Friday, August 12, 2011

This day in history

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[August 12, 2011]  (AP)  Today is Friday, Aug. 12, the 224th day of 2011. There are 141 days left in the year.

HardwareToday's highlight in history:

On Aug. 12, 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer, the model 5150, at a press conference in New York. The 5150 that was presented had an Intel 8088 microprocessor running at 4.77 MHz (megahertz), 16 kB (kilobytes) of random-access memory (RAM), no disk drives, and a price tag of $1,565 (allowing for inflation, that would be nearly $4,000 today).

On this date:

In 1867, President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

In 1898, fighting in the Spanish-American War came to an end.

In 1911, actor-comedian Cantinflas was born Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes in Mexico City.

In 1941, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain (ahn-REE' fee-LEEP' pay-TAN'), head of the government of Vichy France, called on his countrymen to give full support to Nazi Germany.

In 1944, during World War II, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.

In 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.

In 1960, the first balloon communications satellite -- the Echo 1 -- was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral.

In 1962, one day after launching Andrian Nikolayev into orbit, the Soviet Union also sent up cosmonaut Pavel Popovich; both men landed safely Aug. 15.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had died Aug. 6 at age 80, was buried in St. Peter's Basilica.

In 1985, the world's worst single-aircraft disaster occurred as a crippled Japan Air Lines Boeing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain, killing 520 people. (Four people survived.)

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Ten years ago: A suicide bomber blew himself up on the patio of a restaurant near the northern Israeli coastal town of Haifa, killing himself and wounding 21 people.

Five years ago: Thousands of people gathered across from the White House, even though President George W. Bush was out of town, to condemn U.S. and Israeli policies in the Middle East.

One year ago: General Motors Co. chief Ed Whitacre announced he was stepping down as CEO on Sept. 1, 2010, saying his mission was accomplished as the company reported its second straight quarterly profit. (Whitacre was succeeded as CEO by GM board member Daniel Akerson.)

Today's birthdays: Former Senator Dale Bumpers, D-Ark., is 86. Actor George Hamilton is 72. Actress Dana Ivey is 70. Actress Jennifer Warren is 70. Rock singer-musician Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) is 62. Actor Jim Beaver is 61. Singer Kid Creole is 61. Jazz musician Pat Metheny is 57. Actor Sam J. Jones is 57. Actor Bruce Greenwood is 55. Country singer Danny Shirley is 55. Pop musician Roy Hay (Culture Club) is 50. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot is 48. Actor Peter Krause (KROW'-zuh) is 46. International Tennis Hall of Famer Pete Sampras is 40. Actor-comedian Michael Ian Black is 40. Actress Yvette Nicole Brown is 40. Actress Rebecca Gayheart is 40. Actor Casey Affleck is 36. Rock musician Bill Uechi (Save Ferris) is 36. Actress Maggie Lawson is 31. Actress Dominique Swain is 31. Actress Imani Hakim ("Everybody Hates Chris") is 18.

Thought for today: "Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy." -- Joseph Campbell, American writer (1904-1987)

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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