Today is Monday, Aug. 2, the 215th day of 2004. There are 151 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 2, 1943, during World War II, a Navy patrol torpedo boat, PT-109, commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri off the Solomon Islands. (The future president was credited with saving members of the crew; he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism, and also received the Purple Heart for injuries he'd suffered.)

On this date:

In 1776, members of the 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.

In 1921, opera singer Enrico Caruso died in Naples, Italy.

In 1923, the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco.

In 1934, German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler's complete takeover.

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

In 1945, President Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee concluded the Potsdam conference.

In 1964, the Pentagon reported the first of two attacks on U.S. destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

In 1985, 137 people were killed when a Delta Air Lines jetliner 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.)

Ten years ago: Serbia threatened to cut all aid to the Bosnian Serbs if they didn't approve an international peace plan.

Five years ago: Launching another salvo in a war of nerves with rival Taiwan, China announced it had test-fired a new long-range missile. A train collision in India claimed 286 lives.

One year ago: Saddam Hussein's two elder sons and a grandson were buried as martyrs near the deposed Iraqi leader's hometown of Tikrit, where insurgents afterward attacked U.S. troops with three remote-controlled bombs. Liberian President Charles Taylor agreed to cede power.

Today's Birthdays: Former Senator Paul Laxalt, R-Nev., is 82. Actor Peter O'Toole is 72. Country singer Hank Cochran is 69. Rock musician Garth Hudson (The Band) is 67. Movie director Wes Craven is 65. Singer Edward Patten (Gladys Knight & The Pips) is 65. Singer Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 61. Actor Max Wright is 61. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 59. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 54. Singer Andrew Gold is 53. Singer Mojo Nixon is 47. Actress Victoria Jackson is 45. Actress Apollonia is 45. Actress Cynthia Stevenson is 42. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 40. Rock musician John Stanier is 36. Writer-actor-director Kevin Smith is 34. Actor Edward Furlong is 27. Rock musician Devon Glenn (Buckcherry) is 24. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 12.

Thought for Today: "A man who does not lose his reason over certain things has none to lose." - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, German dramatist (1729-1781).


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