Today is Monday, Aug. 27, the 240th day of 2012. There are 126 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 27, 1962, the United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.
On this date:
In 1770, German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (HAY’-guhl) was born in Stuttgart.
In 1776, the Battle of Long Island began during the Revolutionary War as British troops attacked American forces, who ended up being forced to retreat two days later.
In 1859, Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the United States, at Titusville, Pa.
In 1883, the island volcano Krakatoa blew up; the resulting tidal waves in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait claimed some 36,000 lives in Java and Sumatra.
In 1908, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, was born near Stonewall, Texas.
In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in Paris, outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlement of disputes.
In 1939, the first turbojet-powered aircraft, the Heinkel He 178, went on its first full-fledged test flight over Germany.
In 1942, the Times of London published an editorial calling on the British government to promote the production of penicillin, the first mention of the antibiotic by a newspaper.
In 1957, the USS Swordfish, the second Skate Class nuclear submarine, was launched from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine.
In 1967, Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, was found dead in his London flat from an overdose of sleeping pills; he was 32.
In 1979, British war hero Lord Louis Mountbatten and three other people, including his 14-year-old grandson Nicholas, were killed off the coast of Ireland in a boat explosion claimed by the Irish Republican Army.
In 1989, the first U.S. commercial satellite rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.—a Delta booster carrying a British communications satellite, the Marcopolo 1.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush met at his Texas ranch with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan; a White House spokesman said Bush told the Saudi diplomat he had not yet decided whether to attack Iraq. A Tokyo court acknowledged for the first time Japan’s use of biological weapons before and during World War II, but rejected demands for compensation by 180 Chinese who claimed they were victims of the germ warfare program.
Five years ago: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation after a controversy over the firings of nine U.S. attorneys. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick apologized for “using bad judgment and making bad decisions” and vowed to redeem himself after pleading guilty in Richmond, Va., to a federal dogfighting charge.
One year ago: Hurricane Irene, after striking Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, pushed up the U.S East Coast, prompting evacuations in New York City and leaving major flood damage in Vermont. Hundreds of soldiers and federal agents raided a casino in Monterrey in northern Mexico, two days after an arson attack on a gambling house killed 52 people.
Today’s Birthdays: Cajun-country singer Jimmy C. Newman is 85. Author Dame Antonia Fraser is 80. Actor Tommy Sands is 75. Bluegrass singer-musician J.D. Crowe is 75. Musician Daryl Dragon is 70. Actress Tuesday Weld is 69. Actor G.W. Bailey is 68. Rock singer-musician Tim Bogert is 68. Actress Marianne Sagebrecht is 67. Ex-porn star Harry Reems is 65. Country musician Jeff Cook is 63. Actor Paul Reubens is 60. Rock musician Alex Lifeson (Rush) is 59. Actor Peter Stormare is 59. Actress Diana Scarwid is 57. Rock musician Glen Matlock (The Sex Pistols) is 56. Pro golfer Bernhard Langer is 55. Country singer Jeffrey Steele is 51. Gospel singer Yolanda Adams is 51. Country musician Matthew Basford (Yankee Grey) is 50. Writer-producer Dean Devlin is 50. Rock musician Mike Johnson is 47. Rap musician Bobo (Cypress Hill) is 44. Country singer Colt Ford is 43. Actress Chandra Wilson is 43. Rock musician Tony Kanal (No Doubt) is 42. Actress Sarah Chalke is 36. Actor RonReaco (correct) Lee is 36. Rapper Mase is 35. Actress-singer Demetria McKinney is 34. Actor Aaron Paul is 33. Rock musician Jon Siebels (Eve 6) is 33. Actor Shaun Weiss is 33. Contemporary Christian musician Megan Garrett (Casting Crowns) is 32. Actor Kyle Lowder is 32. Actor Patrick J. Adams (TV: “Suits”) is 31. Singer Mario is 26. Actress Alexa Vega (“Spy Kids”) is 24.
Thought for Today: “Doing what’s right isn’t the problem. It is knowing what’s right.”—Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th president of the United States (1908-1973).