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This Day in History - August 16

Friday, August 16, 2013    

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Today is the 228th day of 2013. There are 137 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

1977: Elvis Presley, known as the King of rock 'n' roll, is found dead at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.

OTHER EVENTS

1570: John Sigismund Zapolya of Transylvania signs secret treaty with Holy Roman Empire to achieve independence from Turkey, but renounces control over much of Hungary.

1777: American forces win Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington, Vermont.

1812: Detroit falls to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

1858: A telegraphed message from Britain's Queen Victoria to US President James Buchanan is transmitted over the new trans-Atlantic cable.

1896: British protectorate in Ashanti, West Africa, is proclaimed.

1944: More than 1,000 US bombers from Britain attack aircraft bases and factories in Germany. Thirty-two German planes are shot down and 23 bombers go missing.

1956: Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser boycotts first London conference to discuss Suez Canal.

1960: Britain grants independence to Crown Colony of Cyprus, with Archbishop Makarios as president.

1964: Major General Nguyen Khan takes over presidency of South Vietnam, ousting Major General Duong van Minh.

1972: Morocco's King Hassan II escapes assassination attempt by Moroccan Air Force jets in a military coup attempt.

1974: Turkish invaders of Cyprus complete division of island into two areas.

1987: An American Northwest Airlines flight crashes while trying to take off from a Detroit airport, killing 156 people. Four-year-old Cecelia Cichan is the only survivor.

1989: Palestinian activists in Gaza Strip call for two-week boycott of jobs in Israel to protest computerised identity cards for day labourers.

1990: Men hack their way through a train station in Soweto, South Africa, with spears and axes, killing at least nine people; Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev restores citizenship of exiled writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

1991: United Nations and South African government agree on amnesty terms for political exiles, clearing the way for an estimated 40,000 refugees to return to South Africa.

1996: France takes a tough position on African immigrants, saying those who arrive illegally -- including 10 on the 43rd day of a hunger strike -- will not be allowed to stay.

1999: Russia's lower house of parliament approves Vladimir Putin as the country's new president.

2001: NATO allows British servicemen and women to head to Macedonia for a mission to collect and destroy rebel arms.

2002: Monsoon floods in South Asia kill more than 900 people and displace or maroon some 25 million more over the next two months.

2003: Ugandan military ruler Idi Amin, 78, who presided over an eight-year reign of terror from 1971-1979, where an estimated 300,000 people were killed and tortured to death; dies of multiple organ failure.

2004: Venezuelans vote to keep President Hugo Chavez in office in a popular referendum, following a long and bitter campaign by his opposition to oust him.

2007: A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake shakes Peru's coast near the capital, toppling buildings, setting off landslides, killing at least 500 and injuring at least 827.

2009: Prime Minister Gordon Brown affirms Britain's commitment to Afghanistan on a weekend in which roadside bombs kill five more soldiers, pushing the UK death toll past 200.

2010: A Boeing 737 jetliner filled with vacationers crashes in a thunderstorm and breaks apart as it slides onto the runway on a Caribbean island near Colombia. Only one of the 131 people on board dies, and the island's governor calls it a miracle.

2012: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wins asylum in Ecuador but legal experts say the decision by the South American nation to identify him as a refugee and let him reside in its London embassy does little to help him avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Jean de la Bruyere, French essayist-novelist (1645-1696); Menachem Begin, Israeli prime minister (1913-1992); Eydie Gorme, U.S. singer (1932--); Bruce Beresford, Australian film director (1940--); Suzanne Farrell, U.S. ballerina (1945--); Madonna, US pop singer (1958--); Steve Carell, actor (1962--).

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