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Today in History: Aug. 3, deadly Walmart shooting in Texas


Today in History

Today is Thursday, Aug. 3, the 215th day of 2023. There are 150 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 3, 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.)

On this date:

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.

In 1916, Irish-born British diplomat Roger Casement, a strong advocate of independence for Ireland, was hanged for treason.

In 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.

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 at age 40.

In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union.

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-3 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 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.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama’s trade representative, Michael Froman, vetoed a yet-to-be-enacted ban on imports of Chinese-made Apple iPads and iPhones, overruling the U.S. International Trade Commission and dealing a setback to rival South Korean electronics company Samsung. Zimbabwe’s electoral panel declared that longtime President Robert Mugabe had won re-election by a landslide.

Five years ago: China said it was ready to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports if Washington went ahead with its threat to impose duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods. President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of Zimbabwe’s presidential election as the ruling party maintained control of the government in the first vote since the fall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe. 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.

One year ago: Voters in Kansas rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to tighten restrictions on abortion or ban the procedure outright. The result was considered a resounding message about the desire to protect abortion rights from a conservative state in the first test of voter sentiment after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision the previous month that overturned the constitutional right to abortion. Warner Bros. axed the “Batgirl” film it had planned for HBO Max, opting to shelve the $90 million film as the reorganized studio revamped its approach to streaming and DC Comics films. The decision was one without any obvious parallel in recent Hollywood history.

Today’s Birthdays: Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy is 98. Actor Martin Sheen is 83. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth is 83. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 82. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 82. Movie director John Landis is 73. Actor JoMarie Payton is 73. Actor Jay North (TV: “Dennis the Menace”) is 72. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne is 72. Actor Philip Casnoff is 69. Actor John C. McGinley is 64. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 62. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 60. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 53. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 52. Actor Brigid Brannagh is 51. NFL quarterback Tom Brady is 46. Actor Evangeline Lilly is 44. Actor Mamie Gummer is 40. Olympic gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte is 39. Actor Jon Foster is 39. Actor Georgina Haig is 38. Pop-rock musician Brent Kutzle (OneRepublic) is 38. Rapper Shelley FKA DRAM is 35.