Today is Friday, Aug. 17, the 230th day of 2012. There are 136 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 17, 1982, the first commercially produced compact discs, a recording of ABBA's "The Visitors," were pressed at a Philips factory near Hanover, West Germany.
On this date:
In 1807, Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat began heading up the Hudson River on its successful round trip between New York and Albany.
In 1912, the second movie inspired by the Titanic disaster, a German production titled "In Nacht und Eis" (In Night and Ice), was released. (Unlike the first, "Saved From the Titanic," "In Nacht und Eis" still exists.)
In 1915, a mob in Cobb County, Ga., lynched Jewish businessman Leo Frank, whose death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan had been commuted to life imprisonment. (Frank, who'd maintained his innocence, was pardoned by the state of Georgia in 1986.)
In 1942, during World War II, U.S. 8th Air Force bombers attacked German forces in Rouen, France. U.S. Marines raided a Japanese seaplane base on Makin Island.
In 1943, the Allied conquest of Sicily was completed as U.S. and British forces entered Messina.
In 1960, the newly renamed Beatles (formerly the Silver Beetles) began their first gig in Hamburg, West Germany, at the Indra Club. The West African country of Gabon became independent of France.
In 1961, the United States and 19 Latin American countries signed the Charter of Punta del Este in Uruguay, creating the Alliance for Progress aimed at promoting economic growth and social justice.
In 1962, East German border guards shot and killed 18-year-old Peter Fechter, who had attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.
In 1969, Hurricane Camille slammed into the Mississippi coast as a Category 5 storm that was blamed for 256 U.S. deaths, three in Cuba.
In 1978, the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their Double Eagle II outside Paris.
In 1985, more than 1,400 meatpackers walked off the job at the Geo. A. Hormel and Co.'s main plant in Austin, Minn., in a bitter strike that lasted just over a year.
In 1987, Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler's inner circle, died at Spandau Prison at age 93, an apparent suicide.
Ten years ago: In Krakow, Poland, tens of thousands of adoring Poles gave Pope John Paul II a joyous welcome home as the ailing pontiff began the ninth -- and last -- visit to his native country during his papacy.
Five years ago: Hurricane Dean roared into the eastern Caribbean, tearing away roofs, flooding streets and causing at least three deaths on small islands as the powerful storm headed on a collision course with Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. A dike on a river in eastern China broke, flooding three coal mines and killing 181 miners.
One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Beijing to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Maureen O'Hara is 92. Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin is 86. Author V.S. Naipaul is 80. Former MLB All-Star Boog Powell is 71. Actor Robert DeNiro is 69. Movie director Martha Coolidge is 66. Rock musician Gary Talley (The Box Tops) is 65. Rock musician Sib Hashian is 63. Actor Robert Joy is 61. International Tennis Hall of Famer Guillermo Vilas is 60. Rock singer Kevin Rowland (Dexy's Midnight Runners) is 59. Rock musician Colin Moulding (XTC) is 57. Country singer-songwriter Kevin Welch is 57. Olympic gold medal figure skater Robin Cousins is 55. Singer Belinda Carlisle is 54. Author Jonathan Franzen is 53. Actor Sean Penn is 52. Jazz musician Everette Harp is 51. Rock musician Gilby Clarke is 50. Singer Maria McKee is 48. Rock musician Steve Gorman (The Black Crowes) is 47. Rock musician Jill Cunniff is 46. Actor David Conrad is 45. Singer Donnie Wahlberg is 43. Former NBA player Christian Laettner is 43. Rapper Posdnuos is 43. International Tennis Hall of Famer Jim Courier is 42. MLB player Jorge Posada is 41. Actor Mark Salling (TV: "Glee") is 30. Actor Bryton James is 26. Actor Brady Corbet is 24.
Thought for Today: "Where words leave off, music begins." -- Heinrich Heine, German poet and critic (1797-1856).
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.