Thursday, August 23, 2007

Today in History...August 23

On this day in …

* 1775, Britain's King George III proclaimed the American colonies in a state of "open and avowed rebellion."

* 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I

* 1927, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery. (Fifty years later, on this date in 1977, Mass. Gov.
Michael S. Dukakis proclaimed that "any stigma and disgrace should be forever removed" from their names.)

* 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in Moscow

* 1944, Romanian prime minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies

* 1973, a bank robbery-turned-hostage standoff began in Stockholm, Sweden; by the time the crisis ended, the four hostages had come to empathize with their captors, an occurrence that came to be known as "Stockholm Syndrome"

* 1982, Lebanon's parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. (However, Gemayel was assassinated some three weeks later by practitioners of that "religion of peace".)

* 2006, a previously unknown militant group released the first video of two kidnapped Fox News journalists. (Correspondent Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig were later freed.)


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