Today in history

Today is Saturday, Aug. 17, the 229th day of 2013. There are 136 days left in the year.


On this date in:

1863: Federal batteries and ships begin bombarding Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War, but the Confederates manage to hold on despite several days of pounding.

1942: During World War II, U.S. 8th Air Force bombers attack German forces in Rouen, France. U.S. Marines raid a Japanese seaplane base on Makin Island.

1962: East German border guards shoot and kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter, who had attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.

1969: Hurricane Camille slams into the Mississippi coast as a Cate- gory 5 storm that is blamed for 256 U.S. deaths, three in Cuba.

1978: The first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ends as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman land their Double Eagle II outside of Paris.

1983: Lyricist Ira Gershwin dies in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 86.

1987: Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle, dies at Spandau Prison at age 93, an apparent suicide.

1988: Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a mysterious plane crash.

1998: President Clinton gives grand-jury testimony via closed-circuit television from the White House concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky; he then delivers a TV address in which he denies previously committing perjury, admitted his relationship with Lewinsky was “wrong,” and criticized Kenneth Starr’s investigation.

2003: Federal investigators join industry teams in the search for clues into what triggered the country’s worst power blackout in the Midwest and Northeast as the Bush administration promises to get answers and address whatever problem is found.

2008: At the Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps and three teammates win the 400-meter medley relay for Phelps’ eighth gold medal.


1988: Dr. William Binning, chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, is chairman of a committee formed by the Ohio Republican County Chairmen’s Association to study changes in Ohio’s presidential primary date from May to sometime earlier.

The Ohio delegation to the Republican National Convention in New Orleans is surprised by presidential nominee George Bush’s choice of Dan Quayle, an Indiana senator, as his running mate.

Dr. Mahendra Prasad, director of neonatology at St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center, says the United States must make proper medical care for all pregnant women a major focus of public health policy if it wants to improve its infant mortality statistics.

1973: Work resumes on the afternoon shift at Plakie Toy Inc. on Simon Road after a one-day walkout by employees.

James S. Olsavsky is selected as the architect for the $400,000 remodeling of Youngstown State University’s School of Education Building, formerly the Elm Street School.

Leonard Kirtz, president of Anchor Cigar Co., long recognized as a champion for retarded children, receives the Governor’s Award for Community Action.

1963: Municipal Judge Don L. Hanni Jr. dismisses charges of discharging a firecracker against a suspended city employee, Louis A. Marinelli, on grounds that the affidavit was improperly worded.

A South Side family of six narrowly averts a drowning tragedy when their small boat capsizes in the wake of another boat on Lake Milton. Raymond Courtney, his wife, Alice, and their four children were thrown into the water and their capsized boat sank.

1938: Youngstown City Council authorizes city Engineer Albert Haenny to prepare plans for projects in the city’s $5 million PWA improvement program.

Sgt. James F. “Jim” Nolan, a powerful but kindly figure who built a reputation during his police career as a peacemaker, whether it was calming crowds at relief headquarters when relief money ran out or tamping down the threat of violence during labor strikes, dies at his home at 114 E. Marion Ave. after a week’s illness.

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