Today in History

Today is Sunday, Aug. 2, the 215th day of 2020. There are 151 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 2, 1776, members of the Second Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

On this date:

In 1610, during his fourth voyage to the Western Hemisphere, English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into what is now known as Hudson Bay.

In 1862, the Ambulance Corps for the Army of the Potomac was created at the order of Maj. Gen. George McClellan during the Civil War.

In 1922, Alexander Graham Bell, generally regarded as the inventor of the telephone, died in Nova Scotia, Canada, at age 75.

In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.

In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler’s complete takeover.

In 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program. President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act, which prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Britain’s new prime minister, Clement Attlee, concluded the Potsdam conference.

In 1980, 85 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the train station in Bologna, Italy.

In 1985, 137 people were killed when Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)

In 2014, Dr. Kent Brantly, the first Ebola victim to be brought to the United States from Africa, was safely escorted into a specialized isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where he recovered from the disease.

In 2016, President Barack Obama castigated Donald Trump as “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to serve in the White House, and challenged Republicans to withdraw their support for their party’s nominee, declaring “there has to come a point at which you say ‘enough.’”

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, addressing the Disabled American Veterans in Atlanta, said the U.S. would leave Iraq “as promised and on schedule,” portraying the end of America’s combat role in the 7-year war as a personal promise kept. Actor Lindsay Lohan was released from a Los Angeles jail after serving 14 days of a 90-day sentence for violating her probation in a 2007 drug case. The Washington Post Co. announced that billionaire Sidney Harman would buy Newsweek for $1 and assume the magazine’s debts.

Five years ago: The International Olympic Committee said it would order testing for disease-causing viruses in the sewage-polluted waters where athletes would be competing in the 2016 Rio Games, days after an Associated Press investigation revealed high counts of viruses directly linked to human waste in the waters. Inbee Park of South Korea rallied to win the Women’s British Open to become the seventh woman to win four different major championships.

One year ago: President Donald Trump’s pick for national intelligence director. Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, withdrew from consideration amid questions about his experience and qualifications. An administrative judge recommended firing a New York City police officer over the 2014 chokehold death of a Black man, Eric Garner. (The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was fired.) R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in New York to federal charges of abusing women and girls who attended his concerts; he was then returned to Chicago, where he’d been in custody in a separate case accusing him of engaging in child pornography. The United States officially withdrew from a landmark arms control agreement, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia, and the Trump administration announced plans to test a new missile.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Nehemiah Persoff is 101. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 83. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 77. Actor Joanna Cassidy is 75. Actor Kathryn Harrold is 70. Actor Butch Patrick (TV: “The Munsters”) is 67. Rock music producer/drummer Butch Vig (Garbage) is 65. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is 63. Singer Mojo Nixon is 63. Actor Victoria Jackson is 61. Actor Apollonia is 61. Actor Cynthia Stevenson is 58. Actor Mary-Louise Parker is 56. Rock musician John Stanier is 52. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 50. Actor Jacinda Barrett is 48. Actor Sam Worthington is 44. Figure skater Michael Weiss is 44. Actor Edward Furlong is 43. TV meteorologist Dylan Dreyer (TV: “Today”) is 39. Actor Marci Miller is 35. Singer Charli XCX is 28. Actor Hallie Eisenberg is 28.