Today in History: August 3

On August 3, 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.

On this date:

In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.

In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.

In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, whose raunchy brand of satire and dark humor landed him in trouble with the law, was found dead in his Los Angeles home; he was 40.

In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)

In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.

In 1993, the Senate voted 96-to-three to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In 1994, Arkansas carried out the nation’s first triple execution in 32 years. Stephen G. Breyer was sworn in as the Supreme Court’s newest justice in a private ceremony at Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s Vermont summer home.

In 2004, the Statue of Liberty pedestal in New York City reopened to the public for the first time since the 9/11 attacks.

In 2005, fourteen Marines from a Reserve unit in Ohio were killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

In 2014, Israel withdrew most of its ground troops from the Gaza Strip in an apparent winding down of a nearly monthlong operation against Hamas that had left more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis dead.

In 2018, Las Vegas police said they were closing their investigation into the Oct. 1 shooting that left 58 people dead at a country music festival without a definitive answer for why Stephen Paddock unleashed gunfire from a hotel suite onto the concert crowd.

In 2019, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, leaving 22 people dead; prosecutors said Patrick Crusius targeted Mexicans in hopes of scaring Latinos into leaving the U.S., and that he had outlined the plot in a screed published online shortly before the attack. (A man who was wounded in the shooting died in April 2020 after months in the hospital, raising the death toll to 23. Crusius has pleaded not guilty to state murder charges; he also faces federal hate crime and gun charges.)