Today's Highlight in History:
On August 11, 1965, rioting and looting that claimed 34 lives broke out in the predominantly black Watts section of Los Angeles.
On this date:
In 1786, Capt. Francis Light arrived in Penang to claim the Malaysian island for Britain.
In 1860, the nation's first successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nevada.
In 1909, the steamship SS Arapahoe became the first ship in North America to issue an S.O.S. distress signal, off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras.
In 1934, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Island (a former military prison) in San Francisco Bay.
In 1942, during World War II, Pierre Laval, prime minister of Vichy France, publicly declared that "the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war."
In 1954, a formal peace took hold in Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting between the French and Communist Viet Minh.
In 1956, abstract painter Jackson Pollock, 44, died in an automobile accident on Long Island, New York.
In 1964, the Beatles movie "A Hard Day's Night" had its U.S. premiere in New York.
In 1975, the United States vetoed the proposed admission of North and South Vietnam to the United Nations, following the Security Council's refusal to consider South Korea's application.
In 1984, during a voice test for a paid political radio address, President Ronald Reagan joked that he had "signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." At the Los Angeles Olympics, American runner Mary Decker fell after colliding with South African-born British competitor Zola Budd in the 3,000-meter final; Budd finished seventh.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton named Army Gen. John Shalikashvili to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding the retiring Gen. Colin Powell.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton made the first use of the historic line-item veto, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court later struck down the veto as unconstitutional.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush expressed sympathy for war protesters like Cindy Sheehan, the mother camped outside his Texas ranch demanding more answers for her soldier-son Casey's death in Iraq, but said he believed it would be a mistake to bring U.S. troops home immediately. A one-day strike by British Airways baggage handlers and other ground staff forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights to and from Heathrow Airport.
Five years ago: In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police and FBI agents captured Michael Francis Mara, suspected of being the so-called "Granddad Bandit" who'd held up two dozen banks in 13 states for about two years. (Mara later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.) Dan Rostenkowski, a former Illinois congressman who'd wielded enormous power on Capitol Hill for more than 30 years, died at his Wisconsin summer home at age 82.
One year ago: Robin Williams, 63, a brilliant shape-shifter who could channel his frenetic energy into delightful comic characters like "Mrs. Doubtfire" or harness it into richly nuanced work like his Oscar-winning turn in "Good Will Hunting," died in Tiburon, California, a suicide.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Arlene Dahl is 90. Songwriter-producer Kenny Gamble is 72. Rock musician Jim Kale (Guess Who) is 72. Magazine columnist Marilyn Vos Savant is 69. Country singer John Conlee is 69. Singer Eric Carmen is 66. Computer scientist and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is 65. Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan is 62. Singer Joe Jackson is 61. Playwright David Henry Hwang is 58. Actor Miguel A. Nunez Jr. is 51. Actress Viola Davis is 50. Actor Duane Martin is 50. Actor-host Joe Rogan is 48. Rhythm-and-blues musician Chris Dave is 47. Actress Anna Gunn is 47. Actress Ashley Jensen is 47. Actress Sophie Okonedo is 47. Rock guitarist Charlie Sexton is 47. Hip-hop artist Ali Shaheed Muhammad is 45. Actor Nigel Harman is 42. Actor Will Friedle is 39. Actor Rob Kerkovich (TV: "NCIS: New Orleans") is 36. Actress Merritt Wever is 35. Actor Chris Hemsworth is 32. Rock musician Heath Fogg (Alabama Shakes) is 31. Singer J-Boog is 30. Rapper Asher Roth is 30. Actress Alyson Stoner is 22.
Thought for Today: "You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to." — Robin Williams (1951-2014).