Today is Saturday, Aug. 24, the 236th day of 2013. There are 129 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 24, A.D. 410, Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, a major event in the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
On this date:
In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to the Capitol and the White House, and other buildings.
In 1912, Congress approved legislation establishing Parcel Post delivery by the U.S. Post Office Department, slated to begin on Jan. 1, 1913.
In 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., making her the first woman to fly solo, nonstop, from coast to coast.
In 1959, three days after Hawaiian statehood, Hiram L. Fong was sworn in as the first Chinese-American U.S. Senator while Daniel K. Inouye was sworn in as the first Japanese-American U.S. Representative.
In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
In 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing $30 billion in damage; 43 U.S. deaths were blamed on the storm.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a "dwarf planet."
Ten years ago: The Justice Department reported the U.S. crime rate in 2002 was the lowest since studies began in 1973.
Five years ago: On the final day of the Beijing Games, Kobe Bryant hit two 3-pointers in a big fourth quarter to help the United States defeat Spain 118-107 and win the men’s basketball gold medal for the first time since 2000.
One year ago: A suit-clad gunman, Jeffrey Johnson, opened fire outside New York’s Empire State Building, killing a former co-worker, Steve Ercolino, before being gunned down by police.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Kenny Baker ("Star Wars") is 79. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. is 53.Actor Alex O’Loughlin (TV: "Hawaii Five-0") is 37. Actor Rupert Grint ("Harry Potter" films) is 25.
Thought for Today: "No one knows his true character until he has run out of gas, purchased something on the installment plan and raised an adolescent." -- Marcelene Cox, American writer.