IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in history: August 21

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

Today is Sunday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2005. There are 132 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 21, 1945, President Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid to America’s allies during World War II.

On this date:
In 1831, former slave Nat Turner led a violent insurrection in Virginia. (He was later executed.)

In 1858, the famous debates between senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas began.

In 1878, the American Bar Association was founded in Saratoga, N.Y.

In 1904, jazz musician and bandleader William “Count” Basie was born in Red Bank, N.J.

In 1940, exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin.

In 1944, the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and China opened talks at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington that helped pave the way for establishment of the United Nations.

In 1959, President Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

In 1984, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro appeared before reporters in Queens, New York, to field questions about her family’s finances.

In 1991, the hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapsed in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.

In 1993, in a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the Red Planet on a $980 million mission.

Ten years ago: ABC News settled a $10 billion libel suit by apologizing to Philip Morris for reporting the tobacco giant had manipulated the amount of nicotine in its cigarettes. A suicide bomber set off an explosion that tore through two crowded Israeli commuter buses, killing five others. A commuter plane crashed near Carrollton, Ga., killing nine people.

Five years ago: Rescue efforts to reach the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk ended with divers announcing none of the 118 sailors had survived.

One year ago: The International Gymnastics Federation ruled that South Korean Yang Tae-young was unfairly docked a tenth of a point in the all-around gymnastics final at the Athens Olympics, costing him the gold medal that ended up going to Paul Hamm of the United States; however, the ruling did not change the final result.

Today’s Birthdays: Israeli political leader Shimon Peres is 82. Actor-director Melvin Van Peebles is 73. Singer Kenny Rogers is 67. Actor Clarence Williams III is 66. Rock-n’-roll musician James Burton is 66. Singer Harold Reid (The Statler Brothers) is 66. Singer Jackie DeShannon is 61. Actress Patty McCormack is 60. Actress Loretta Devine is 56. TV host Harry Smith is 54. Singer Glenn Hughes is 53. Country musician Nick Kane is 51. Actress Kim Cattrall is 49. Rock singer Serj Tankian (System of a Down) is 38. Actress Carrie-Anne Moss is 35. Rock musician Liam Howlett (Prodigy) is 34. Actress Alicia Witt is 30. Singer Kelis is 26. Singer Melissa Schuman (Dream) is 21. Actor Cody Kasch (“Desperate Housewives”) is 18. Actress Hayden Panettiere is 16.

Thought for Today: “To know a little less and to understand a little more: That, it seems to me, is our greatest need.” — James Ramsey Ullman, American author (1907-1971).