Today’s Highlight in History
On Aug. 13, 1961: East Germany sealed off the border between Berlin’s eastern and western sectors before building a wall that would divide the city for the next 28 years.
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In 1521: Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan, present-day Mexico City, from the Aztecs.
In 1792: French revolutionaries imprisoned the royal family.
In 1846: The American flag was raised in Los Angeles for the first time.
In 1889: William Gray of Hartford, Connecticut, received a patent for a coin-operated telephone.
In 1910: Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.
In 1932: Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out “for all or nothing.”
In 1960: The first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1.
In 1995: Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle died at a Dallas hospital of rapidly spreading liver cancer; he was 63.
In 2003: Iraq began pumping crude oil from its northern oil fields for the first time since the start of the war. Libya agreed to set up a $2.7 billion fund for families of the 270 people killed in the 1988 Pan Am bombing.
In 2004: TV chef Julia Child died in Montecito, California, two days short of her 92nd birthday.
In 2011: Seven people were killed when a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair during a powerful storm just before a concert was to begin. In eastern Pakistan, al-Qaida gunmen kidnapped an American development expert, Warren Weinstein. (Weinstein was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Jan. 2015.)
In 2020: In an interview on Fox Business Network, President Donald Trump acknowledged that he was starving the U.S. Postal Service of money in order to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots. Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced that they were establishing full diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by the U.S.; it required Israel to halt its plan to annex occupied West Bank land sought by the Palestinians.
Ten years ago: A routine serving of an eviction notice to a man living near the Texas A&M University campus turned deadly when the resident opened fire, leading to the death of a law enforcement officer and another man before the gunman was killed. Helen Gurley Brown, 90, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died in New York.
Five years ago: In a statement, the White House said President Donald Trump “very strongly” condemned individual hate groups such as “white supremacists, KKK and neo-Nazis;” the statement followed criticism of Trump for blaming the previous day’s deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on “many sides.” Protesters decrying hatred and racism converged around the country, saying they felt compelled to respond to the white supremacist rally in Virginia. Actor, director and writer Joe Bologna died at the age of 82.
One year ago: The Taliban completed their sweep of Afghanistan’s south, taking four more provincial capitals in a lightning offensive that brought them closer to Kabul, just weeks before the U.S. was set to officially end its two-decade war. U.S. weather officials said the average global temperature in July made it the hottest month ever recorded. Grammy-winning folk singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith died at 68.