Albert Einstein signs a letter to FDR urging creation of atomic weapons research program

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2018. There are 151 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 2, 1939, Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program.

On this date:

In 1610, during his fourth voyage to the Western Hemisphere, English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into what is now known as Hudson Bay.

In 1776, members of the Second Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

In 1876, frontiersman “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, by Jack McCall, who was later hanged.

In 1909, the original Lincoln “wheat” penny first went into circulation, replacing the “Indian Head” cent.

In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.

In 1939, President Roosevelt signed the Hatch Act, which prohibited civil service employees from taking an active part in political campaigns.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Navy boat PT-109, commanded by Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed in the middle of the night by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands. Two crew members were killed.

In 1974, former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate cover-up. Dean ended up serving four months.

In 1980, 85 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the train station in Bologna, Italy.

In 1985, 137 people were killed when Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.

In 2000, Republicans awarded Texas Gov. George W. Bush their 2000 presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Philadelphia and ratified Dick Cheney as his running mate.

Ten years ago: Police in southern Afghanistan reported a bus carrying a wedding party had struck a mine, killing 10 people, including the bride and groom; meanwhile, two French humanitarian aid workers kidnapped on July 18 were released.

Five years ago: The United States issued an extraordinary global travel warning to Americans about the threat of an al-Qaida attack and closed down 21 embassies and consulates across the Muslim world for the weekend.

One year ago: Former Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian died at his home in Granger, Indiana, at the age of 94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 22,000 for the first time, after stocks spent five months gradually moving higher.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Nehemiah Persoff is 99. Former Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 96. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 81. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 75. Actor Max Wright is 75. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 73. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 68. Actor Butch Patrick (TV: “The Munsters”) is 65. Rock music producer/drummer Butch Vig (Garbage) is 63. Singer Mojo Nixon is 61. Actress Victoria Jackson is 59. Actress Apollonia is 59. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 56. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 54. Rock musician John Stanier is 50. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 48. Actress Jacinda Barrett is 46. Actor Sam Worthington is 42. Figure skater Michael Weiss is 42. Actor Edward Furlong is 41. Rock musician Devon Glenn is 38. TV meteorologist Dylan Dreyer (TV: “Today”) is 37. Actress Marci Miller is 33. Singer Charli XCX is 26. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 26.

Thought for Today: “Ideas are powerful things, requiring not a studious contemplation but an action, even if it is only an inner action.” — Midge Decter, American writer.