A Blast from the Past

By United Press International   |   Aug. 30, 2002 at 3:04 AM

Today is Aug. 30.

The name "Benedict Arnold" is synonymous with "traitor" because of what the American Revolutionary War general did on this date in 1780. He secretly promised to surrender the U.S. fort at West Point, N.Y., to the British army. Arnold later fled to England, and died in poverty.

It was on this date in 1862 during the Civil War that the second Battle of Bull Run began. Union troops commanded by Maj. Gen. John Pope were defeated by Confederate forces.

The German Army surrounded the Soviet city of Leningrad on this date in 1941. When the siege ended 900 days later, the Russian city lay in ruins and hundreds of thousands of people had died.

The first White House presidential baby was born on this date in 1893. Frances Folsom Cleveland, the wife of President Cleveland, became the first presidential wife to have a baby at the White House. The infant, a girl, was named Esther. (The first child ever born at the White House was a granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson, in 1806.)

And it was on this date in 1983 that Guion Bluford became the first black astronaut in space.

We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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