Today is Tuesday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2011. There are 151 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 2, 1876, frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, by Jack McCall, who was later hanged. (Legend holds that Hickok died holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights, now known in poker parlance as "the Dead Man's Hand.")
On this date:
In 1610, during his fourth voyage to the Western Hemisphere, English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into what is now known as Hudson Bay.
In 1776, members of the Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.
In 1909, the original Lincoln "wheat" penny first went into circulation, replacing the "Indian Head" cent.
In 1921, a jury in Chicago acquitted several former members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team and two others of conspiring to defraud the public in the notorious "Black Sox" scandal. Opera singer Enrico Caruso, 48, died in Naples, Italy.
In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.
In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler's complete takeover.
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 1974, former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate coverup. (Dean ended up serving four months.)
In 1985, 135 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: The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal handed down its first conviction for genocide, finding a Bosnian Serb general (Radislav Krstic) guilty of the deaths of up to 8,000 Muslims. (He's serving a 35-year prison term.) Solid Democratic opposition sank President George W. Bush's nomination of Mary Sheila Gall to be chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Ron Townson, the centerpiece singer for the pop group the 5th Dimension, died in Las Vegas at age 68.
Five years ago: Five days after being pulled over by police, actor-director Mel Gibson was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving, having an elevated blood-alcohol level and having an open container of liquor in his car. (Gibson later pleaded no contest to drunken driving under a deal in which he received three years' probation, paid a fine and agreed to attend alcohol rehabilitation classes.)
One year ago: President Barack Obama, addressing the Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta, said the U.S. would leave Iraq "as promised and on schedule," portraying the end of America's combat role in the 7-year war as a personal promise kept. Actress Lindsay Lohan was released from a Los Angeles jail after serving 14 days of a 90-day sentence for violating her probation in a 2007 drug case. The Washington Post Co. announced that billionaire Sidney Harman would buy Newsweek for $1 and assume the magazine's debts.
Today's Birthdays: Former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 89. Actor Peter O'Toole is 79. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 74. Movie director Wes Craven is 72. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 68. Actor Max Wright is 68. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 66. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 61. Actor Butch Patrick ("The Munsters") is 58. Singer Mojo Nixon is 54. Actress Victoria Jackson is 52. Actress Apollonia is 52. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 49. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 47. Rock musician John Stanier is 43. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 41. Actor Sam Worthington is 35. Figure skater Michael Weiss is 35. Actor Edward Furlong is 34. Rock musician Devon Glenn is 31. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 19.
Thought for Today: "Ideas are powerful things, requiring not a studious contemplation but an action, even if it is only an inner action." -- Midge Decter, American writer.