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Today in history: August 2

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

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2005. There are 151 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 2, 1945, President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee concluded the Potsdam conference.

On this date:
In 1776, members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

In 1876, frontiersman “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.

In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco.

In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler’s complete takeover.

In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program.

In 1943, during World War II, Navy boat PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands.

In 1964, the Pentagon reported the first of two attacks on U.S. destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

In 1980, 85 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the train station in Bologna, Italy.

In 1985, 137 people were killed when a Delta Air Lines jetliner crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)

Ten years ago: Hurricane Erin came ashore near Vero Beach, Fla.; the storm was blamed for 11 deaths. China ordered the expulsion of two U.S. Air Force officers it said were caught spying on military sites.

Five years ago: Republicans awarded Texas Gov. George W. Bush their 2000 presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Philadelphia and ratified Dick Cheney as his running mate. Former President Ford was hospitalized after suffering one, possibly two, small strokes. President Clinton postponed the scheduled execution of Juan Raul Garza, a Texas drug kingpin and murderer (Garza was executed in June 2001).

One year ago: President Bush urged creation of a national intelligence director to coordinate the war on terrorism but without the sweeping powers for hiring, firing and spending recommended by the Sept. 11 commission. Turkish truckers stopped hauling goods for U.S. forces in Iraq after the shooting of a Turkish hostage was shown on the Internet. Police in Salt Lake City arrested Mark Hacking, whose wife, Lori, had disappeared, on a charge of aggravated murder.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 83. Actor Peter O’Toole is 73. Country singer Hank Cochran is 70. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 68. Movie director Wes Craven is 66. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 62. Actor Max Wright is 62. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 60. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 55. Singer Andrew Gold is 54. Actor Butch Patrick (“The Munsters”) is 52. Singer Mojo Nixon is 48. Actress Victoria Jackson is 46. Actress Apollonia is 46. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 43. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 41. Rock musician John Stanier is 37. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 35. Actor Edward Furlong is 28. Rock musician Devon Glenn (Buckcherry) is 25. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 13.

Thought for Today: “Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.” — John Barth, American author.