Today in History — Aug. 11, 2017

Published Aug 11, 2017 at 4:00pm

Today is Friday, Aug. 11, the 223rd day of 2017. There are 142 days left in the year.

Today in History

On August 11, 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.)

On this date:

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

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

In 1956, abstract painter Jackson Pollock, 44, died in an automobile accident on Long Island, New York.

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

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

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, the nation’s largest shopping-entertainment center, opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.

In 2014, Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, died in Tiburon, California, a suicide.

Today’s Birthdays

Actress Arlene Dahl is 92. Songwriter-producer Kenny Gamble is 74. Rock musician Jim Kale (Guess Who) is 74. Magazine columnist Marilyn Vos Savant is 71. Country singer John Conlee is 71. Singer Eric Carmen is 68. Computer scientist and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is 67. Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan is 64. Singer Joe Jackson is 63. Playwright David Henry Hwang is 60. Actor Miguel A. Nunez Jr. is 58. Actress Viola Davis is 52. Actor Duane Martin is 52. Actor-host Joe Rogan is 50. Rhythm-and-blues musician Chris Dave is 49. Actress Anna Gunn is 49. Actress Ashley Jensen is 49. Actress Sophie Okonedo is 49. Rock guitarist Charlie Sexton is 49. Hip-hop artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad is 47. Actor Nigel Harman is 44. Actor Will Friedle is 41. Actor Rob Kerkovich is 38. Actress Merritt Wever is 37. Actor Chris Hemsworth is 34. Rock musician Heath Fogg (Alabama Shakes) is 33. Singer J-Boog is 32.

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).