History | WayBackWhen™

History, WayBackWhen™

WayBackWhen™: August 24

Today is Saturday, August 24, the 236th day of 2013. There are 129 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“No one knows his true character until he has run out of gas, purchased something on the installment plan and raised an adolescent.“ — Marcelene Cox, American writer.

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 24, A.D. 410, Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, a major event in the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

On this date:

In 1572, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of French Protestants at the hands of Catholics began in Paris.

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to the Capitol and the White House, as well as other buildings.

In 1821, the Treaty of Cordoba was signed, granting independence to Mexico from Spanish rule.

In 1912, Congress passed a measure creating the Alaska Territory. Congress approved legislation establishing Parcel Post delivery by the U.S. Post Office Department, slated to begin on Jan. 1, 1913.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., making her the first woman to fly solo, nonstop, from coast to coast.

In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty came into force.

In 1959, three days after Hawaiian statehood, Hiram L. Fong was sworn in as the first Chinese-American U.S. Senator while Daniel K. Inouye (in-OH’-way) was sworn in as the first Japanese-American U.S. Representative.

In 1968, France became the world’s fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.

In 1970, an explosives-laden van left by anti-war extremists blew up outside the University of Wisconsin’s Sterling Hall in Madison, killing 33-year-old researcher Robert Fassnacht.

In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing $30 billion in damage; 43 U.S. deaths were blamed on the storm.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a “dwarf planet.“

Ten years ago:

The Justice Department reported the U.S. crime rate in 2002 was the lowest since studies began in 1973.

Israeli missiles killed four Hamas fighters, including a fugitive commander.

Hurricane Ignacio sideswiped the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.

Former U.S. House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes Jr. died in Mesa, Ariz., at age 86.

Japan’s Musashi-Fuchu routed East Boynton Beach of Florida 10-1 to win the Little League World Series.

Five years ago:

A suicide bomber struck a welcome-home celebration on Baghdad’s outskirts for an Iraqi detainee released from U.S. custody, killing at least 25 people.

An Iran-bound passenger jet carrying 90 people crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing some 70 people.

On the final day of the Beijing Games, Kobe Bryant hit two 3-pointers in a big fourth quarter to help the United States defeat Spain 118-107 and win the men’s basketball gold medal for the first time since 2000.

Waipahu, Hawaii, defeated Matamoros, Mexico, in the Little League World Series, 12-3.

One year ago:

A suit-clad gunman, Jeffrey Johnson, opened fire outside New York’s Empire State Building, killing a former co-worker, Steve Ercolino, before being gunned down by police.

A Norwegian court found Anders Behring Breivik guilty of terrorism and premeditated murder for twin attacks on July 22, 2011, that killed 77 people; he received a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended as long as he is considered dangerous to society.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency wiped out 14 years of Lance Armstrong’s cycling career — including his record seven Tour de France titles — and barred him for life from the sport after concluding he’d used banned substances.

Today’s Birthdays:

Former Education Secretary Shirley Hufstedler is 88

Actor Kenny Baker (“Star Wars”) is 79

Composer-musician Mason Williams is 75

Rhythm-and-blues singer Marshall Thompson (The Chi-Lites) is 71

Rock musician Ken Hensley is 68

Actress Anne Archer is 66

Actor Joe Regalbuto is 64

Actor Kevin Dunn is 58

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is 58

Actor-writer Stephen Fry is 56

Actor Steve Guttenberg is 55

Baseball Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. is 53

Actor Jared Harris is 52

Talk show host Craig Kilborn is 51

Rock singer John Bush is 50

Actress Marlee Matlin is 48

Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller is 48

Broadcast journalist David Gregory (“Meet the Press”) is 43

Country singer Kristyn Osborn (SHeDaisy) is 43

Actor-comedian Dave Chappelle is 40

Actor Carmine Giovinazzo is 40

Actor Alex O’Loughlin (TV: “Hawaii Five-0”) is 37

Actress Beth Riesgraf is 35

Actor Chad Michael Murray is 32

Christian rock musician Jeffrey Gilbert (Kutless) is 30

Singer Mika is 30

Actor Rupert Grint (“Harry Potter” films) is 25

Flashback: What Happened on August 23, ....


•  1893 The World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago held a “West Virginia Day.“

•  1968 An explosion at the Union Carbide Blaine Island plant in South Charleston killed one worker.

•  1989 West Virginia State Attorney Charles Brown resigns abruptly in exchange for an end to grand jury investigation into allegations concerning perjury and campaign financing.

WayBackWhen™: August 23

Today is Friday, August 23, the 235th day of 2013. There are 130 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The chains which cramp us most are those which weigh on us least.“ — Anne Sophie Swetchine, Russian-French author (1782-1857).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 23, 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage-taking began in Stockholm, Sweden; the four hostages ended up empathizing with their captors, a psychological condition now referred to as “Stockholm Syndrome.“

On this date:

In 1305, Scottish rebel leader Sir William Wallace was executed by the English for treason.

In 1775, Britain’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in a state of “open and avowed rebellion.“

In 1858, “Ten Nights in a Bar-room,“ a play by Timothy Shay Arthur about the perils of drinking alcohol, opened in New York.

In 1912, actor, dancer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly was born Eugene Curran Kelly in Pittsburgh.

In 1913, Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story, was unveiled in the harbor of the Danish capital.

In 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I.

In 1926, silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31.

In 1927, amid protests, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery.

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow.

In 1944, Romanian prime minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.

In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein (HAM’-ur-STYN’) II, 65, died in Doylestown, Pa.

In 1982, Lebanon’s parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president; however, Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later.

Ten years ago:

Former priest John Geoghan (GAY’-gun), the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in a Massachusetts prison.

All-Star baseball player Bobby Bonds, slugger Barry Bonds’ father, died at age 57.

Five years ago:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama introduced his choice of running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, before a crowd outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

Two foreign journalists, Canadian Amanda Lindhout and Australian Nigel Brennan, were kidnapped near Mogadishu, Somalia; both were freed after 15 months in captivity.

At the Beijing Olympics, the United States won gold in the women’s and men’s 1,600-meter relay track events.

The U.S. women’s basketball team beat Australia 92-65 to win a fourth straight gold medal.

Angel Matos of Cuba and his coach were banned for life after the taekwondo athlete kicked the referee in the face following his bronze-medal match disqualification.

One year ago:

First lady Michelle Obama consoled relatives of worshippers gunned down at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee.

Lance Armstrong chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, setting the stage for his Tour de France titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Vera Miles is 83

Actress Barbara Eden is 82

Political satirist Mark Russell is 81

Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen is 79

Actor Richard Sanders is 73

Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 71

Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 69

Pro Football Hall of Famer Rayfield Wright is 68

Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 66

Singer Linda Thompson is 66

Actress Shelley Long is 64

Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 64

Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 64

Queen Noor of Jordan is 62

Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 62

Actor Skipp Sudduth is 57

MLB All-Star pitcher Mike Boddicker is 56

Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Army of Anyone; Stone Temple Pilots) is 52

Tejano singer Emilio Navaira (nah-VY’-rah) is 51

Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 44

Actor Jay Mohr is 43

Actor Ray Park is 39

Actor Scott Caan is 37

Country singer Shelly Fairchild is 36

Figure skater Nicole Bobek is 36

Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 35

NBA player Kobe Bryant is 35

Actress Joanne Froggatt is 33

Actress Annie Ilonzeh is 30

Dance musician Sky Blu is 27

Actress Kimberly Matula is 25

NBA player Jeremy Lin is 25

Flashback: What Happened on August 22, ....


•  1864 A skirmish occurred at Huntersville, Greenbrier County.

•  1866 The Democratic Party held its first West Virginia state convention in Parkersburg, greatly diminished in participation due to the disenfranchisement of former Confederates by the Test Oath Act. Benjamin Smith was nominated as the candidate for governor.

•  1872 Secretary of State’s Papers, Election Returns, Boxes Six and Seven, West Virginia State Archives.

•  1888 At their convention in Charleston, the Republicans nominated General Nathan Goff of Clarksburg as candidate for governor.

•  1990 Russell County, Virginia Circuit Court Judge Donald McGlothin ordered the UMW to pay $52 million in fines to Dickenson and Russell counties, the largest fine ever handed down against a labor union.

WayBackWhen™: August 22

Today is Thursday, August 22, the 234th day of 2013. There are 131 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.“ — Claude Debussy, French composer (born this date in 1862, died 1918).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 22, 1485, England’s King Richard III was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field, effectively ending the War of the Roses.

On this date:

In 1787, inventor John Fitch demonstrated his steamboat on the Delaware River to delegates from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1846, Gen. Stephen W. Kearny proclaimed all of New Mexico a territory of the United States.

In 1851, the schooner America outraced more than a dozen British vessels off the English coast to win a trophy that came to be known as the America’s Cup.

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln responded to Horace Greeley’s call for more drastic steps to abolish slavery; Lincoln replied that his priority was saving the Union, but he also repeated his personal wish “that all men everywhere could be free.“

In 1910, Japan annexed Korea, which remained under Japanese control until the end of World War II.

In 1922, Irish revolutionary Michael Collins was shot to death, apparently by Irish Republican Army members opposed to the Anglo-Irish Treaty that Collins had co-signed.

In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corp. conducted its first experimental television broadcast, using a 30-line mechanical system.

In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon were nominated for second terms in office by the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

In 1962, French President Charles de Gaulle survived an attempt on his life in suburban Paris.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI arrived in Bogota, Colombia, for the start of the first papal visit to South America.

