Today is Tuesday, August 19, the 231st day of 2014. There are 134 days left in the year.
On August 19, A.D. 14, Caesar Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, died at age 76 after a reign lasting four decades; he was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius.
On this date:
In 1812, the USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia during the War of 1812, earning the nickname “Old Ironsides.”
In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces landed at Benedict, Maryland, with the objective of capturing Washington, D.C.
In 1918, “Yip! Yip! Yaphank,” a musical revue by Irving Berlin featuring Army recruits from Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York, opened on Broadway.
In 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.
In 1936, the first of a series of show trials orchestrated by Soviet leader Josef Stalin began in Moscow as 16 defendants faced charges of conspiring against the government (all were convicted and executed).
In 1942, during World War II, about 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launched a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering more than 50-percent casualties.
In 1955, severe flooding in the northeastern U.S. claimed some 200 lives.
In 1964, The Beatles opened their first full-fledged U.S. tour as they performed at San Francisco’s Cow Palace.
In 1974, U.S. Ambassador Rodger P. Davies was fatally wounded by a bullet that penetrated the American embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, during a protest by Greek Cypriots.
In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford won the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Kansas City.
In 1980, 301 people aboard a Saudi Arabian L-1011 died as the jetliner made a fiery emergency return to the Riyadh airport.
In 1991, Soviet hard-liners made the stunning announcement that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev had been removed from power. (The coup attempt collapsed two days later.)
Ten years ago: Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry fought back against campaign allegations of exaggerating his combat record in Vietnam, accusing President George W. Bush of using a Republican front group “to do his dirty work.” Google began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market, ending the day up $15.34 at $100.34. Carly Patterson won gymnastics’ premier event at the Olympics in Athens, becoming the first U.S. woman to win the all-around title since Mary Lou Retton in 1984.
Five years ago: Suicide bombers struck Iraq’s finance and foreign ministries, killing more than 100 people. Four members of an elite Army special operations unit were killed when their helicopter crashed on a Colorado mountain during a training mission. Don Hewitt, the TV news pioneer who’d created CBS’ “60 Minutes,” died at his Long Island, New York, home at age 86.
One year ago: Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius was indicted in Pretoria, South Africa, on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at his home on Valentine’s Day 2013; Pistorius has maintained he’d mistaken her for an intruder. A train ran over a group of Hindu pilgrims at a crowded station in eastern India, killing at least 37 people. Actor Lee Thompson Young, 29, was found dead in his North Hollywood home.
Today’s birthdays: Actor L.Q. Jones is 87. Actress Debra Paget is 81. USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Famer Renee Richards is 80. Former MLB All-Star Bobby Richardson is 79. Actress Diana Muldaur is 76. Rock musician Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith) is 75. Singer Johnny Nash is 74. Actress Jill St. John is 74. Actor and former U.S. senator Fred Thompson is 72. Singer Billy J. Kramer is 71. Country singer-songwriter Eddy Raven is 70. Rock singer Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) is 69. Former President Bill Clinton is 68. Tipper Gore, wife of former Vice President Al Gore, is 66. Actor Jim Carter is 66. Actor Gerald McRaney is 66. Rock musician John Deacon (Queen) is 63. Actor-director Jonathan Frakes is 62. Political consultant Mary Matalin is 61. Actor Peter Gallagher is 59. Actor Adam Arkin is 58. Singer-songwriter Gary Chapman is 57. Actor Martin Donovan is 57. Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Anthony Munoz is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ivan Neville is 55. Actor Eric Lutes is 52. Actor John Stamos is 51. Actress Kyra Sedgwick is 49. Actor Kevin Dillon is 49. Country singer Lee Ann Womack is 48. TV reporter Tabitha Soren is 47. Country singer-songwriter Mark McGuinn is 46. Actor Matthew Perry is 45. Country singer Clay Walker is 45. Rapper Fat Joe is 44. Olympic gold medal tennis player Mary Joe Fernandez is 43. Actress Tracie Thoms is 39. Country singer Rissi Palmer is 33. Actress Erika Christensen is 32. Pop singer Missy Higgins is 31. Actress Tammin Sursok (“Pretty Little Liars”) is 31. Country singer Karli Osborn is 30. Olympic silver medal snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis is 29. Actor J. Evan Bonifant is 29. Rapper Romeo is 25.
Thought for today: “Well done is quickly done.” — Caesar Augustus, Roman emperor (63 B.C.-A.D. 14).