Today is Friday, Aug. 3, the 216th day of 2012. There are 150 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 3, 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
On this date:
In 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr went on trial before a federal court in Richmond, Va., charged with treason. (He was acquitted less than a month later.)
In 1914, Germany declared war on France at the onset of World War I.
In 1921, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis refused to reinstate the former Chicago White Sox players implicated in the "Black Sox" scandal, despite their acquittals in a jury trial.
In 1936, Jesse Owens of the United States won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he took the 100-meter sprint.
In 1943, Gen. George S. Patton slapped a private at an army hospital in Sicily, accusing him of cowardice. (Patton was later ordered by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to apologize for this and a second, similar episode.)
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
In 1960, the African country of Niger (nee-ZHEHR') achieved full independence from French rule.
In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce, 40, was found dead in his Los Angeles home.
In 1972, the U.S. Senate ratified the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union. (The U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the treaty in 2002.)
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Ronald Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
In 1987, the Iran-Contra congressional hearings ended, with none of the 29 witnesses tying President Ronald Reagan directly to the diversion of arms-sales profits to Nicaraguan rebels.
Ten years ago: Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian (jehn shwee bee-ehn) declared in a speech that Taiwan was "not someone else's province" but rather an independent country separate from China. (Chen's comments sparked an uproar both in China and at home, prompting him to back away from his pointed rhetoric.)
Do you think the Obama administration was involved in the unfair targeting of conservative groups by the IRS?