In 1972, a hostage drama began at a Chase Manhattan Bank branch in Brooklyn, N.Y., as John Wojtowicz (WAHT’-uh-witz) and Salvatore Naturile seized seven employees during a botched robbery; the siege, which ended with Wojtowicz’s arrest and Naturile’s killing by the FBI, inspired the 1975 movie “Dog Day Afternoon.“

In 1989, Black Panthers co-founder Huey P. Newton was shot to death in Oakland, Calif. Gunman Tyrone Robinson was later sentenced to 32 years to life in prison.

Ten years ago:

Alabama’s chief justice, Roy Moore, was suspended for his refusal to obey a federal court order to remove his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of his courthouse.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry pardoned 35 people arrested in the 1999 Tulia drug busts and convicted on the testimony of a lone undercover agent. (The agent, Tom Coleman, was later found guilty of aggravated perjury and sentenced to 10 years’ probation.)

In Brazil, a rocket exploded on its launch pad during tests just days before liftoff, killing 21 workers.

Five years ago:

Russia said it had pulled back forces from Georgia in accordance with an EU-brokered cease-fire agreement.

Usain (yoo-SAYN’) Bolt helped Jamaica win the 400-meter relay final in 37.10 seconds for his third gold medal and third world record of the Beijing Olympics.

Bryan Clay won the decathlon.

Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers beat Brazil in the men’s beach volleyball championship game.

One year ago:

Ousted Penn State president Graham Spanier and his lawyers attacked a university-backed report on the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, calling it a “blundering and indefensible indictment.“ (Spanier was subsequently charged with covering up a complaint about Sandusky; he denies the allegation.)

Nina Bawden, 87, a British author who wrote children’s classics, including the World War II story “Carrie’s War,“ died in London.

Today’s Birthdays:

Heart surgeon Dr. Denton Cooley is 93

Broadcast journalist Morton Dean is 78

Author Annie Proulx (proo) is 78

Baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski is 74

Actress Valerie Harper is 74

Football coach Bill Parcells is 72

Writer-producer David Chase (TV: “The Sopranos”) is 68

CBS newsman Steve Kroft is 68

Actress Cindy Williams is 66

Pop musician David Marks is 65

International Swimming Hall of Famer Diana Nyad is 64

Baseball Hall of Famer Paul Molitor is 57

Country singer Holly Dunn is 56

Rock musician Vernon Reid is 55

Country singer Ricky Lynn Gregg is 54

Country singer Collin Raye is 53

Actress Regina Taylor is 53

Rock singer Roland Orzabal (Tears For Fears) is 52

Rock musician Debbi Peterson (The Bangles) is 52

Rock musician Gary Lee Conner (Screaming Trees) is 51

Singer Tori Amos is 50

Country singer Mila Mason is 50

Rhythm-and-blues musician James DeBarge is 50

International Tennis Hall of Famer Mats Wilander is 49

Rapper GZA (JIHZ’-ah)/The Genius is 47

Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (ah-day-WAH’-lay ah-kih-NOY’-yay ah-BAH’-jay) is 46

Actor Ty Burrell is 46

Celebrity chef Giada DeLaurentiis is 43

Actress Melinda Page Hamilton (TV: “Devious Maids”) is 42

Actor Rick Yune is 42

Rock musician Paul Doucette (Matchbox Twenty) is 41

Rap-reggae singer Beenie Man is 40

Singer Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys) is 40

Comedian-actress Kristen Wiig is 40

Actress Jenna Leigh Green is 39

Rock musician Bo Koster is 39

Rock musician Dean Back (Theory of a Deadman) is 38

Rock musician Jeff Stinco (Simple Plan) is 35

Actor Brandon Adams is 34

Actress Aya Sumika is 33

Flashback: What Happened on August 21, ....


•  1734 Governor Gooch granted millwrights John Smith and Rees Smith 425 acres in western Jefferson County, including the land for present-day Middleway.

•  1888 The Thurmond Land Company, with its main office in Virginia, filed its charter with the secretary of state.

•  1920 A three-hour battle occurred between guards and striking coal miners in Mingo County; six were killed.

•  1992 A new report revealed toxic emissions at the Union Carbide plants in South Charleston, Kanawha County, had increased over the last year, while the emissions of two other Kanawha County chemical firms had decreased.

WayBackWhen™: August 21

Today is Wednesday, August 21, the 233th day of 2013. There are 132 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“To know a little less and to understand a little more: that, it seems to me, is our greatest need.“ — James Ramsey Ullman, American author (1907-1971).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 21, 1983, Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport.

On this date:

In 1831, Nat Turner led a violent slave rebellion in Virginia resulting in the deaths of at least 55 white people. He was later executed.

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

In 1863, pro-Confederate raiders attacked Lawrence, Kan., massacring the men and destroying the town’s buildings.

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 1912, the Boy Scouts of America named its first Eagle Scout, Arthur Rose Eldred of Troop 1 in Rockville Centre, N.Y.

In 1940, exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in a Mexican hospital from wounds inflicted by an assassin the day before.

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

In 1963, martial law was declared in South Vietnam as police and army troops began a violent crackdown on Buddhist anti-government protesters.

In 1972, the Republican National Convention opened in Miami Beach.

In 1983, the musical play “La Cage Aux Folles” opened on Broadway.

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 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.

Ten years ago:

Alabama’s top judge, Chief Justice Roy Moore, refused to back down in his fight to keep a Ten Commandments monument and lashed out at his colleagues who’d ordered it removed from the rotunda of the state judicial building.

Palestinian militants abandoned a 2-month-old truce after Israel killed a Hamas leader in a missile attack.

The French government acknowledged that as many as 10,000 people might have died in the country’s heat wave.

Paul Hamm (hahm) put together a near-perfect routine on the high bar to become the first American man to win the all-around gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championship.

Five years ago:

President George W. Bush issued a federal disaster declaration for parts of Florida affected by Tropical Storm Fay.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Baghdad for discussions with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top Iraqi officials.

Twin Taliban suicide bombings at Pakistan’s largest weapons complex killed at least 67 people.

At the Summer Olympics, Japan defeated the U.S. softball team, 3-1, to win the gold medal.

Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor won their second consecutive gold medal in beach volleyball, beating Wang Jie and Tian Jia of China.

The U.S. women’s soccer team won the gold medal by beating Brazil 1-0 in extra time.

One-time actor Fred Crane, who’d played one of the Tarleton twins in “Gone With the Wind,“ died in Atlanta at age 90.

One year 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.)

Today’s Birthdays:

Former football player Pete Retzlaff is 82

Actor-director Melvin Van Peebles is 81

Playwright Mart Crowley is 78

Singer Kenny Rogers is 75

Actor Clarence Williams III is 74

Rock-and-roll musician James Burton is 74

Singer Harold Reid (The Statler Brothers) is 74

Singer Jackie DeShannon is 72

College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Lanier is 68

Actress Patty McCormack is 68

Pop singer-musician Carl Giammarese (jee-ah mah-REE’-see) is 66

Actress Loretta Devine is 64

NBC newsman Harry Smith is 62

Singer Glenn Hughes is 61

Country musician Nick Kane is 59

Actress Kim Cattrall is 57

College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon is 54

Actress Cleo King is 51

MLB All-Star pitcher John Wetteland is 47

Rock singer Serj Tankian (TAN’-kee-ahn) (System of a Down) is 46

Actress Carrie-Anne Moss is 43

MLB player Craig Counsell is 43

Rock musician Liam Howlett (Prodigy) is 42

Actress Alicia Witt is 38

Singer Kelis (kuh-LEES’) is 34

TV personality Brody Jenner is 30

Singer Melissa Schuman is 29

Olympic gold medal sprinter Usain (yoo-SAYN’) Bolt is 27

Actor Cody Kasch is 26

Country singer Kacey Musgraves is 25

Actress Hayden Panettiere (pan’-uh-tee-EHR’) is 24

Actor RJ Mitte is 21

Flashback: What Happened on August 20, ....


•  1873 The first locomotive extensively rebuilt in the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad shops in Huntington was put into service.

•  1895 A board of regents was appointed for Bluefield Colored Institute in Bluefield, Mercer. This later became Bluefield State College.

•  1920 Governor Cornwell requested a battalion of federal troops to guard coal mines in the southern part of the state.

•  1921 Five thousand armed coal miners gathered at Lens Creek, near Marmet, Kanawha County, to march to Logan, Logan County.

•  1923 The first annual State Farmers’ Camp was held at Jackson’s Mill, Lewis County.

•  1926 Philip Euman was executed by hanging at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville (Marshall County) for a murder committed in Harrison County.

•  1982 WWVU - FM radio went on the air at West Virginia University.

•  1988 WJJB - FM radio went on the air in Romney, Hampshire County. It was owned by Warren Gregory.

WayBackWhen™: August 20

Today is Tuesday, August 20, the 232nd day of 2013. There are 133 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“You know you’re old when your walker has an airbag.“ — Phyllis Diller (1917-2012).

Today’s Highlights in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 20, 1968, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact nations began invading Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” liberalization drive.

On this date:

In 1833, Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, was born in North Bend, Ohio.

In 1862, the New York Tribune published an open letter by editor Horace Greeley calling on President Abraham Lincoln to take more aggressive measures to free the slaves and end the South’s rebellion.

In 1866, President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over, months after fighting had stopped.

In 1882, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” had its premiere in Moscow.

In 1910, a series of forest fires swept through parts of Idaho, Montana and Washington, killing at least 85 people and burning some 3 million acres.

In 1940, during World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force before the House of Commons, saying, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.“

In 1953, the Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

In 1955, hundreds of people were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.

In 1972, the Wattstax concert took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In 1977, the U.S. launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

In 1988, a cease-fire in the war between Iraq and Iran went into effect. Eight British soldiers were killed by an Irish Republican Army land mine that destroyed a military bus near Omagh, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.

In 1992, shortly after midnight, the Republican National Convention in Houston renominated President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle.

