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Today in History — August 13

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

Today is Monday, Aug. 13, the 225th day of 2007. There are 140 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 13, 1961, Berlin was divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city’s eastern and western sectors and began building a wall in order to halt the flight of refugees.

On this date:

In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan from the Aztec Indians.

In 1624, French King Louis XIII named Cardinal Richelieu his first minister.

In 1704, the Battle of Blenheim was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession, resulting in a victory for English and Austrian forces over French and Bavarian soldiers.

In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.

In 1910, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.

In 1932, Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice-chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out “for all or nothing.”

In 1934, the satirical comic strip “Li’l Abner,” created by Al Capp, made its debut.

In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo One.

In 1967, the movie “Bonnie and Clyde,” starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, had its U.S. premiere.

In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Ronald Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.

Ten years ago: U.S. envoy Dennis Ross wrapped up a four-day mission to the Middle East, during which he had persuaded the Palestinians to resume security cooperation with Israel.

Five years ago: President Bush hosted a half-day economic forum at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he assured Americans that his administration had a steady hand on the economy. American Airlines said it would eliminate 7,000 jobs and cut flights. Amid rising floodwaters, tens of thousands of people in the Czech Republic fled their historic capital, Prague, for higher ground.

One year ago: Israel’s Cabinet became the final party to sign on to a U.N. cease-fire deal with Hezbollah. Fidel Castro sent Cubans a sober greeting on his 80th birthday, saying he faced a long recovery from surgery.

Today’s Birthdays: Television evangelist Rex Humbard is 88. Cuban President Fidel Castro is 81. Actor Pat Harrington is 78. Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 74. Actor Kevin Tighe is 63. Actress Gretchen Corbett is 60. Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 59. Singer Dan Fogelberg is 56. Movie director Paul Greengrass is 52. Actor Danny Bonaduce is 48. Actress Quinn Cummings is 40. Country singer Andy Griggs is 34. Country musician Mike Melancon (Emerson Drive) is 29.

Thought for Today: “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” — Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco, British author-poet (1897-1945).