Today in History:
August 21, 1959 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii to the Union as the 50th state.
August 22, 1986 - Deadly fumes from a volcanic eruption under Lake Nios in Cameroon killed more than 1,500 persons.
August 23, 1927 - Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were electrocuted inside a prison at Charlestown, Massachusetts. They had been convicted of a shoe factory payroll robbery during which the paymaster and a guard had been killed. Following their convictions, all appeals for a new trial had failed, despite the lack of hard evidence and a later admission by a known criminal that he had participated in the robbery with an organized criminal gang. The days and weeks leading up to their execution aroused worldwide protests amid accusations of unfair treatment because they had radical political views and were Italian.
August 24-25, 1814 - During the War of 1812, Washington, D.C., was invaded by British forces that burned the Capitol, the White House and most other public buildings along with a number of private homes. The burning was in retaliation for the earlier American burning of York (Toronto).
August 25, 1985 - Samantha Smith died in an airplane crash in Maine. In 1982, the 11-year-old American schoolgirl had written a letter to Soviet Russia's leader Yuri Andropov asking, "Why do you want to conquer the whole world, or at least our country?" To her surprise, Andropov replied personally to her and offered an all-expense paid trip to the U.S.S.R. She toured Russia for two weeks amid worldwide publicity and came to symbolize American and Russian hopes for peaceful co-existence.
August 26, 1883 - One of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in recorded history occurred on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa. Explosions were heard 2,000 miles away. Tidal waves 120 ft. high killed 36,000 persons on nearby islands, while five cubic miles of earth were blasted into the air up to a height of 50 miles.
August 27th, 1908: Birthday - Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) the 36th U.S. President was born near Stonewall, Texas. He ascended to the presidency upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Johnson served until January 20, 1969.
August 27th 1910: Birthday - Mother Teresa (1910-1997) was born (as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) in Skopje, Yugoslavia. She founded a religious order of nuns in Calcutta, India, called the Missionaries of Charity and spent her life working to help the poor and sick of India.
August 28, 1963 - The March on Washington occurred as over 250,000 persons attended a Civil Rights rally in Washington, D.C., at which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his now-famous I Have a Dream speech.
August 29, 1792 - In one of the worst maritime disasters, 900 men drowned on the British battleship Royal George. As the ship was being repaired, a gust of wind allowed water to flood into open gun ports. The ship sank within minutes.