Ten years ago:

Opponents of Hugo Chavez (OO’-goh CHAH’-vez) turned in 2.7 million signatures to demand a referendum on ending his tumultuous presidency.

The United States won the women’s overall team gold medal at the World Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, Calif.; Romania took the silver medal and Australia, the bronze.

Five years ago:

A Spanish jetliner crashed during takeoff from Madrid, killing 154 people; 18 survived.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski signed a deal to put a U.S. missile defense base in Poland.

In Beijing, Usain (yoo-SAYN’) Bolt of Jamaica broke the world record by winning the 200 meters in 19.30 seconds.

Former Chinese leader Hua Guofeng died in Beijing at age 87.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress, died in Cleveland at age 58.

Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, died near California’s Lake Tahoe at age 63.

One year ago:

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., fought to salvage his U.S. Senate campaign even as members of his own party turned against him over his comments that women were able to prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.“ (Akin lost the election.)

In a historic change at one of the world’s most exclusive golf clubs, Augusta National invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first female members; both women accepted.

Two college friends, Elizabeth Nass and Rose Mayr, were killed when a CSX train derailed on a rail bridge in Ellicott City, Md., burying the young women in coal.

Comedian Phyllis Diller, 95, died at her Los Angeles home.

Today’s Birthdays:

Writer-producer-director Walter Bernstein is 94

Boxing promoter Don King is 82

Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, is 80

Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is 78

Former MLB All-Star Graig Nettles is 69

Broadcast journalist Connie Chung is 67

Musician Jimmy Pankow (Chicago) is 66

Actor John Noble is 65

Rock singer Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) is 65

Country singer Rudy Gatlin is 61

Singer-songwriter John Hiatt is 61

Actor-director Peter Horton is 60

TV weatherman Al Roker is 59

Actor Jay Acovone is 58

Actress Joan Allen is 57

Movie director David O. Russell (“The Fighter”) is 55

TV personality Asha Blake is 52

Actor James Marsters is 51

Rapper KRS-One is 48

Actor Colin Cunningham is 47

Actor Billy Gardell is 44

Rock singer Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) is 43

Rock musician Brad Avery is 42

Actor Jonathan Ke Quan is 42

Actor Misha Collins (TV: “Supernatural”) is 39

Rock singer Monique Powell (Save Ferris) is 38

Actor Ben Barnes is 32

Actress Meghan Ory (TV: “Once Upon a Time”) is 31

Actor Andrew Garfield is 30

Actress-singer Demi Lovato is 21

Flashback: What Happened on August 19, ....


•  1861 The Committee of Home Defense of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offered Reorganized Government of Virginia Governor a regiment of Union troops.

•  1863 Union troops destroyed saltpeter works in Franklin, Pendleton County.

•  1871 The State Supreme Court upheld the law moving the Jefferson County seat from Shepherdstown to Charles Town.

•  1875 The Parkersburg Ferry Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: William H. Alleman, Gilbert Matthews, H. D. Truman, Joseph Geering, and John W. Matthews. The company’s purpose was to operate a ferry across the Little Kanawha River at Parkersburg.

•  1947 WPDX - AM radio went on the air in Clarksburg.

•  1950 WELC - AM radio went on the air in Welch, McDowell County. It was owned by the Pocahontas Broadcasting Company.

•  1974 WPDX - FM radio went on the air in Clarksburg, a sister station to WPDX - AM.

•  1980 The AFL/CIO formally endorsed Governor Jay Rockefeller in his re-election.

WayBackWhen™: August 19

Today is Monday, August 19, the 231st day of 2013. There are 134 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers.“ - Janis Joplin, American rock singer (1943-1970).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 19, 1848, the New York Herald reported the discovery of gold in California.

On this date:

In 1807, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat arrived in Albany, two days after leaving New York.

In 1812, the USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia during the War of 1812, earning the nickname “Old Ironsides.“

In 1918, “Yip! Yip! Yaphank,“ a musical revue by Irving Berlin featuring Army recruits from Camp Upton in Yaphank, N.Y., opened on Broadway.

In 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.

In 1936, the first of a series of show trials orchestrated by Soviet leader Josef Stalin began in Moscow as 16 defendants faced charges of conspiring against the government. All were convicted and executed.

In 1942, during World War II, about 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launched a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering more than 50 percent casualties.

In 1951, the owner of the St. Louis Browns, Bill Veeck (vehk), sent in 3-foot-7 Eddie Gaedel to pinch-hit in a game against Detroit. In his only major league at-bat, Gaedel walked on four pitches and was replaced at first base by a pinch-runner.

In 1960, a tribunal in Moscow convicted American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage. Although sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, Powers was returned to the United States in 1962 as part of a prisoner exchange.

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford won the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Kansas City.

In 1980, 301 people aboard a Saudi Arabian L-1011 died as the jetliner made a fiery emergency return to the Riyadh airport.

In 1982, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya (sah-VEETS’-kah-yah) became the second woman to be launched into space.

In 1991, Soviet hard-liners made the stunning announcement that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev had been removed from power, a coup attemp that collapsed two days later.

Ten years ago:

A suicide truck bomb struck U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22, including the top U.N. envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello (SUR’-jee-oh vee-EHR’-uh duh MEHL’-oh).

A suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem killed 22 people.

Five years ago:

Tropical Storm Fay rolled ashore in Florida short of hurricane strength but mysteriously gained speed as it headed over land.

Heavily armed insurgents in Afghanistan killed 10 French soldiers in a mountain ambush and then sent a squad of suicide bombers in a failed assault on a U.S. base near the Pakistan border.

Russia and Georgia exchanged prisoners captured during their brief war.

American Shawn Johnson won a gold medal on the balance beam at the Beijing games.

LeRoi Moore, a versatile saxophonist with the Dave Matthews Band, died in Los Angeles of complications from an ATV accident; he was 46.

One year ago:

Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, the conservative Republican U.S. Senate candidate, said in a television interview that it was “really rare” for women to become pregnant when they were raped.

Akin afterwards backed off his on-air comments, saying that he’d misspoken.

NATO said a man in an Afghan police uniform shot and killed an international service member, raising the death toll to 10 in such attacks in the space of just two weeks.

Tony Scott, 68, director of such Hollywood hits as “Top Gun” and “Days of Thunder,“ died in Los Angeles after jumping from a suspension bridge.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor L.Q. Jones is 86

Actress Debra Paget is 80

USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Famer Renee Richards is 79

Former MLB All-Star Bobby Richardson is 78

Actress Diana Muldaur is 75

Rock musician Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith) is 74

Singer Johnny Nash is 73

Actress Jill St. John is 73

Actor and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson is 71

Singer Billy J. Kramer is 70

Country singer-songwriter Eddy Raven is 69

Rock singer Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) is 68

Former President Bill Clinton is 67

Tipper Gore, wife of former Vice President Al Gore, is 65

Actor Jim Carter is 65

Actor Gerald McRaney is 65

Rock musician John Deacon (Queen) is 62

Actor-director Jonathan Frakes is 61

Political consultant Mary Matalin is 60

Actor Peter Gallagher is 58

Actor Adam Arkin is 57

Singer-songwriter Gary Chapman is 56

Actor Martin Donovan is 56

Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz is 55

Rhythm-and-blues singer Ivan Neville is 54

Actor Eric Lutes is 51

Actor John Stamos is 50

Actress Kyra Sedgwick is 48

Actor Kevin Dillon is 48

Country singer Lee Ann Womack is 47

TV reporter Tabitha Soren is 46

Country singer-songwriter Mark McGuinn is 45

Actor Matthew Perry is 44

Country singer Clay Walker is 44

Rapper Fat Joe is 43

Olympic gold medal tennis player Mary Joe Fernandez is 42

Actress Tracie Thoms is 38

Country singer Rissi (REE’-see) Palmer is 32

Actress Erika Christensen is 31

Pop singer Missy Higgins is 30

Country singer Karli Osborn is 29

Olympic silver medal snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis is 28

Actor J. Evan Bonifant is 28

Rapper Romeo is 24

Flashback: What Happened on August 18, ....


•  1747 George Washington was employed surveying lands for Lord Fairfax on the Upper Potomac River.

•  1749 Celeron de Blainville buried lead plates inscribed with the French claim to the Ohio Valley. He had led a company of French and Native Americans down the Ohio River.

•  1749 Thomas Lord Fairfax conveyed Lot No. 25 of the Fairfax South Branch survey less than one mile south of Hanging Rocks in present-day Hampshire County to Benjamin Forman, whose son later erected Fort Forman on the property.

•  1919 West Virginia paid $1,062,867.16 to the state of Virginia toward its debt.

•  1963 The Southern Governors Convention began at the Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs. Alabama Governor George Wallace requested a formal protest of the civil rights march in Washington on August 28, causing demonstrations at the Greenbrier, gaining national attention.

•  1992 The first official pre- season NCAA Division I-AA football poll ranked Marshall University second in the nation. Youngstown State, which defeated Marshall in the national championship game the previous season, was ranked first.

WayBackWhen™: August 18

Today is Sunday, August 18, the 230th day of 2013. There are 135 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“That is one of the bitter curses of poverty; it leaves no right to be generous.“ – George Gissing, English author and critic (1857-1903).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 18, 1963, James Meredith became the first black student to graduate from the University of Mississippi.

On this date:

In 1587, Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil, on what is now Roanoke Island in North Carolina. (However, the Roanoke colony ended up mysteriously disappearing.)

In 1838, the first marine expedition sponsored by the U.S. government set sail from Hampton Roads, Va.; the crews traveled the southern Pacific Ocean, gathering scientific information.

In 1846, U.S. forces led by General Stephen W. Kearny captured Santa Fe, N.M.

