Today in History: Sunday, Aug. 8

(AP) — Today is Sunday, Aug. 8, the 220th day of 2021. There are 145 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon, facing damaging new revelations in the Watergate scandal, announced he would resign the following day.

On this date:

In 1814, during the War of 1812, peace talks between the United States and Britain began in Ghent, Belgium.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte set sail for St. Helena to spend the remainder of his days in exile.

In 1937, during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan completed its occupation of Beijing.

In 1942, during World War II, six Nazi saboteurs who were captured after landing in the U.S. were executed in Washington, D.C.; two others who cooperated with authorities were spared.

In 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II.

In 1963, Britain’s “Great Train Robbery” took place as thieves made off with 2.6 million pounds in banknotes.

In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew branded as “damned lies” reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland, and vowed not to resign — which he ended up doing.

In 1994, Israel and Jordan opened the first road link between the two once-warring countries.

In 2000, the wreckage of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which sank in 1864 after attacking the Union ship Housatonic, was recovered off the South Carolina coast and returned to port.

In 2003, the Boston Roman Catholic archdiocese offered $55 million to settle more than 500 lawsuits stemming from alleged sex abuse by priests. (The archdiocese later settled for $85 million.)

In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic and third female justice.

In 2017, singer Glen Campbell died in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 81; he had announced in 2011 that he’d been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Ten years ago: Eager to calm a nervous nation, President Barack Obama dismissed an unprecedented downgrade by Standard & Poor’s of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA-plus, declaring: “No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a triple-A country.”

Five years ago: A fire and power outage at a Delta Air Lines data center in Atlanta resulted in the cancellation of 2,300 flights over a four-day period. At the Rio Olympics, Ryan Murphy gave the Americans their sixth straight gold medal in the men’s 100-meter backstroke, winning with a time of 51.97 seconds; Lilly King of the United States won gold in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1 minute, 4.93 seconds.

One year ago: A fire inside a police union building led authorities in Portland, Oregon, to declare a riot and force protesters away from the office as violent demonstrations continued in the city. The Mid-American Conference became the first of the conferences competing at college football’s highest level to cancel its fall schedule because of the coronavirus. (The conference later became the last to reverse course, scheduling a six-game regular football season.)

Today’s Birthdays:

Actor Nita Talbot is 91. Actor Dustin Hoffman is 84. Actor Connie Stevens is 83. Country singer Phil Balsley (The Statler Brothers) is 82. Actor Larry Wilcox is 74. Actor Keith Carradine is 72. Movie director Martin Brest is 70. Radio-TV personality Robin Quivers is 69. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is 68. Percussionist Anton Fig is 68. Actor Donny Most is 68. Rock musician Dennis Drew (10,000 Maniacs) is 64. TV personality Deborah Norville is 63. Rock musician The Edge (U2) is 60. Rock musician Rikki Rockett (Poison) is 60. Rapper Kool Moe Dee is 59. Middle distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton is 53. Rock singer Scott Stapp is 48. Country singer Mark Wills is 48. Actor Kohl Sudduth is 47. Rock musician Tom Linton (Jimmy Eat World) is 46. Singer JC Chasez (‘N Sync) is 45. Actor Tawny Cypress is 45. R&B singer Drew Lachey (lah-SHAY’) (98 Degrees) is 45. R&B singer Marsha Ambrosius is 44. Actor Lindsay Sloane is 44. Actor Countess Vaughn is 43. Actor Michael Urie is 41. Tennis player Roger Federer is 40. Actor Meagan Good is 40. Rock musician Eric Howk (Portugal. The Man) is 40. Actor Jackie Cruz (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 37. Britain’s Princess Beatrice of York is 33. Actor Ken Baumann is 32. Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is 32. Pop singer Shawn Mendes is 23. Actor Bebe Wood (TV: “The Real O’Neals”) is 20.

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