Today is Friday, Aug. 3, the 216th day of 2012. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
On this date:
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Va., charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)
In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.
In 1921, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis refused to reinstate the former Chicago White Sox players implicated in the "Black Sox" scandal, despite their acquittals in a jury trial.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.
In 1943, Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 1960, the African country of Niger (nee-ZHEHR') achieved full independence from French rule.
In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, 40, was found dead in his Los Angeles home.
In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
In 1987, the Iran-Contra congressional hearings ended, with none of the 29 witnesses tying President Ronald Reagan directly to the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.
Ten years ago: Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian (jehn shwee bee-ehn) declared in a speech that Taiwan was "not someone else's province" but rather an independent country separate from China. (Chen's comments sparked an uproar both in China and at home, prompting him to back away from his pointed rhetoric.)
Five years ago: Toyota said its April-June 2007 profit had jumped 32.3 percent to a record high for a quarter, lifted by strong overseas sales and a weaker yen. Iraqis welcomed home their soccer team, which had won the Asian Cup.
One year ago: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denied all charges against him as he went on trial for alleged corruption and complicity in the deaths of protesters who'd helped drive him from power. (Mubarak was later convicted of failing to stop the killing of protesters and was sentenced to life in prison, but was acquitted of the corruption charges.) The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced that Jerry Lewis was no longer its national chairman and would not be appearing on the Labor Day telethon. Death claimed former NFL star and actor Bubba Smith, 66, and actress Annette Charles, 63, best known for her role as Cha Cha DeGregorio in "Grease."
Today's Birthdays: Author P.D. James is 92. Singer Gordon Stoker (The Jordanaires) is 88. Football Hall-of-Fame coach Marv Levy is 87. Singer Tony Bennett is 86. Actor Martin Sheen is 72. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 72. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 71. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 71. Rock musician B.B. Dickerson is 63. Movie director John Landis is 62. Actress JoMarie Payton is 62. Actor Jay North ("Dennis the Menace") is 61. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 61. Country musician Randy Scruggs is 59. Actor Philip Casnoff is 58. Actor John C. McGinley is 53. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 51. Actress Lisa Ann Walter is 51. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 49. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 49. Actor Isaiah Washington is 49. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 46. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 42. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 41. Actress Brigid Brannagh is 40. Country musician Jimmy De Martini (Zac Brown Band) is 36. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 35. Actress Evangeline Lilly is 33. Actress Mamie Gummer is 29. Country singer Whitney Duncan is 28. Actor Jon Foster is 28. Singer Holly Arnstein (Dream) is 27. Actress Tanya Fischer (TV: "The Defenders") is 27. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 27.
Thought for Today: "Many of us spend half of our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing." -- Alexander Woollcott, American critic (1887-1943).