In 1862, Dakota Indians began an uprising in Minnesota (the revolt was crushed by U.S. forces some six weeks later).

In 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing all American women’s right to vote, was ratified as Tennessee became the 36th state to approve it.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King dedicated the Thousand Islands Bridge connecting the United States and Canada.

In 1958, the novel “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov was first published in New York by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, almost three years after it was originally published in Paris.

In 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, N.Y., wound to a close after three nights with a midmorning set by Jimi Hendrix.

In 1976, two U.S. Army officers were killed in Korea’s demilitarized zone as a group of North Korean soldiers wielding axes and metal pikes attacked U.S. and South Korean soldiers.

In 1983, Hurricane Alicia slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 21 dead and causing more than a billion dollars’ worth of damage. The Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Yankees, 5-4, in the completion of the “pine-tar” game in just 12 minutes.

In 1988, Vice President George H.W. Bush accepted the presidential nomination of his party at the Republican National Convention in New Orleans.

In 1993, a judge in Sarasota, Fla., ruled that Kimberly Mays, the 14-year-old girl who had been switched at birth with another baby, need never again see her biological parents, Ernest and Regina Twigg, in accordance with her stated wishes. (However, Kimberly later moved in with the Twiggs.)

Ten years ago:

A senior French health official resigned after France’s health minister admitted that up to 5,000 people might have died in a heat wave.

The Liberian government and rebels signed a peace accord.

Islamic extremists freed 14 European tourists six months after they’d been kidnapped by an al-Qaida-linked group in the Algerian desert.

Five years ago:

Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ’ moo-SHAH’-ruhv) resigned as the president of Pakistan.

Tropical Storm Fay pounded Cuba with torrential rain and wind before sweeping across the Florida Keys.

One year ago:

Tropical Storm Helene quickly weakened into a tropical depression after moving ashore on Mexico’s Gulf Coast.

Diana Nyad launched her latest attempt to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a wetsuit or a shark cage, ending her bid three days later.

Singer Scott McKenzie, 73, who performed “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)“ – which became a hit in 1967 during the city’s “Summer of Love” – died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays:

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter is 86

Academy Award-winning director Roman Polanski is 80

Attorney and author Vincent Bugliosi is 79

Olympic gold medal decathlete Rafer Johnson is 78

Actor-director Robert Redford is 77

Actor Christopher Jones is 72

Actor Henry G. Sanders is 71

Rhythm-and-blues singer Sarah Dash (LaBelle) is 70

Actor-comedian Martin Mull is 70

Rock musician Dennis Elliott is 63

Comedian Elayne Boosler is 61

Country singer Steve Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 58

Actor Denis Leary is 56

Actress Madeleine Stowe is 55

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (GYT’-nur) is 52

ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff is 52

The former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, is 51

Bluegrass musician Jimmy Mattingly is 51

Actor Adam Storke is 51

Actor Craig Bierko (BEER’-koh) is 49

Rock singer-musician Zac Maloy (The Nixons) is 45

Rock singer and hip-hop artist Everlast is 44

Rapper Masta Killa (Wu-Tang Clan) is 44

Actor Christian Slater is 44

Actor Edward Norton is 44

Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner is 43

Actress Kaitlin Olson is 38

Actor-writer-director Hadjii is 37

Rock musician Dirk Lance is 37

Actor-comedian Andy Samberg (“Saturday Night Live”) is 35

Actress Mika Boorem is 26

Actress Parker McKenna Posey is 18

Flashback: What Happened on August 17, ....


•  1874 The Lewisburg Female Institute was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Samuel Price, B. F. Harlow, James Withrow, Johnston E. Bell, John Withrow, James N. Montgomery, A. C. Snyder, R. F. Dennis, J. W. Mathews, Alexander F. Mathews, S. H. Austin, C. N. Austin, William H. Montgomery, Thomas Mathews, Austin Handley, John S. Johnson, Harvey Handley, M. L. Lacy, Richard Thomas, A. P. Sydenstricker, John Lipps, Samuel S. Johnson, W. W. Moore, M. B. White, and John Echols, all of Lewisburg and the vicinity, Greenbrier County.

•  1932 Raymond Johnson filed a trespass lawsuit against the Rinehart and Dennis construction firm for developing silicosis while working on the Hawks Nest Tunnel at Alloy, Fayette County, part of a project designed by the New-Kanawha Power Company, a subsidiary of the Union Carbide Corporation. The following April, Fayette County Circuit Court Judge J. W. Eary dismissed the case due to a deadlocked jury and Johnson died before the case could be re-tried. However, for the first time, there was testimony of an attempted cover-up, as Nicholas County undertaker Handley C. White admitted he had been paid an excessive amount of money for the secret burial of corpses. At least 476 workers, most migrant African-Americans (Raymond Johnson was white), died from silicosis, caused from inhalation of silica rock particles under inadequate safety conditions. Fifty years later, some studies placed the death toll as high as 764, making it the worst industrial disaster in United States history.

•  1981 WVMR - AM went on the air at Dunmore, the first radio station in Pocahontas County. It was owned by the non-profit Pocahontas Communications Cooperative Corporation.

•  1992 John Myers was sworn in as the superintendent of Logan County schools, appointed by the state following their takeover of the school board.

WayBackWhen™: August 17

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

Thought for Today:

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.“ — Edith Wharton, American author (1862-1937).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 17, 1943, the Allied conquest of Sicily during World War II was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina.

On this date:

In 1807, Robert Fulton’s North River Steamboat began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round trip between New York and Albany.

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

In 1915, a mob in Cobb County, Ga., lynched Jewish businessman Leo Frank, whose death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan had been commuted to life imprisonment. (Frank, who’d maintained his innocence, was pardoned by the state of Georgia in 1986.)

In 1942, during World War II, U.S. 8th Air Force bombers attacked German forces in Rouen, France. U.S. Marines raided a Japanese seaplane base on Makin Island.

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

In 1969, Hurricane Camille slammed into the Mississippi coast as a Category 5 storm that was blamed for 256 U.S. deaths, three in Cuba.

In 1978, the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II outside Paris.

In 1983, lyricist Ira Gershwin died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 86.

In 1985, more than 1,400 meatpackers walked off the job at the Geo. A. Hormel and Co.‘s main plant in Austin, Minn., in a bitter strike that lasted just over a year.

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

In 1988, Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel (RAY’-fehl) were killed in a mysterious plane crash.

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

Ten years ago:

Federal investigators joined 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 promised to get answers and address whatever problem was found. Insurgents attacked a police station in Afghanistan, killing some two dozen people.

Five years ago:

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

In tennis, Venus and Serena Williams defeated Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain in women’s doubles; Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Gonzalez of Chile in the men’s singles; Elena Dementieva defeated fellow Russian Dinara Safina in the women’s singles.

Matamoros, Mexico, pitcher Jesus Sauceda had the fifth perfect game in Little League World Series history as he struck out all 12 batters in a 12-0 win over Emilia, Italy.

One year ago:

In Moscow, a judge sentenced three punk rock-style activists, members of the band Pussy Riot, to two years in prison for hooliganism for briefly taking over a cathedral in a raucous prayer for deliverance from Russian President Vladimir Putin; the court decision drew protests around the world. (One of the three defendants was later released on probation.)

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Maureen O’Hara is 93

Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (jahng zuh-MEEN’) is 87

Author V.S. Naipaul is 81

Former MLB All-Star Boog Powell is 72

Actor Robert DeNiro is 70

Movie director Martha Coolidge is 67

Rock musician Gary Talley (The Box Tops) is 66

Rock musician Sib Hashian is 64

Actor Robert Joy is 62

International Tennis Hall of Famer Guillermo Vilas is 61

Rock singer Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) is 60

Rock musician Colin Moulding (XTC) is 58

Country singer-songwriter Kevin Welch is 58

Olympic gold medal figure skater Robin Cousins is 56

Singer Belinda Carlisle is 55

Author Jonathan Franzen is 54

Jazz musician Everette Harp is 52

Rock musician Gilby Clarke is 51

Singer Maria McKee is 49

Rock musician Steve Gorman (The Black Crowes) is 48

Rock musician Jill Cunniff (kuh-NIHF’) is 47

Actor David Conrad is 46

Singer Donnie Wahlberg is 44

Former NBA player Christian Laettner is 44

Rapper Posdnuos (PAHS’-deh-noos) is 44

International Tennis Hall of Famer Jim Courier is 43

MLB player Jorge Posada is 42

Actor Mark Salling (TV: “Glee”) is 31

Actor Bryton James is 27

Actor Brady Corbet (kohr-BAY’) is 25

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Hosting Free Civil War Weekend

The Gilmer Free Press

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is planning a free Civil War Weekend featuring re-enactors, exhibits, firing demonstrations and storytellers at the sprawling Weston complex.

Actors will play historical figures including General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and one of West Virginia’s founding fathers, Francis Pierpont.

Events Saturday include a dress-making workshop, bayonet drills, live music, letter readings, comedy performances and an evening ball.

A Confederate soldiers’ baseball game is set for Sunday.

Virginia legislators authorized construction of the hospital in 1858, and it began taking patients in 1864.

The hospital repeatedly changed hands during the Civil War, ending up with West Virginia when it became a separate state.

Originally intended for 250 patients, it housed nearly 10 times that many during the 1950s.

Known later as Weston Hospital, it closed in 1994.

Flashback: What Happened on August 16, ....


•  1890 Salem Academy, located at Salem, Harrison County, changed its name to Salem College. Its president was J. F. Randolph.

•  1977 Due to devastating floods, Mingo County and Logan County were declared federal disaster areas.

WayBackWhen™: August 16

Today is Friday, August 16, the 228th day of 2013. There are 137 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“In politics people give you what they think you deserve and deny you what they think you want.“ — Cyril Northcote Parkinson, British historian and author.

