TODAY IN HISTORY
Today's Highlight in History:
On August 31, 1972, at the Munich Summer Olympics, American swimmer Mark Spitz won his fourth and fifth gold medals in the 100-meter butterfly and 800-meter freestyle relay; Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut won gold medals in floor exercise and the balance beam.
Other Highlights Today: In 1886, an earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.3 devastated Charleston, South Carolina, killing at least 60 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
In 1939, the first issue of Marvel Comics, featuring the Human Torch, was published by Timely Publications in New York.
In 1954, Hurricane Carol hit the northeastern Atlantic states; Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts bore the brunt of the storm, which resulted in some 70 deaths.
In 1965, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to establish the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 1969, boxer Rocky Marciano died in a light airplane crash in Iowa, a day before his 46th birthday.
In 1980, Poland’s Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk (guhDANSK’) that ended a 17-day-old strike.
In 1986, 82 people were killed when an Aeromexico jetliner and a small private plane collided over Cerritos, California. The Soviet passenger ship Admiral Nakhimov collided with a merchant vessel in the Black Sea, causing both to sink; up to 448 people reportedly died.
In 1987, the Michael Jackson album “Bad” was released by Epic Records.
In 1991, Uzbekistan (ooz-bek-ihSTAHN’) and Kyrgyzstan (keer-gihSTAHN’) declared their independence, raising to ten the number of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.
In 1992, white separatist Randy Weaver surrendered to authorities in Naples, Idaho, ending an 11-day siege by federal agents that had claimed the lives of Weaver’s wife, son and a deputy U.S. marshal. (Weaver was acquitted of murder and all other charges in connection with the confrontation; he was convicted of failing to appear for trial on firearms charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison but given credit for 14 months he’d already served.)
In 1994, the Irish Republican Army declared a cease-fire. Russia officially ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltics after half a century.
In 1997, Prince Charles brought Princess Diana home for the last time, escorting the body of his former wife to a Britain that was shocked, grief-stricken and angered by her death in a Paris traffic accident earlier that day.