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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 Thursday, Aug. 16, the 228th day of 2007. There are 137 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate 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 James Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.

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

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

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

In 1960, Britain ceded control of 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 1987, thousands of people worldwide began a two-day celebration of the “harmonic convergence,” which heralded what believers called the start of a new, purer age of humankind.

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

Ten years ago: Two cosmonauts just returned from Mir (Vasily Tsibliyev and Alexander Lazutkin) held a news conference in which they rejected criticism that they were to blame for troubles aboard the aging, problem-plagued space station. Thousands of Elvis Presley fans thronged Graceland on the 20th anniversary of his death.

Five years ago: Major League Baseball players set a strike deadline of Aug. 30. (Both sides finally reached an agreement with just six hours to spare.) Terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal reportedly was found shot to death in Baghdad, Iraq; he was 65. Former United Auto Workers president Stephen P. Yokich died in Detroit at age 66.

One year ago: John Mark Karr was arrested in Thailand as a suspect in the slaying of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. (Karr’s confession that he had killed JonBenet was later discredited.) New York City officials released new tapes of hundreds of heart-wrenching phone calls from the World Trade Center on 9-11, along with other emergency transcripts. Alfredo Stroessner, the anti-communist general who had ruled Paraguay for decades, died in Brasilia, Brazil, at age 93.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Fess Parker is 83. Actress Ann Blyth is

79. Actor Robert Culp is 77. Sportscaster Frank Gifford is 77. Singer Eydie Gorme is 76. Actress Julie Newmar is 74. Actor John Standing is 73. Actor Gary Clarke is 71. Actress Anita Gillette is

71. Actress Carole Shelley is 68. Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 68. Movie director Bruce Beresford is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer Robert “Squirrel” Lester (The Chi-Lites) is 65. Actor Bob Balaban is 62. Ballerina Suzanne Farrell is 62. Actress Lesley Ann Warren is 61. Rock singer-musician Joey Spampinato (NRBQ) is 57. Actor Reginald VelJohnson is 55. TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford is 54. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.T. Taylor is 54. Movie director James Cameron is 53. Actor Jeff Perry is 52. Rock musician Tim Farriss (INXS) is 50. Singer Madonna is 49. Actress Angela Bassett is 49. Actress Laura Innes is 48. Actor Timothy Hutton is 47. Actor Steve Carell is 44. Actor Donovan Leitch is 39. Country singer Emily Robison (The Dixie Chicks) is 35. Actor George Stults is 32. Singer Vanessa Carlton is 27. Actor Shawn Pyfrom is 21.

Thought for Today: “If you’re strong enough, there are no precedents.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, American author (1896-1940).