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died at his Graceland estate in Memphis, Tenn., at age 42.

On this date:

In 1777, American forces won the Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington.

In 1812, Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

In 1858, a telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President James Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued Proclamation 86, which prohibited the states of the Union from engaging in commercial trade with states in rebellion — i.e., the Confederacy.

In 1913, future Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was born in Brest in present-day Belarus.

In 1937, the American Federation of Radio Artists was chartered.

In 1948, baseball legend Babe Ruth died in New York at age 53.

In 1954, Sports Illustrated was first published by Time Inc.

In 1956, Adlai E. Stevenson was nominated for president at the Democratic national convention in Chicago.

In 1962, The Beatles fired their original drummer, Pete Best, replacing him with Ringo Starr.

In 1987, 156 people were killed when Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed while trying to take off from Detroit; the sole survivor was 4-year-old Cecelia Cichan (SHEE’-an). People worldwide began a two-day celebration of the “harmonic convergence,“ which heralded what believers called the start of a new, purer age of humankind.

In 1993, New York police rescued business executive Harvey Weinstein from a covered 14-foot-deep pit, where he’d been held nearly two weeks for ransom. Actor Stewart Granger died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 80.

Ten years ago:

The Midwest and Northeast were almost fully recovered from the worst power outage in U.S. history.

A car driven by U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow ran a stop sign on a rural road in South Dakota and collided with motorcyclist Randy Scott, who died.

Idi Amin, the former dictator of Uganda, died in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia; he was believed to have been about 80.

Five years ago:

At the Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps touched the wall a hundredth of a second ahead of Serbia’s Milorad Cavic (MEE’-loh-rahd KAH’-vihch) to win the 100-meter butterfly, giving Phelps his seventh gold medal of the Games, tying Mark Spitz’s performance in the 1972 Munich Games.

Usain (yoo-SAYN’) Bolt of Jamaica ran the 100-meter dash in a stunning world-record time of 9.69 seconds.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and actress Portia de Rossi were married at their Beverly Hills home.

One year ago:

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney declared he had paid at least 13% of his income in federal taxes every year for the previous decade; President Barack Obama’s campaign shot back in doubt: “Prove it.“

A U.S. military helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in southern Afghanistan, killing seven Americans and four Afghans.

Ecuador decided to identify WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a refugee and give him asylum in its London embassy.

Character actor William Windom, 88, died in Woodacre, Calif.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Ann Blyth is 85

Sportscaster Frank Gifford is 83

Actor Gary Clarke is 80

Actress Julie Newmar is 80

Actor John Standing is 79

College Football Hall of Famer and NFL player Bill Glass is 78

Actress Anita Gillette is 77

Actress Carole Shelley is 74

Country singer Billy Joe Shaver is 74

Movie director Bruce Beresford is 73

Actor Bob Balaban is 68

Ballerina Suzanne Farrell is 68

Actress Lesley Ann Warren is 67

Rock singer-musician Joey Spampinato is 63

Actor Reginald VelJohnson is 61

TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford is 60

Rhythm-and-blues singer J.T. Taylor is 60

Movie director James Cameron is 59

Actor Jeff Perry is 58

Rock musician Tim Farriss (INXS) is 56

Actress Laura Innes is 56

Singer Madonna is 55

Actress Angela Bassett is 55

Actor Timothy Hutton is 53

Actor Steve Carell (kuh-REHL’) is 51

Former tennis player Jimmy Arias is 49

Actor-singer Donovan Leitch is 46

Actor Andy Milder is 45

Actor Seth Peterson is 43

Country singer Emily Robison (The Dixie Chicks) is 41

Actor George Stults is 38

Singer Vanessa Carlton is 33

Actor Cam Gigandet is 31

Actress Agnes Bruckner is 28

Actress Cristin Milioti is 28

Actor Shawn Pyfrom is 27

Country singer Ashton Shepherd is 27

Actor Kevin G. Schmidt is 25

Actress Rumer Willis is 25

Singer-pianist Greyson Chance is 16

Flashback: What Happened on August 15, ....


•  1900 Construction began on the West Virginia Reform School in Lakin, Mason County. It was completed two years later.

•  1940 Heavy rains caused flooding of the Kanawha River and New River, Kanawha County and Fayette County.

•  1946 WCFC radio went on the air in Beckley, the first FM radio station in West Virginia. The suspended operations in 1951.

•  1954 WCHS - TV went on the air, the first television station in Charleston. It was owned by the Tierney Company of Bluefield, Mercer County, with Lewis Tierney as president.

WayBackWhen™: August 15

Today is Thursday, August 15, the 227th day of 2013. There are 138 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“To feel that one has a place in life solves half the problem of contentment.“ — George Edward Woodberry, American poet, critic and educator (1855-1930).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York.

On this date:

In 1057, Macbeth, King of Scots, was killed in battle by Malcolm, the eldest son of King Duncan, whom Macbeth had slain.

In 1483, the Sistine Chapel was consecrated by Pope Sixtus IV.

In 1769, Napoleon Bonaparte was born on the island of Corsica.

In 1812, the Battle of Fort Dearborn took place as Potawatomi warriors attacked a U.S. military garrison of about 100 people. (Most of the garrison was killed, while the remainder were taken prisoner.)

In 1914, the Panama Canal opened to traffic.

In 1935, humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow in the Alaska Territory.

In 1945, in a radio address, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced that his country had accepted terms of surrender for ending World War II.

In 1947, India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.

In 1961, as workers began constructing a Berlin Wall made of concrete, East German soldier Conrad Schumann leapt to freedom over a tangle of barbed wire.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents. Bahrain declared its independence from Britain.

In 1974, a gunman attempted to shoot South Korean President Park Chung-hee during a speech; although Park was unhurt, his wife was struck and killed, along with a teenage girl. (The gunman was later executed.)

In 1998, 29 people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh (OH’-mah), Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.

Ten years ago:

Bouncing back from the largest blackout in U.S. history, cities from the Midwest to Manhattan restored power to millions of people.

Five years ago:

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili grudgingly signed a U.S.-backed truce with Russia, even as he denounced the Russians as invading barbarians and accused the West of all but encouraging them to overrun his country.

Michael Phelps won his sixth gold medal with his sixth world record, in the 200-meter individual medley at the Summer Olympics.

American Nastia Liukin won the gold in women’s gymnastics; friend and teammate Shawn Johnson was second.

Record producer Jerry Wexler, who coined the term “rhythm and blues,“ died in Sarasota, Fla. at age 91.

National Public Radio commentator Leroy Sievers, who’d shared his struggle with cancer, died at his Maryland home at age 53.

One year ago:

Felix Hernandez pitched the Seattle Mariners’ first perfect game and the 23rd in baseball history, overpowering the Tampa Bay Rays in a brilliant 1-0 victory; it was the third perfect game and sixth no-hitter of the season.

The United States broke a 75-year winless streak at Mexico’s intimidating Azteca Stadium with an 80th minute goal and a series of saves that delivered a 1-0 victory.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Rose Marie is 90

Political activist Phyllis Schlafly is 89

Actor Mike Connors is 88

Game show host Jim Lange is 81

Actress Lori Nelson is 80

Civil rights activist Vernon Jordan is 78

Actor Jim Dale is 78

Actress Pat Priest is 77

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 75

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is 75

Musician Pete York (Spencer Davis Group) is 71

Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 69

Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 67

Rock singer-musician Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers) is 65

Actress Phyllis Smith is 64

Britain’s Princess Anne is 63

Actress Tess Harper is 63

Actor Larry Mathews is 58

Actor Zeljko Ivanek (ZEHL’-koh eh-VON’-ehk) is 56

Actor-comedian Rondell Sheridan is 55

Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson (The The) is 52

Movie director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (ihn-YAH’-ee-tu) is 50

Country singer Angela Rae (Wild Horses) is 47

Actor Peter Hermann is 46

Actress Debra Messing is 45

Actor Anthony Anderson is 43

Actor Ben Affleck is 41

Singer Mikey Graham (Boyzone) is 41

Actress Natasha Henstridge is 39

Actress Nicole Paggi is 36

Figure skater Jennifer Kirk is 29

Latin pop singer Belinda (cq) is 24

Rock singer Joe Jonas (The Jonas Brothers) is 24

Actor-singer Carlos Pena is 24

Actress Jennifer Lawrence is 23

Rap DJ Smoove da General (Cali Swag District) is 23

Flashback: What Happened on August 14, ....


•  1945 World War II ended with Japan’s surrender. Governor Clarence Meadows called for twenty-four hours of prayer and thanksgiving.

•  1973 It was announced that West Virginia’s higher education facilities would be made accessible to the handicapped.

•  1992 The State Board of Education ruled that Preston County students who lived closer to Tucker County schools than those in their own county could choose which schools to attend.

WayBackWhen™: August 14

Today is Wednesday, August 14, the 226th day of 2013. There are 139 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The old forget. The young don’t know.“ — Japanese proverb.

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 14, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.

On this date:

In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created.

In 1908, a race riot erupted in Springfield, Ill., as a white mob began setting black-owned homes and businesses on fire; at least two blacks and five whites were killed in the violence.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, a statement of principles that renounced aggression.

In 1947, Pakistan became independent of British rule.

In 1951, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, 88, died in Beverly Hills, Calif.

In 1962, robbers held up a U.S. mail truck in Plymouth, Mass., making off with more than $1.5 million; the loot was never recovered.

In 1963, playwright Clifford Odets, 57, died in Los Angeles.

In 1969, British troops went to Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

In 1973, U.S. bombing of Cambodia came to a halt.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II denounced abortion and euthanasia as well as sexual abuse by American priests in a speech at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver.

In 1997, an unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.

