Napoleon goes into exile, Wrigley gets lights, the "Dream Team" clinches gold in Barcelona and the United States' debt rating takes a hit, all on this day.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte sets sail for exile on St. Helena in the south Atlantic Ocean more than 11,000 miles off the west coast of Africa. He would spend the rest of his life in exile before dying in 1821.
1863: Following his defeat in the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee sends a letter of resignation to Confederate President Jefferson Davis, which Davis refuses upon receipt.
1876: Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph. The mimeograph was a "method of preparing autographic stencils for printing."
1900: The first Davis Cup tennis series begins in Boston. The tournament is named after Dwight F. Davis, a Harvard tennis player who plays in the first tournament and bought the original sterling silver trophy with $1,000 of his own money. The U.S. team defeats Great Britain three matches to zero.
1908: Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers' first public flight.
1925: The first national march of the Ku Klux Klan takes place in Washington, D.C.
1929: The German airship Graf Zeppelin begins a round-the-world flight from Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. The entire circumnavigation (including stops) will end up taking 21 days, 5 hours and 31 minutes and cover 20,651 miles.
1937: Actor Dustin Hoffman ("The Graduate," "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Rain Man") is born in Los Angeles.
1946: The Convair B-36, the world's first mass-produce nuclear weapon delivery vehicle, flies for the first time.
1960: "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" by Brian Hyland hits No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1961: The Edge, guitarist for the Irish rock band U2, is born David Howell Evans in Essex, England.
1963: In what will be come to be known as "The Great Train Robbery," a gang of 15 train robbers steal 2.6 million pounds in bank notes in Buckinghamshire, England.
1974: President Richard Nixon, in a nationwide television address, announces his resignation from office effective noon the next day.
1976: In the first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox suit up in shorts, part of promotional effort by owner Bill Veeck. The team would wear the shorts two more times that season, on August 21 and August 22.
1978: Odie the dog makes his first appearance in the "Garfield" comic strip. He's seen here on Aug. 9, 1978, his second appearance.
1981: Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, the winner of 17 Grand Slam singles titles, is born in Basel, Switzerland.
1986: The movie "Stand By Me," directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell and Kiefer Sutherland, debuts in theaters.
1986: David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash is released from prison after serving eight months of a five-year sentence for possession of a .45-caliber handgun and for free-basing cocaine in a Dallas nightclub in April 1982.
1988: The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies attempt to play the first night game ever at Wrigley Field but are rained out in fourth inning with Chicago leading 3-1.
1989: The space shuttle Columbia takes off on STS-28 Mission, a secret five-day military mission. Although the details of the mission are classified, the payload is widely believed to be the first SDS-2 communications satellite.
1990: Iraq occupies Kuwait and the state is annexed to Iraq. This would lead to the Gulf War shortly afterward.
1991: The Warsaw radio mast, at one time the tallest construction ever built, collapses. Due to an error in exchanging the guy-wires on the highest stock, the mast first bends and then snaps at roughly half its height.
1992: The United States basketball "Dream Team," led by the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, clinches the gold medal at the Barcelona Summer Olympics. Consisting of NBA players for the first time ever, the U.S. basketball team beats Croatia 117-85, completing an 8-0 run that saw it defeat opponents by an average of almost 44 points. David Robinson is seen here shooting a free throw against Puerto Rico with Charles Barkley lined up for the rebound.
1992: James Hetfield of Metallica is injured by a stage explosion at a concert in Montreal. A riot occurs later at the same show when Axl Rose cuts Guns N' Roses' set short because of a sore throat.
1999: Wade Boggs of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays becomes the first member of the major league's 3,000 Hits Club to join with a home run, belting one off Cleveland Indians' starting pitcher Charles Nagy. He ends up going 3-4 in a 15-10 home loss to Cleveland. He would retire on Aug. 27, 1999, ending his career with 3,010 hits. The Devil Rays would retire his number the next spring.
2000: The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley is raised to the surface after 136 years on the ocean floor and 30 years after its discovery by undersea explorer E. Lee Spence and five years after being filmed by a dive team funded by novelist Clive Cussler.
2004: Actress Fay Wray, best known for being the "beauty [who] killed the beast" in 1933's "King Kong," dies in her sleep of natural causes in her Manhattan apartment at the age of 96.
2007: Barbara Morgan becomes the first educator to safely reach space when the space shuttle Endeavour launches on its way to the international space station. In 1986, Morgan was the alternate for the first teacher selected for a space mission, Christa McAuliffe, who died with six astronauts in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger 73 seconds after its launch.
2008: The Summer Olympics begin in Beijing, China. The ceremony is noted for its focus on ancient Chinese culture and for its creativity, as well as being the first to use weather modification technology to prevent rainfall. The final ascent to the torch features Olympic gymnast Li Ning, who appears to run through air around the membrane of the stadium.
2008: Former Democratic vice-presidential nominee John Edwards admits to having had an extramarital affair with former campaign worker Rielle Hunter.
2011: Standard & Poor's rating agency downgrades U.S. sovereign debt. The downgrade is the first in the history of the United States.
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