johnson (Diamond Rio) is 58. Actor Daniel Hugh Kelly is 55. Actress Rosanna Arquette is 48. Actor Antonio Banderas is 47. Rock musician Jon Farriss (INXS) is 46. Singer Julia Fordham is 45. Singer Neneh Cherry is 43. Singer Aaron Hall is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lorraine Pearson (Five Star) is 40. Rock musician Todd Nichols is 40. Singer-producer Michael Bivins is 39. Actor Justin Theroux is 36. Actress Angie Harmon is 35. Country singer Jennifer Hanson is 34. Actress JoAnna Garcia is 28. Rhythm-and-blues singer Nikki Bratcher (Divine) is 27.

Thought for Today: “It is easier to make a saint out of a libertine than out of a prig.” — George Santayana, Spanish-born philosopher (1863-1952).