Today in History: August 21, Nat Turner launches rebellion


Today in History Today is Sunday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2022. There are 132 days left in the…

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2022. There are 132 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 21, 1831, Nat Turner launched a violent slave rebellion in Virginia, resulting in the deaths of at least 55 whites; scores of Blacks were killed in retribution in the aftermath of the rebellion. (Turner was later captured and executed.)

On this date:

In 1858, the first of seven debates between Illinois senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas took place.

In 1911, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris. (The painting was recovered two years later in Italy.)

In 1944, the United States, Britain, the Soviet Union and China opened talks at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington that helped pave the way for establishment of the United Nations. (The talks concluded on October 7.)

In 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order making Hawaii the 50th state.

In 1991, the hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapsed in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.

In 1992, an 11-day siege began at the cabin of white separatist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, as government agents tried to arrest Weaver for failing to appear in court on charges of selling two illegal sawed-off shotguns; on the first day of the siege, Weaver’s teenage son, Samuel, and Deputy U.S. Marshal William Degan were killed.

In 1993, in a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the red planet on a $980 million mission.

In 2000, rescue efforts to reach the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk ended with divers announcing none of the 118 sailors had survived.

In 2010, Iranian and Russian engineers began loading fuel into Iran’s first nuclear power plant, which Moscow promised to safeguard to prevent material at the site from being used in any potential weapons production.

In 2013, an Army private now known as Chelsea Manning was sentenced at Fort Meade, Maryland, to up to 35 years in prison for spilling an unprecedented trove of government secrets. (The sentence for the former intelligence analyst was commuted by President Barack Obama in his final days in office.)

In 2015, a trio of Americans, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and college student Anthony Sadler, and a British businessman, Chris Norman, tackled and disarmed a Moroccan gunman on a high-speed train between Amsterdam and Paris.

In 2020, a former police officer who became known as the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, told victims and family members in a Sacramento courtroom that he was “truly sorry” before he was sentenced to multiple life prison sentences for a decade-long string of rapes and murders. “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were sentenced to prison for paying half a million dollars in bribes to get their daughters into USC as crew recruits. (Giannulli would spend more than four months behind bars, Loughlin served two months.)

Ten years ago: An insurgent rocket attack damaged the plane of the top U.S. general as it sat parked at a coalition base in Afghanistan; U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was unhurt. Missouri Rep. Todd Akin defied the nation’s top Republicans and refused to abandon a Senate bid hobbled by fallout over his comments that women’s bodies could prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.” (Akin went on to lose the fall election to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.)

Five years ago: Americans witnessed their first full-blown coast-to-coast solar eclipse since World War I, with eclipse-watchers gathering along a path of totality extending 2,600 miles across the continent from Oregon to South Carolina. In a national address, President Donald Trump reversed his past calls for a speedy exit from Afghanistan and recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old conflict, saying U.S. troops must “fight to win.” A collision between the destroyer USS John McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore left ten U.S. sailors dead. London’s Big Ben bell atop Parliament’s clock tower fell silent for four years of repair work that would keep it quiet on all but a few special occasions.

One year ago: Record-setting rain sent floodwaters surging through Middle Tennessee, leaving 20 people dead and sweeping away houses, roads, cellphone towers and telephone lines. Don Everly, one-half of the pioneering rock ‘n’ roll Everly Brothers, died at his home in Nashville at the age of 84.

Today’s Birthdays: Rock-and-roll musician James Burton is 83. Singer Jackie DeShannon is 81. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier is 77. Actor Patty McCormack is 77. Pop singer-musician Carl Giammarese (jee-ah mah-REE’-see) is 75. Actor Loretta Devine is 73. NBC newsman Harry Smith is 71. Singer Glenn Hughes is 70. Actor Kim Cattrall is 66. College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon is 63. Actor Cleo King is 60. Rock singer Serj Tankian (TAN’-kee-ahn) (System of a Down) is 55. Actor Carrie-Anne Moss is 52. Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell is 52. Rock musician Liam Howlett (Prodigy) is 51. Actor Alicia Witt is 47. Singer Kelis (kuh-LEES’) is 43. TV personality Brody Jenner is 39. Singer Melissa Schuman is 38. Retired Olympic gold medal sprinter Usain (yoo-SAYN’) Bolt is 36. Actor Carlos Pratts is 36. Actor-comedian Brooks Wheelan is 36. Actor Cody Kasch is 35. Country singer Kacey Musgraves is 34. Actor Hayden Panettiere (pan’-uh-tee-EHR’) is 33. Actor RJ Mitte is 30. Actor Maxim Knight is 23.

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