Today in History — Aug. 30, 2018

Published Aug 30, 2018 at 4:00pm

Today in History

Today is Thursday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2018. There are 123 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On August 30, 1963, the "Hot Line" communications link between Washington and Moscow went into operation.

On this date:

In 1862, Confederate forces won victories against the Union at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia, and the Battle of Richmond in Kentucky.

In 1941, during World War II, German forces approaching Leningrad cut off the remaining rail line out of the city.

In 1945, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Japan to set up Allied occupation headquarters.

In 1967, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1983, Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first black American astronaut to travel in space as he blasted off aboard the Challenger.

In 1984, the space shuttle Discovery was launched on its inaugural flight.

In 1986, Soviet authorities arrested Nicholas Daniloff, a correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, as a spy a week after American officials arrested Gennadiy Zakharov, a Soviet employee of the United Nations, on espionage charges in New York. (Both men were later released.)

In 1989, a federal jury in New York found "hotel queen" Leona Helmsley guilty of income tax evasion, but acquitted her of extortion. (Helmsley ended up serving 18 months behind bars, a month at a halfway house and two months under house arrest.)

In 1991, Azerbaijan (ah-zur-by-JAHN') declared its independence, joining the stampede of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.

In 1997, Americans received word of the car crash in Paris that claimed the lives of Princess Diana, her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul. (Because of the time difference, it was August 31 where the crash occurred.)

In 2005, a day after Hurricane Katrina hit, floods were covering 80 percent of New Orleans, looting continued to spread and rescuers in helicopters and boats picked up hundreds of stranded people.

In 2007, in a serious breach of nuclear security, a B-52 bomber armed with six nuclear warheads flew cross-country unnoticed; the Air Force later punished 70 people.

Ten years ago: Hurricane Gustav slammed into Cuba as a monstrous Category 4 storm, damaging 100,000 homes and causing billions of dollars in damage, but no reported fatalities. Pro wrestling pioneer Walter "Killer" Kowalski died in Everett, Mass., at age 81.

Five years ago: Indonesia's highest court upheld a death sentence for Lindsay Sandiford, a British woman convicted of smuggling $2.5 million worth of cocaine into the resort island of Bali. Seamus Heaney, 74, who won the Nobel Prize for literature and gained a global reputation as Ireland's greatest poet since William Butler Yates, died in Dublin.

One year ago: The former Hurricane Harvey completed a U-turn in the Gulf of Mexico and rolled ashore for the second time in six days, hitting southwestern Louisiana as a tropical storm with heavy rains and winds of 45 miles an hour. Floodwaters began to recede in Houston, where thousands of homes were flooded. A federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked most of a new state law that would have let police officers ask people during routine stops whether they were in the country legally; the law also threatened sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. (The crackdown on "sanctuary cities" took effect the following March after a federal appeals court upheld the law.)

Today's Birthdays: Actor Bill Daily is 91. Actress Elizabeth Ashley is 79. Actor Ben Jones is 77. Cartoonist R. Crumb is 75. Olympic gold medal skier Jean-Claude Killy is 75. Actress Peggy Lipton is 72. Comedian Lewis Black is 70. Actor Timothy Bottoms is 67. Actor David Paymer is 64. Jazz musician Gerald Albright is 61. Actor Michael Chiklis is 55. Music producer Robert Clivilles is 54. Actress Michael Michele is 52. Country musician Geoff Firebaugh is 50. Country singer Sherrie Austin is 47. Rock singer-musician Lars Frederiksen (Rancid) is 47. Actress Cameron Diaz is 46. Rock musician Leon Caffrey (Space) is 45. TV personality Lisa Ling is 45. Rock singer-musician Aaron Barrett (Reel Big Fish) is 44. Actor Raul Castillo is 41. Actor Michael Gladis is 41. Rock musician Matt Taul (Tantric; Days of the New) is 40. Tennis player Andy Roddick is 36. Singer Rachael Price (Lake Street Dive) is 33. Rock musician Ryan Ross is 32. Actress Johanna Braddy is 31. Actor Cameron Finley is 31.

Thought for Today: "Walk on air against your better judgement." — Seamus Heaney (1939-2013).