Today's Highlight in History:Courtesy of the Associated Press and Edwin1961
On Aug. 3, 1958, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater.
On this date:
In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, on a voyage that took him to the present-day Americas.
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 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the United States, following the death of Warren G. Harding.
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 1948, former Communist Whittaker Chambers, testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee, accused former State Department official Alger Hiss of having been part of a Communist cell, a charge Hiss denied.
In 1949, the National Basketball Association was formed as a merger of the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League.
In 1980, closing ceremonies were held in Moscow for the Summer Olympic Games, which had been boycotted by dozens of countries, including the United States.
In 1981, U.S. air traffic controllers went on strike, despite a warning from President Reagan they would be fired, which they were.
In 1988, the Soviet Union released Mathias Rust, the young West German pilot who had landed a light plane near Moscow's Red Square in May 1987.
Ten years ago: The White House played down the possibility that President Clinton would reverse previous statements and admit to a sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky when he testified before a grand jury.
Five years ago: The Episcopal Church's House of Deputies further paved the way for the Rev. V. Gene Robinson to become the church's first openly gay elected bishop, approving him on a 128-63 vote. Annika Sorenstam completed a career Grand Slam at the Women's British Open, beating Se Ri Pak by a stroke in a thrilling head-to-head showdown. Hank Stram, Marcus Allen, James Lofton, Elvin Bethea and Joe DeLamielleure were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
One year ago: A jury at Camp Pendleton, Calif., sentenced Marine Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III to 15 years in prison for the murder of an Iraqi civilian during a fruitless search for an insurgent. Iraqis welcomed home their soccer team, which had won the Asian Cup.
Today's Birthdays: Author P.D. James is 88. Broadway composer Richard Adler is 87. Singer Gordon Stoker (The Jordanaires) is 84. Singer Tony Bennett is 82. Actor Martin Sheen is 68. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is 67. Singer Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) is 67. Rock musician B.B. Dickerson is 59. Movie director John Landis is 58. Actress JoMarie Payton is 58. Actor Jay North ("Dennis the Menace") is 57. Country musician Randy Scruggs is 55. Actor John C. McGinley is 49. Rock singer-musician Lee Rocker (The Stray Cats) is 47. Rock singer James Hetfield (Metallica) is 45. Rock singer-musician Ed Roland (Collective Soul) is 45. Actor Isaiah Washington is 45. Country musician Dean Sams (Lonestar) is 42. Rock musician Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) is 38. Hip-hop artist Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa) is 37. Actress Brigid Brannagh is 36. Actress Evangeline Lilly is 29. Singer Holly Arnstein (Dream) is 23.
Thought for Today: "The soul of a civilization is its religion, and it dies with its faith." Will (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant (1898-1981), American historians