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Today in History

Associated Press Updated: August 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

Today is Monday, August 11, the 223rd day of 2014. There are 142 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On August 11, 1954, a formal peace took hold in Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting between the French and Communist Viet Minh.

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

In 1964, the Beatles movie "A Hard Day's Night" had its U.S. premiere in New York.

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

In 1975, the United States vetoed the proposed admission of North and South Vietnam to the United Nations, following the Security Council's refusal to consider South Korea's application.

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." At the Los Angeles Olympics, American runner Mary Decker fell after colliding with South African-born British competitor Zola Budd in the 3,000-meter final; Budd finished seventh.

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: Britain granted its first license for human cloning for the purpose of stem cell research. The U.S. women's soccer team defeated home team Greece 3-0 on the first day of competition in the 2004 Olympic Games (the opening ceremonies took place in Athens two days later).

Five years ago: A Myanmar court found democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (ahng sahn soo chee) guilty of violating her house arrest by allowing an uninvited American to visit her home; she was ordered to serve an 18-month sentence under house arrest. Jeers and taunts drowned out Democratic lawmakers calling for a health care overhaul at town halls; during his own town hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, President Barack Obama assailed "wild misrepresentations" of his health care plan. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy and founder of the Special Olympics, died in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at age 88.

One year ago: Israel approved building 1,200 more settlement homes and agreed to release 26 long-held Palestinian security prisoners. Suspected militants gunned down 47 worshippers as they recited their early morning prayers at a mosque in Konduga, Nigeria, and killed another 12 civilians in a nearby village. Jason Dufner won his first major title with a two-stroke victory over Jim Furyk at the PGA Championship.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Arlene Dahl is 89. Songwriter-producer Kenny Gamble is 71. Rock musician Jim Kale (Guess Who) is 71. Magazine columnist Marilyn Vos Savant is 68. Country singer John Conlee is 68. Singer Eric Carmen is 65. Computer scientist and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is 64. Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan is 61. Singer Joe Jackson is 60. Playwright David Henry Hwang is 57. Actor Miguel A. Nunez Jr. is 50. Actress Viola Davis is 49. Actor Duane Martin is 49. Actor-host Joe Rogan is 47. Rhythm-and-blues musician Chris Dave is 46. Actress Anna Gunn is 46. Actress Ashley Jensen is 46. Rock guitarist Charlie Sexton is 46. Hip-hop artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad is 44. Actor Nigel Harman (TV: "Downton Abbey") is 41. Actor Will Friedle is 38. Actress Merritt Wever is 34. Actor Chris Hemsworth is 31. Rock musician Heath Fogg (Alabama Shakes) is 30. Singer J-Boog is 29. Rapper Asher Roth is 29. Actress Alyson Stoner is 21.

Thought for Today: "Keep your dreams, for in them lies joy denied to men grown wise." — Edgar A. Guest, American author, journalist and poet (1881-1959).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, August 11)

Copyright 2014, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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