Ten years ago:

A huge blackout hit the northeastern United States and part of Canada; 50 million people lost power.

The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, said he would not remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, defying a federal court order to remove the granite monument.

Rebels lifted their siege of Liberia’s capital.

Five years ago:

President George W. Bush signed consumer-safety legislation that banned lead from children’s toys, imposing the toughest standard in the world.

One year ago:

Vice President Joe Biden sparked a campaign commotion, telling an audience in southern Virginia that included hundreds of black voters that Republican Mitt Romney wanted to put them “back in chains” by deregulating Wall Street. (Biden later mocked Republican criticism over the remark while conceding he’d meant to use different words.)

Ron Palillo, the actor best known as the nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,“ died in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., at age 63.

Today’s Birthdays:

Broadway lyricist Lee Adams (“Bye Bye Birdie”) is 89

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russell Baker is 88

Singer Buddy Greco is 87

College Football Hall of Famer John Brodie is 78

Singer Dash Crofts is 75

Rock singer David Crosby is 72

Country singer Connie Smith is 72

Comedian-actor Steve Martin is 68

Actor Antonio Fargas is 67

Singer-musician Larry Graham is 67

Actress Susan Saint James is 67

Actor David Schramm is 67

Author Danielle Steel is 66

Rock singer-musician Terry Adams (NRBQ) is 63

“Far Side” cartoonist Gary Larson is 63

Actor Carl Lumbly is 62

Olympic gold medal swimmer Debbie Meyer is 61

Film composer James Horner is 60

Actress Jackee Harry is 57

Actress Marcia Gay Harden is 54

Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson is 54

Singer Sarah Brightman is 53

Actress Susan Olsen is 52

Actress-turned-fashion/interior designer Cristi Conaway is 49

Rock musician Keith Howland (Chicago) is 49

Actress Halle Berry is 47

Actress Catherine Bell is 45

Country musician Cody McCarver (Confederate Railroad) is 45

Rock musician Kevin Cadogan is 43

Actor Scott Michael Campbell is 42

Actress Lalanya Masters is 41

Actor Christopher Gorham is 39

Actress Mila Kunis is 30

TV personality Spencer Pratt is 30

NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is 26

Flashback: What Happened on August 13, ....


•  1763 In a letter to Robert Stewart, Colonel George Washington described his plans for defending western Virginia settlements during Pontiacs War by stationing 500 soldiers in Hampshire County and elsewhere.

•  1862 A skirmish was fought at Bluestone, present-day Summers County.

•  1992 The state announced a new West Virginia Streams Restoration Program which would put $14 million into treating acid mine drainage over a four year period.

•  1992 The West Virginia Public Service Commission asked Appalachian Power Company to delay construction of a 765,000-kilovolt power line across the southern part of the state until an impact study on the Jefferson National Forest could be completed in 1994.

WayBackWhen™: August 13

Today is Tuesday, August 13, the 225th day of 2013. There are 140 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“It is always too late, or too little, or both. And that is the road to disaster.“ — David Lloyd George, English statesman (1863-1945).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 13, 1913, British metallurgist Harry Brearley developed an alloy that came to be known as “stainless steel.“ (Although Brearley is often credited as the “inventor” of stainless steel, he was hardly alone in working to create steel that resisted corrosion.)

On this date:

In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured Tenochtitlan (teh-natch-teet-LAHN’), present-day Mexico City, from the Aztecs.

In 1624, King Louis XIII of France appointed Cardinal Richelieu (ree-shuh-LYOO’) his first minister.

In 1792, French revolutionaries imprisoned the royal family.

In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.

In 1910, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.

In 1923, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was again elected Speaker of Turkey’s Grand Assembly.

In 1934, the satirical comic strip “Li’l Abner,“ created by Al Capp, made its debut.

In 1942, Walt Disney’s animated feature “Bambi” had its U.S. premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York, five days after its world premiere in London.

In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1. The Central African Republic became totally independent of French rule.

In 1961, East Germany sealed off the border between Berlin’s eastern and western sectors and began building a wall that would stand for the next 28 years.

In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Ronald Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.

In 1989, searchers in Ethiopia found the wreckage of a plane which had disappeared almost a week earlier while carrying Rep. Mickey Leland, D-Texas, and 14 other people — there were no survivors.

Ten years ago:

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.

Five years ago:

A man barged into the Arkansas Democratic headquarters in Little Rock and opened fire, killing state party chairman Bill Gwatney before speeding off in a pickup. (Police later shot and killed the gunman, Timothy Dale Johnson.)

Michael Phelps swam into history as the winningest Olympic athlete ever with his 10th and 11th career gold medals.

Phelps won the 200-meter butterfly, then swam the leadoff of a runaway victory by the U.S. 800 freestyle relay team.

Sandy Allen, who was recognized as the world’s tallest female at 7 feet, 7 inches tall, died in Shelbyville, Ind., at age 53.

One year 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.

The Mayo Clinic announced that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Chicago Democrat who’d taken a hushed medical leave, was being treated for bipolar disorder.

Helen Gurley Brown, 90, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, died in New York.

The Boston Red Sox’s unofficial goodwill ambassador, Johnny Pesky, died at age 92.

Today’s Birthdays:

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is 87

Actor Pat Harrington is 84

Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 80

Actor Kevin Tighe is 69

Actress Gretchen Corbett is 66

Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 65

High wire aerialist Philippe Petit is 64

Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke is 64

Golf Hall of Famer Betsy King is 58

Movie director Paul Greengrass is 58

Actor Danny Bonaduce is 54

TV host/weatherman Sam Champion (TV: “Good Morning America”) is 52

Actress Dawnn (correct) Lewis is 52

Actor John Slattery is 51

Actress Debi Mazar is 49

Actress Quinn Cummings is 46

Actress Seana Kofoed is 43

Country singer Andy Griggs is 40

Country musician Mike Melancon (Emerson Drive) is 35

Actress Kathryn Fiore is 34

Pop-rock singer James Morrison is 29

Actress Lennon Stella (TV: “Nashville”) is 14

WayBackWhen™: August 12

Today is Monday, August 12, the 224th day of 2013. There are 141 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“Wisdom is born, stupidity is learned.“ — Russian proverb.

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 12, 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.

On this date:

In 1813, Austria declared war on France.

In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

In 1898, fighting in the Spanish-American War came to an end.

In 1902, International Harvester Co. was formed by a merger of McCormick Harvesting Machine Co., Deering Harvester Co. and several other manufacturers.

In 1912, comedy producer Mack Sennett founded the Keystone Pictures Studio in Edendale, Calif.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated Hugo Black to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1944, during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.

In 1960, the first balloon communications satellite — the Echo 1 — was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral.

In 1962, one day after launching Andrian Nikolayev into orbit, the Soviet Union also sent up cosmonaut Pavel Popovich; both men landed safely August 15.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had died August 6 at age 80, was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica.

In 1985, the world’s worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survived.)

In 1988, the controversial movie “The Last Temptation of Christ,“ directed by Martin Scorsese (skohr-SEH’-see), opened in nine cities despite objections by some who felt the film was sacrilegious.

Ten years ago:

Liberia’s leading rebel movement agreed to lift its siege of the capital and vital port, allowing food to flow to hundreds of thousands of hungry people.

Five years ago:

Declaring “the aggressor has been punished,“ the Kremlin ordered a halt to Russia’s devastating assault on Georgia — five days of air and ground attacks that had left homes in smoldering ruins and uprooted 100,000 people.

Michael Phelps won the 200-meter freestyle for his third gold medal at the Beijing Games.

One year ago:

The U.S. men’s basketball team defended its title by fighting off another huge challenge from Spain, pulling away in the final minutes for a 107-100 victory and its second straight Olympic championship.

The victory by the men’s basketball team gave the United States its 46th gold medal in London, the most ever by Americans in a “road” Olympics.

The U.S. won 104 medals overall.

With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on the Olympic Games with a spectacular pageant.

Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship with a 6-under 66 for an eight-shot victory at Kiawah Island, S.C.

Today’s Birthdays:

Former Sen. Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., is 88

Actor George Hamilton is 74

Actress Dana Ivey is 72

Actress Jennifer Warren is 72

Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 64

Actor Jim Beaver is 63

Singer Kid Creole is 63

Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 59

Actor Sam J. Jones is 59

Actor Bruce Greenwood is 57

Country singer Danny Shirley is 57

Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 52

Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 50

Actor Peter Krause (KROW’-zuh) is 48

International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 42

Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 42

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown is 42

Actress Rebecca Gayheart is 42

Actor Casey Affleck is 38

Rock musician Bill Uechi (Save Ferris) is 38

Actress Maggie Lawson is 33

Actress Dominique Swain is 33

Actress Imani Hakim is 20

Flashback: What Happened on August 11, ....


•  1904 The West Virginia Legislature passed an act providing for the reassessment of all real estate in the state. It was approved by the governor on August 12.

•  1946 Robert C. Byrd of Raleigh County was elected to the West Virginia West Virginia State Senate, his first elected political office.

•  1958 The first chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality in the state was formed in Charleston, Kanawha County, and began a boycott of the Woolworth, Kresge, and Newberry five-and-ten-cent stores for not allowing African-Americans at their lunch counters.

•  1992 The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a West Virginia law requiring state police to remain neutral in labor disputes.

WayBackWhen™: August 11

Today is Sunday, August 11, the 223rd day of 2013. There are 142 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“A pessimist is a man who looks both ways when he’s crossing a one-way street.“ — Laurence J. Peter, Canadian-born educator and author of “The Peter Principle” (1919-1990).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 11, 1965, rioting and looting that claimed 34 lives broke out in the predominantly black Watts section of Los Angeles.

On this date:

In 1786, Capt. Francis Light arrived in Penang to claim the Malaysian island for Britain.

