A Blast from the Past

By United Press International  |  Aug. 11, 2002 at 3:04 AM
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Today is Aug. 11.

A minor clash between the California Highway Patrol and two young black men touched off rioting in the Watts section of Los Angeles on this date in 1965. In six days of violence, 34 people were killed and more than 3,000 more arrested. Damage to property was listed at $40 million. This disturbance -- and others that followed -- heightened racial tensions in America.

On this date in 1998, two boys were found to be "delinquent," or guilty, of murder in the fatal shootings the previous March of four students and a teacher at their middle school in Jonesboro, Ark. The boys were 11 and 13 at the time of the incident and Arkansas law did not allow them to be tried as adults.

American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars, which he named Phobos and Deimos, on this date in 1877.

Major league baseball players went on strike following the conclusion of the day's games on this date in 1994.

In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected The Citadel's efforts to overturn a federal appeals court ruling ordering the all-male military college to admit female students.

And this is Presidential Joke Day. On this date in 1984, in an off-air radio voice check, President Reagan joked, "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." The Kremlin was not amused. The remark had been picked up by TV cameras and prompted debate over just what constituted "off-the-record" remarks.

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

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