Today is Thursday, Aug. 4, the 216th day of 2022. There are 149 days left in the year.
Birthdays: Actor-comedian Richard Belzer is 78. Football Hall of Famer John Riggins is 73. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is 67. Actor-screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton is 67. Actor Kym Karath (Film: “The Sound of Music”) is 64. Hall of Fame track star Mary Decker Slaney is 64. Actor Lauren Tom is 63. Former president Barack Obama is 61. Producer Michael Gelman (TV: “Live with Kelly & Ryan”) is 61. Retired MLB All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens is 60. Actor Crystal Chappell is 57. Author Dennis Lehane is 57. Actor Daniel Dae Kim is 54. Actor Michael DeLuise is 53. Former race car driver Jeff Gordon is 51. Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, the former actor Meghan Markle, is 41. Actor Abigail Spencer is 41. Actor/director Greta Gerwig is 39. Actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse are 30.
In 1790, the US Coast Guard had its beginnings as President George Washington signed a measure authorizing a group of revenue cutters to enforce tariff and trade laws and prevent smuggling.
In 1830, plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.
In 1916, the United States reached agreement with Denmark to purchase the Danish Virgin Islands for $25 million.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the second of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he prevailed in the long jump over German Luz Long, who was the first to congratulate him.
In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.
In 1972, Arthur Bremer was convicted and sentenced in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, to 63 years in prison for his attempt on the life of Alabama Governor George C. Wallace (the sentence was later reduced to 53 years; Bremer was released from prison in 2007).
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission voted 4-0 to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required radio and television stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues.
In 1993, a federal judge sentenced Los Angeles police officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating Rodney King’s civil rights.
In 2009, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il pardoned American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee for entering the country illegally and ordered their release during a surprise visit by former US president Bill Clinton.
In 2012, Michael Phelps won the 18th Olympic gold medal of his career as the United States won the medley relay at the London Games. The United States set a world record to win the women’s medley relay. Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 to join Steffi Graf as the only women to complete the Golden Slam — winning the Olympics and the four majors. Three British athletes won gold medals in Olympic Stadium: Jessica Ennis in heptathlon; Greg Rutherford in men’s long jump; and Mo Farah in the men’s 10,000 meters.
In 2017, former pharmaceutical chief executive Martin Shkreli, who became notorious for a price-gouging scandal, was convicted on federal charges that he deceived investors in a pair of failed hedge funds. (Shkreli was sentenced months later to seven years in prison.) The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent, matching the 16-year low that had been recorded in May, as employers added 209,000 jobs.
In 2019, a masked gunman fired on revelers enjoying summer nightlife in a popular entertainment district of Dayton, Ohio, leaving nine people dead and 27 wounded; police said officers shot and killed the shooter within 30 seconds of the start of his rampage.
In 2020, nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been improperly stored for years in the port of Beirut, Lebanon, exploded, killing more than 200 people, injuring more than 6,000 and devastating nearby neighborhoods; it was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded.
Last year, Sydney McLaughlin smashed the world record and Dalilah Muhammad broke it as well in an American 1-2 finish in the women’s 400 hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Andre De Grasse of Canada won the Olympic gold medal in the 200-meter race five years after finishing second to Usain Bolt in Rio; De Grasse won in a national record time of 19.62 seconds. Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who feared for her safety at home after criticizing her coaches on social media, flew into Warsaw on a humanitarian visa after leaving the Tokyo Olympics.