Today is Wednesday, Aug. 8, the 221st day of 2012. There are 145 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 8, 1942, during World War II, six Nazi saboteurs who were captured after landing in the U.S. were executed in Washington, D.C.; two others who'd cooperated with authorities were spared.
On this date:
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for St. Helena to spend the remainder of his days in exile.
In 1911, President William Howard Taft signed a measure raising the number of U.S. representatives from 391 to 433, effective with the next Congress, with a proviso to add two more when New Mexico and Arizona became states.
In 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan completed its occupation of Beijing.
In 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II.
In 1953, the United States and South Korea initialed a mutual security pact.
In 1963, Britain's "Great Train Robbery" took place as thieves made off with 2.6 million pounds in banknotes.
In 1968, the Republican national convention in Miami Beach nominated Richard Nixon for president on the first ballot.
In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew branded as "damned lies" reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland, and vowed not to resign -- which he ended up doing.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his resignation, effective the next day, following damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal.
In 1978, the U.S. launched Pioneer Venus 2, which carried scientific probes to study the atmosphere of Venus.
In 1992, AIDS activist Alison Gertz died in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, N.Y., at age 26.
In 1994, Israel and Jordan opened the first road link between the two once-warring countries.
Ten years ago: Saddam Hussein organized a big military parade and then warned "the forces of evil" not to attack Iraq as he sought once more to shift the debate away from world demands that he live up to agreements that ended the Gulf War. Bankrupt telecommunications firm WorldCom said it had uncovered another $3.3 billion in bogus accounting, adding to the $3.85 billion fraud it had revealed in June.
Five years ago: Space shuttle Endeavour roared into orbit with teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan on board. Screenwriter-director Mel Shavelson died in Studio City, Calif., at age 90.
One year ago: Eager to calm a nervous nation, President Barack Obama dismissed an unprecedented downgrade by Standard & Poor's of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA-plus, declaring: "No matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be a triple-A country."
Today's Birthdays: Actress Esther Williams is 91. Actor Richard Anderson is 86. Joan Mondale, wife of former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, is 82. Actress Nita Talbot is 82. Singer Mel Tillis is 80. Actor Dustin Hoffman is 75. Actress Connie Stevens is 74. Country singer Phil Balsley (The Statler Brothers) is 73. Actor Larry Wilcox is 65. Actor Keith Carradine is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer Airrion Love (The Stylistics) is 63. Country singer Jamie O'Hara is 62. Movie director Martin Brest is 61. Radio-TV personality Robin Quivers is 60. Actor Donny Most is 59. Rock musician Dennis Drew (10,000 Maniacs) is 55. TV personality Deborah Norville is 54. Actor-singer Harry Crosby is 54. Rock musician The Edge (U2) is 51. Rock musician Rikki Rockett (Poison) is 51. Rapper Kool Moe Dee is 50. Rock musician Ralph Rieckermann is 50. Middle distance runner Suzy Favor-Hamilton is 44. Rock singer Scott Stapp is 39. Country singer Mark Wills is 39. Actor Kohl Sudduth is 38. Rock musician Tom Linton (Jimmy Eat World) is 37. Singer JC Chasez ('N Sync) is 36. Actress Tawny Cypress is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Drew Lachey (98 Degrees) is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Marsha Ambrosius is 35. Actress Lindsay Sloane is 35. Actress Countess Vaughn is 34. Actor Michael Urie is 32. Tennis player Roger Federer is 31. Actress Meagan Good is 31. Britain's Princess Beatrice of York is 24. Actor Ken Baumann is 23.
Thought for Today: "We probably wouldn't worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do." -- Olin Miller, American humorist and poet (1918-2002).