Today is Saturday, Aug. 11, the 224th day of 2012. There are 142 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 11, 1962, Andrian Nikolayev became the Soviet Union's third cosmonaut to fly in space as he was launched on a 94-hour flight.
On this date:
In 3114 B.C., the current cycle of the Mayan "Long Count" calendar began. (By some estimates, the cycle will end, and a new one will begin, on Dec. 21 of this year.)
In 1786, Capt. Francis Light arrived in Penang to claim the Malaysian island for Britain.
In 1860, the nation's first successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nev.
In 1909, the steamship SS Arapahoe became the first ship in North America to issue an S.O.S. distress signal, off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras.
In 1934, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Island (a former military prison) in San Francisco Bay.
In 1942, during World War II, Pierre Laval, prime minister of Vichy France, publicly declared that "the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war."
In 1952, Hussein bin Talal was proclaimed King of Jordan, beginning a reign lasting nearly 47 years.
In 1954, a formal peace took hold in Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting between the French and Communist Viet Minh.
In 1965, rioting and looting that claimed 34 lives broke out in the predominantly black Watts section of Los Angeles.
In 1984, during a voice test for a paid political radio address, President Ronald Reagan joked that he had "signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
In 1992, the Mall of America opened in Bloomington, Minn.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton made the first use of the historic line-item veto, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court later struck down the veto as unconstitutional.)
Ten years ago: Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, a bioweapons expert under scrutiny for anthrax-laced letters, fiercely denied any involvement and said he had cooperated with the investigation. (Hatfill was never charged, and the Justice Department ended up agreeing to pay $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit Hatfill had brought against the government for wrongly implicating him.) US Airways filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (US Airways emerged from bankruptcy in 2003, but returned to it in 2004 before re-emerging in 2005.) Karrie Webb won her third Women's British Open title.
Do you think the Obama administration was involved in the unfair targeting of conservative groups by the IRS?