Today is Friday, Aug. 13, the 226th day of 2004. There are 140 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 13, 1961, Berlin was divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city's eastern and western sectors in order to halt the flight of refugees.

On this date:

In 1521, Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured present-day Mexico City from the Aztec Indians.

In 1624, French King Louis XIII named Cardinal Richelieu his first minister.

In 1704, the Battle of Blenheim was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession, resulting in a victory for English and Austrian forces over French and Bavarian soldiers.

In 1846, the American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.

In 1910, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London.

In 1932, Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice-chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out "for all or nothing."

In 1934, the satirical comic strip "Li'l Abner," created by Al Capp, made its debut.

In 1946, author H.G. Wells died in London.

In 1960, the first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo One.

In 1981, in a ceremony at his California ranch, President Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.

Ten years ago: In his weekly radio address, President Clinton put Congress on notice that he wouldn't give up an assault weapons ban as the price to revive a crime bill stalled on Capitol Hill. NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner died at age 59.

Five years ago: Gunmen shot to death Colombian humorist Jaime Garzon in a killing that authorities later blamed on the leader of the country's right-wing paramilitary. Tennis player Steffi Graf retired from the sport she had dominated for two decades.

One year ago: Iraq began pumping crude oil from its northern oil fields for the first time since the start of the war. Libya agreed to set up a $2.7 billion fund for families of 270 people killed in the 1988 Pan Am bombing.

Today's Birthdays: Television evangelist Rex Humbard is 85. Cuban President Fidel Castro is 78. Actor Pat Harrington is 75. Singer Don Ho is 74. Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders is 71. Blues singer-musician Son Seals is 62. Actor Kevin Tighe is 60. Actress Gretchen Corbett is 57. Opera singer Kathleen Battle is 56. Singer Dan Fogelberg is 53. Actor Danny Bonaduce is 45. Actress Quinn Cummings is 37. Country singer Andy Griggs is 31. Country musician Mike Melancon (Emerson Drive) is 26.

Thought for Today: "You should avoid making yourself too clear even in your explanations." - Baltasar Gracian, Spanish philosopher (1601-1658).

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