In 1860, the nation’s first successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nev.

In 1909, the steamship SS Arapahoe became the first ship in North America to issue an S.O.S. distress signal, off North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras.

In 1934, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Island (a former military prison) in San Francisco Bay.

In 1942, during World War II, Pierre Laval, prime minister of Vichy France, publicly declared that “the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war.“

In 1952, Hussein bin Talal was proclaimed King of Jordan, beginning a reign lasting nearly 47 years.

In 1954, a formal peace took hold in Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting between the French and Communist Viet Minh.

In 1962, Andrian Nikolayev became the Soviet Union’s third cosmonaut in space as he was launched on a 94-hour flight.

In 1984, during a voice test for a paid political radio address, President Ronald Reagan joked that he had “signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.“

In 1992, the Mall of America opened in Bloomington, Minn.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton named Army Gen. John Shalikashvili (shah-lee-kash-VEE’-lee) to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding the retiring Gen. Colin Powell.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton made the first use of the historic line-item veto, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court later struck down the veto as unconstitutional.)

Ten years ago:

President George W. Bush chose Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

NATO took command of the 5,000-strong peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.

Charles Taylor resigned as Liberia’s president and went into exile in Nigeria.

Herb Brooks, 66, who coached the U.S. Olympic hockey team to the “Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet Union in 1980, died in a car wreck near Minneapolis.

Five years ago:

President George W. Bush, back from his Asia tour, warned of a “dramatic and brutal escalation” of violence by Russia in the former Soviet republic of Georgia; he pressed Moscow to accept an immediate cease-fire and to pull back its troops.

In Beijing, Michael Phelps got his second gold medal — thanks to a late comeback in the 400-meter freestyle relay by Jason Lezak, who lunged to the wall just ahead of the French anchor.

Actor-playwright George Furth died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 75.

One year ago:

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney announced his choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate.

Usain Bolt capped his perfect Summer Games by leading Jamaica to victory in a world-record 36.84 seconds in the 4x100 meters.

Allyson Felix won her third gold medal as the Americans rolled to an easy victory in the women’s 4x400 relay.

The heavily favored U.S. women’s basketball team won a fifth straight gold medal with an 86-50 victory over France.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Arlene Dahl is 88

Songwriter-producer Kenny Gamble is 70

Rock musician Jim Kale (Guess Who) is 70

Magazine columnist Marilyn Vos Savant is 67

Country singer John Conlee is 67

Singer Eric Carmen is 64

Computer scientist and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is 63

Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan is 60

Singer Joe Jackson is 59

Playwright David Henry Hwang is 56

Actor Miguel A. Nunez Jr. is 49

Actress Viola Davis is 48

Actor Duane Martin is 48

Actor-host Joe Rogan is 46

Rhythm-and-blues musician Chris Dave is 45

Actress Anna Gunn is 45

Actress Ashley Jensen is 45

Rock guitarist Charlie Sexton is 45

Hip-hop artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad is 43

Actor Will Friedle is 37

Actress Merritt Wever is 33

Actor Chris Hemsworth is 30

Rock musician Heath Fogg (Alabama Shakes) is 29

Singer J-Boog is 28

Rapper Asher Roth is 28

Actress Alyson Stoner is 20

Geocaching Meets Civil War in West Virginia

The Gilmer Free Press

Civil War sites in West Virginia are getting the geocaching treatment.

Geocaching is an outdoor challenge combining elements of a treasure hunt with global positioning systems.

The kick-off event of the Civil War GeoTrail is Saturday in Sissonville.

The Civil War GeoTrail will take enthusiasts to 75 of West Virginia’s top Civil War sites.

The Civil War twist on geocaching is the work of ExploreWV. Robin Taylor is program director for the geocaching group.

Taylor said the Civil War GeoTrail provides visitors the opportunity of experiencing every region of the state, while educating them on its history.

Flashback: What Happened on August 10, ....


•  1860 Huntington, Cabell County, lawyer and United States Senator John Herriman Holt was born in Sutton, Braxton County.

•  1908 Voters in Logan, Logan County, approved a bond issue authorizing the grading, paving, and sewering of the town’s streets.

•  1968 An airplane crash at Kanawha Airport in Charleston killed thirty-five with two survivors.

•  1973 Union Carbide announced a $100 million expansion in the Kanawha Valley.

•  1975 National newspapers reported that Governor Moore had received $23,000 in illegal campaign contributions from Ashland Oil Company.

WayBackWhen™: August 10

Today is Saturday, August 10, the 222nd day of 2013. There are 143 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.“ — Percy Williams Bridgeman, American scientist (1882-1961).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a measure providing $20,000 payments to still-living Japanese-Americans who’d been interned by their government during World War II.

On this date:

In 1680, Pueblo Indians launched a successful revolt against Spanish colonists in present-day New Mexico.

In 1792, during the French Revolution, mobs in Paris attacked the Tuileries (TWEE’-luh-reez) Palace, where King Louis XVI resided. (The king was later arrested, put on trial for treason, and executed.)

In 1821, Missouri became the 24th state.

In 1846, President James K. Polk signed a measure establishing the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1874, Herbert Clark Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, was born in West Branch, Iowa.

In 1913, the Treaty of Bucharest was signed, ending the Second Balkan War.

In 1921, Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello.

In 1949, the National Military Establishment was renamed the Department of Defense.

In 1962, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated in West Branch, Iowa, on the 88th birthday of the former president, who attended the ceremony along with former President Harry S. Truman.

In 1969, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered in their Los Angeles home by members of Charles Manson’s cult, one day after actress Sharon Tate and four other people had been slain.

In 1975, television personality David Frost announced he had purchased the exclusive rights to interview former President Richard Nixon.

In 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the second female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ten years ago:

Liberian President Charles Taylor delivered a farewell address to a nation bloodied by 14 years of war.

During a heat wave plaguing Europe, Britain topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time in recorded history.

Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, aboard the international space station, married his earthbound bride, Ekaterina Dmitriev, who was at Johnson Space Center in Houston, in the first wedding ever conducted from space.

Atlanta Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal turned the 12th unassisted triple play in major league history against the St. Louis Cardinals. (St. Louis beat Atlanta 3-2.)

Five years ago:

At the Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps began his long march toward eight gold medals by winning the 400-meter individual medley in 4:03.84 — smashing his own world record.

The U.S. women’s 400-meter freestyle relay team, anchored by 41-year-old Dara Torres, took the silver behind the Netherlands.

Stephanie Rice of Australia won the gold in the women’s 400-meter individual medley in a world record time of 4:29.45.

Padraig Harrington rallied from three shots behind to win the PGA Championship in Bloomfield Township, Mich.

Soul crooner Isaac Hayes, 65, died in Memphis, Tenn.

One year ago:

A man in an Afghan army uniform shot and killed three American service members in southern Afghanistan; the Taliban claimed the shooter joined the insurgency after the attack.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an American nuns group rebuked by the Vatican, said it would hold talks with the Roman Catholic bishops appointed to overhaul the organization but would not “compromise its mission.“

The United States won the women’s 4x100-meter track relay in a world-record time of 40.82 seconds to give the Americans their first victory in the event since 1996.

The Arizona Rattlers won the Arena Bowl with a 72-54 win over the Philadelphia Soul.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actress Rhonda Fleming is 90

Actor-director Tom Laughlin (“Billy Jack”) is 82

Singer Ronnie Spector is 70

Actor James Reynolds is 67

Rock singer-musician Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) is 66

Country musician Gene Johnson (Diamond Rio) is 64

Singer Patti Austin is 63

Actor Daniel Hugh Kelly is 61

Folk singer-songwriter Sam Baker is 59

Actress Rosanna Arquette is 54

Actor Antonio Banderas is 53

Rock musician Jon Farriss (INXS) is 52

Singer Julia Fordham is 51

Journalist-blogger Andrew Sullivan is 50

Singer Neneh Cherry is 49

Singer Aaron Hall is 49

Boxer Riddick Bowe is 46

Rhythm-and-blues singer Lorraine Pearson (Five Star) is 46

Singer-producer Michael Bivins is 45

Actor-writer Justin Theroux is 42

Actress Angie Harmon is 41

Country singer Jennifer Hanson is 40

Actress JoAnna Garcia is 34

Rhythm-and-blues singer Nikki Bratcher (Divine) is 33

Actor Ryan Eggold is 29

Actor Lucas Till is 23

Flashback: What Happened on August 09, ....


•  1879 The Clarksburg, Weston and Glenville Railroad, formerly the Weston and West Fork Railroad, was completed to Jane Lew, Lewis County.

•  1883 The Taylor County Circuit Court awarded Charles Berns $2,000 due to the negligence of owners of the Gaston Coal Company. It was later overturned by the State Supreme Court. In 1880, a coal mine gas explosion at a Gaston Coal Company mine in Marion County had killed 2 and injured a man named Charles Berns. Berns sued the Gaston Coal Company, owned by James O. Watson, A. Brooks Fleming, and James Boyer. This is alleged to be the first lawsuit concerning a disaster in the state. In 1911, Fleming defended himself, blaming the explosion on the “carelessness of the miners.“

•  1884 The Masonic Hall Association of Grantsville was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: John M. Hamilton, John W. Bell, J. W. Conrad, G. S. Smith of Grantsville, Calhoun County; J. P. Knight of Brooksville, Calhoun County; and A. H. Sturm of Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County.

•  1886 The Weston Concert Hall Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: George B. Simpson, James B. Finster, W. T. Bland, N. B. Newlon, and B. D. Bailey, all of Weston, Lewis County. The company’s purpose was to construct a building for literary, musical, and dramatic entertainment in Weston.

•  1916 Cabin Creek flood killed 29 at Eskdale, Kanawha County.

