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Matthew Hedger
08/11/2014 9:18 AM

Today is Monday, Aug. 11, the 223rd day of 2014 with 142 to follow.

It's back to school day in Amador County for all grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Mercury and Saturn.

In 1877, Thomas Edison described the fundamentals of the phonograph to an assistant and instructed him to build the first one.

In 1934, the first group of federal prisoners classified as most dangerous arrived at Alcatraz Island, a 22-acre rocky outcrop 1.5 miles offshore in San Francisco Bay.

In 1954, a formal announcement ended the seven-year war in Indochina between France and forces of the communist Viet Minh.

In 1965, riots began in the Watts section of Los Angeles. (In six days of violence, 34 people were killed.)

In 1984, in an off-air radio voice check picked up by TV cameras, U.S. President Ronald Reagan joked, My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes. The Kremlin wasn't amused.

In 1991, a Lebanese militant group, the Revolutionary Justice Organization, released U.S. hostage Edward Tracy, 60, who was a captive for nearly five years.

In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton endorsed the Brady Bill handgun control measure and signed an executive order banning the import of semiautomatic assault-style handguns.

In 1994, Major League Baseball players went on strike following the conclusion of the day's games.

In 1997, Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to use the line-item veto, a power granted by Congress the year before.

In 1998, two boys were found to be delinquent, or guilty of murder, in the fatal March shootings of four students and a teacher at their middle school in Jonesboro, Ark.

In 1999, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to drop the theory of evolution from the public school curriculum.

In 2007, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to refrain from disciplining members of the clergy involved in same-sex relationships.

In 2009, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, younger sister of President John Kennedy, mother of former California first lady Maria Shriver and founder of the Special Olympics, died in a Cape Cod, Mass., hospital. She was 88. She devoted much of her life to raising funds for and awareness of people with mental disabilities.

In 2010, former U.S. Rep Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., who rose to be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and went to prison in disgrace, died after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.

In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as his running mate.

In 2013, laid-back Jason Dufner won his first major -- the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Pittsford, N.Y. After the victory, his wife, Amanda, was asked if Dufner ever got nervous. If he has been, she said, he's never told me.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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