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Wednesday Morning: Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 29, the 242nd day of 2012. There are 124 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 29, 1952, 4'33" ("Four Minutes, Thirty-three Seconds"), a three-movement composition by avant-garde composer John Cage, had its premiere in Woodstock, N.Y., as pianist David Tudor sat at a piano and, for a total of four minutes and 33 seconds, played... nothing. (According to Cage, the "music" consisted of the setting's background noises, including the sounds of the increasingly restive audience.)

On this date:

In 1533, the last Incan King of Peru, Atahualpa, was executed on orders of Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro.

In 1862, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began operations at the United States Treasury.

In 1877, the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Brigham Young, died in Salt Lake City, Utah, at age 76.

In 1943, responding to a clampdown by Nazi occupiers, Denmark managed to scuttle most of its naval ships.

In 1944, 15,000 American troops marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris as the French capital continued to celebrate its liberation from the Nazis.

In 1957, the Senate gave final congressional approval to a Civil Rights Act after South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond (then a Democrat) ended a filibuster that had lasted 24 hours.

In 1958, pop superstar Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Ind.

In 1962, Malvin R. Goode began covering the United Nations for ABC-TV, becoming network television's first black reporter.

In 1972, swimmer Mark Spitz of the United States won the third of his seven gold medals at the Munich Olympics, finishing first in the 200-meter freestyle.

In 1982, Academy Award-winning actress Ingrid Bergman died in London on her 67th birthday.

In 1987, Academy Award-winning actor Lee Marvin died in Tucson, Ariz., at age 63.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast near Buras, La., bringing floods that devastated New Orleans. More than 1,800 people in the region died.

Ten years ago: A judge in Norwalk, Conn., sentenced Michael Skakel to 20 years to life in prison for bludgeoning his teenage neighbor, Martha Moxley, with a golf club in 1975 after hearing the Kennedy cousin tearfully proclaim his innocence.

Five years ago: Fellow Republicans called on Idaho Sen. Larry Craig to resign and party leaders pushed him from senior committee posts as fallout continued over his arrest at a Minneapolis airport restroom and guilty plea to disorderly conduct. Prayers, protests and a lingering disgust with the government's response to Hurricane Katrina marked the disaster's second anniversary in New Orleans. Taliban militants in Afghanistan released 12 South Korean captives, part of a deal with Seoul to free all 19 hostages. Richard Jewell, the former security guard who was wrongly linked to the 1996 Olympic bombing, was found dead in his west Georgia home; he was 44.

One year ago: In a sign Moammar Gadhafi had lost grip on his country, his wife and three of his children fled Libya to neighboring Algeria. Grammy-winning blues musician David "Honey Boy" Edwards, believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman, died in his Chicago home at age 96.

Today's Birthdays: Actor-director Lord Richard Attenborough is 89. Movie director William Friedkin is 77. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is 76. Actor Elliott Gould is 74. Movie director Joel Schumacher is 73. Former White House Press Secretary James Brady is 72. TV personality Robin Leach is 71. Actor Ray Wise is 65. Actress Deborah Van Valkenburgh is 60. White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew is 57. Dancer-choreographer Mark Morris is 56. Country musician Dan Truman (Diamond Rio) is 56. Actress Rebecca DeMornay is 53. Singer Me'Shell NdegeOcello is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Carl Martin (Shai) is 42. Actress Carla Gugino is 41. Rock musician Kyle Cook (Matchbox Twenty) is 37. Actor John Hensley is 35. Rock musician David Desrosiers (Simple Plan) is 32. Rapper A+ is 30. Actress Jennifer Landon is 29. Actor Jeffrey Licon is 27. Actress-singer Lea Michele (TV: "Glee") is 26. Rock singer Liam Payne (One Direction) is 19.

Thought for Today: "Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising." -- Cyril Connolly, British journalist-writer (1903-1974).

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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