•  1931 Shafts one and two of the Hawks Nest Tunnel met, Fayette County. At least 476 workers, most migrant African-Americans, died from silicosis, caused from inhalation of silica rock particles under inadequate safety conditions. Fifty years later, some studies placed the death toll as high as 764, making it the worst industrial disaster in United States history.

•  1954 Former Logan County sheriff Don Chafin died of natural causes in Huntington with an estate reported at more than $1 million.

•  1973 Ground was broken in Beckley (Raleigh County) for the Crossroads Mall, being developed by George Zamias.

WayBackWhen™: August 09

Today is Friday, August 09, the 221st day of 2013. There are 144 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.“ — Edward John Phelps, American lawyer and diplomat (1822-1900).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 09, 1974, Vice President Gerald R. Ford became the nation’s 38th chief executive as President Richard Nixon’s resignation took effect.

On this date:

In 1842, the United States and Canada resolved a border dispute by signing the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

In 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,“ which described Thoreau’s experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.

In 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate forces drove back Union troops in the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County, VA.

In 1902, Edward VII was crowned king of Britain following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.

In 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay.

In 1942, Britain arrested Indian nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi; he was released in 1944.

In 1944, 258 African-American sailors based at Port Chicago, CA, refused to load a munitions ship following an explosion on another ship that killed 320 men, many of them black. (Fifty of the sailors were convicted of mutiny, fined and imprisoned.)

In 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.

In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally slain at Tate’s Los Angeles home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his followers were later convicted of the crime.

In 1982, a federal judge in Washington ordered John W. Hinckley Jr., who’d been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan nominated Lauro Cavazos (kah-VAH’-zohs) to be secretary of education; Cavazos became the first Hispanic to serve in the Cabinet.

In 1995, Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, died in Forest Knolls, Calif., of a heart attack at age 53.

Ten years ago:

The Army fired up its first chemical weapons incinerator located near a residential area, outside Anniston, AL, to destroy two rockets loaded with enough sarin nerve agent to wipe out a city.

Dancer-actor Gregory Hines died in Los Angeles at age 57.

Five years ago:

Todd Bachman, the father of 2004 volleyball Olympian Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman, was stabbed to death by a Chinese man in Beijing in an apparently random attack just hours after the start of the Olympic Games. (The assailant took his own life.)

Mariel Zagunis led a U.S. sweep of the women’s saber fencing for the first American medals of the Games.

Comedian Bernie Mac died in Chicago at age 50.

One year ago:

The United States began a landmark project to clean up dioxin left from Agent Orange at the site of a former U.S. air base in Danang in central Vietnam, 50 years after the defoliant was first sprayed by American planes on Vietnam’s jungles to destroy enemy cover.

At the London Games, Usain Bolt won the 200 meters in 19.32 seconds, making him the only man with two Olympic titles in that event.

The U.S. women’s soccer team won the gold medal, avenging one of its most painful defeats with a 2-1 victory over Japan.

Mel Stuart, 83, an award-winning film documentarian who also directed “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,“ died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays:

Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy is 85

Actress Cynthia Harris is 79

Tennis Hall of Famer Rod Laver is 75

Jazz musician Jack DeJohnette is 71

Comedian-director David Steinberg is 71

Boxing Hall-of-Famer Ken Norton is 70

Actor Sam Elliott is 69

Singer Barbara Mason is 66

Former MLB All-Star pitcher Bill Campbell is 65

College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player John Cappelletti is 61

College Football Hall of Famer and former NFL player Doug Williams is 58

Actress Melanie Griffith is 56

Actress Amanda Bearse is 55

Rapper Kurtis Blow is 54

Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull is 49

TV host Hoda Kotb (HOH’-duh KAHT’-bee) is 49

Actor Pat Petersen is 47

Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is 46

Actress Gillian Anderson is 45

Actor Eric Bana is 45

Producer-director McG (aka Joseph McGinty Nichol) is 45

NHL player-turned-assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour is 43

TV anchor Chris Cuomo is 43

Actor Thomas Lennon is 43

Rock musician Arion Salazar is 43

Rapper Mack 10 is 42

Actress Nikki Schieler Ziering is 42

Latin rock singer Juanes is 41

Actress Liz Vassey is 41

Actor Kevin McKidd is 40

Actress Rhona Mitra (ROH’-nuh MEE’-truh) is 38

Actor Texas Battle is 37

Actress Jessica Capshaw is 37

Actress Ashley Johnson is 30

Actress Anna Kendrick is 28

Flashback: What Happened on August 08, ....


•  1882 Devil Anse Hatfield of Logan County and some of his relatives overtook guards who were escorting the McCoy brothers to the prison in Pikeville, KY, for the murder of Ellison Hatfield. The Hatfields captured and then murdered the three McCoy brothers the following day.

WayBackWhen™: August 08

Today is Thursday, August 08, the 220th day of 2013. There are 145 days left in the year.

Thought for Today:

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.“ — Sydney J. Harris, American journalist (1917-1986).

Today’s Highlight in History:

The Gilmer Free Press

On August 08, 1963, Britain’s “Great Train Robbery” took place as thieves made off with 2.6 million pounds in banknotes.

On this date:

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for St. Helena to spend the remainder of his days in exile.

In 1911, President William Howard Taft signed a measure raising the number of U.S. representatives from 391 to 433, effective with the next Congress, with a proviso to add two more when New Mexico and Arizona became states.

In 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan completed its occupation of Beijing.

In 1942, during World War II, six Nazi saboteurs who were captured after landing in the U.S. were executed in Washington, D.C.; two others who’d cooperated with authorities were spared.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II.

In 1953, the United States and South Korea initialed a mutual security pact.

In 1968, the Republican national convention in Miami Beach nominated Richard Nixon for president on the first ballot.

In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew branded as “damned lies” reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland, and vowed not to resign — which he ended up doing.

In 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his resignation, effective the next day, following damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal.

In 1978, the U.S. launched Pioneer Venus 2, which carried scientific probes to study the atmosphere of Venus.

In 1993, in Somalia, four U.S. soldiers were killed when a land mine was detonated underneath their vehicle, prompting President Bill Clinton to order Army Rangers to try to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

In 2007, space shuttle Endeavour roared into orbit with teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan on board.

Ten years ago:

The Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese offered $55 million to settle more than 500 lawsuits stemming from alleged sex abuse by priests. (The archdiocese later settled for $85 million.)

Five years ago:

China opened the Summer Olympic Games with an extravaganza of fireworks and pageantry.

A charter bus crashed near Sherman, Texas, killing 17 members of a Vietnamese-American Catholic group en route to Missouri.

Former Democratic presidential candidate and vice-presidential nominee John Edwards admitted having an extramarital affair.

Russia sent an armored column into the breakaway enclave of South Ossetia after Georgia launched an offensive to crush separatists there.

One year ago:

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi fired his intelligence chief for failing to act on an Israeli warning of an imminent attack days before militants stormed a border post in the Sinai Peninsula and killed 16 soldiers.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the United States became the first three-time gold medalists in Olympic beach volleyball history, beating Jennifer Kessy and April Ross 21-16, 21-16 in the all-American final.

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Richard Anderson is 87

Joan Mondale, wife of former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, is 83

Actress Nita Talbot is 83

Singer Mel Tillis is 81

Actor Dustin Hoffman is 76

Actress Connie Stevens is 75

Country singer Phil Balsley (The Statler Brothers) is 74

Actor Larry Wilcox is 66

Actor Keith Carradine is 64

Rhythm-and-blues singer Airrion Love (The Stylistics) is 64

Country singer Jamie O’Hara is 63

Movie director Martin Brest is 62

Radio-TV personality Robin Quivers is 61

Percussionist Anton Fig (TV: “Late Show With David Letterman”) is 60

Actor Donny Most is 60

Rock musician Dennis Drew (10,000 Maniacs) is 56

TV personality Deborah Norville is 55

Actor-singer Harry Crosby is 55

Rock musician The Edge (U2) is 52

Rock musician Rikki Rockett (Poison) is 52

Rapper Kool Moe Dee is 51

Rock musician Ralph Rieckermann is 51

Middle distance runner Suzy Favor-Hamilton is 45

Rock singer Scott Stapp is 40

Country singer Mark Wills is 40

Actor Kohl Sudduth is 39

Rock musician Tom Linton (Jimmy Eat World) is 38

Singer JC Chasez (‘N Sync) is 37

Actress Tawny Cypress is 37

Rhythm-and-blues singer Drew Lachey (lah-SHAY’) (98 Degrees) is 37

Rhythm-and-blues singer Marsha Ambrosius is 36

Actress Lindsay Sloane is 36

Actress Countess Vaughn is 35

Actor Michael Urie is 33

Tennis player Roger Federer is 32

Actress Meagan Good is 32

Britain’s Princess Beatrice of York is 25

Actor Ken Baumann is 24

Flashback: What Happened on August 07, ....


•  1879 The Elk River Iron Company was incorporated in West Virginia by the following: Pierson B. Adams, H. A. Holt, Dr. R. P. Lake, Colonel B. J. Jordan, and M. T. Frame. The company’s purpose was to rent the furnace at the mouth of Strange Creek, Braxton County.

•  1882 On election day on Blackberry Creek, Logan County, Ellison Hatfield was knifed by Tolbert McCoy, Pharmer McCoy and Randolph McCoy, Jr. The McCoy brothers were taken into custody by the law. Two days later, Ellison Hatfield died from his wounds.

•  1923 The retrial of Bill Blizzard as an accessory in the killing of George Munsy began in Lewisburg, Greenbrier County. After bribery indictments were brought against the jury foreman of the first murder trial, the trial was moved to Fayette County.

•  1973 The Kanawha Valley Bank announced plans to build what became One Valley Square in downtown Charleston.

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