Today is Monday, Aug. 23, the 236th day of 2004. There are 130 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Aug. 23, 1914, Japan declared war against Germany in World War I.

On this date:

In 1754, 250 years ago, France's King Louis XVI was born at Versailles.

In 1926, silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31.

In 1927, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a 1920 robbery. Sacco and Vanzetti were vindicated in 1977 by Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.

In 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty.

In 1944, Romanian prime minister Ion Antonescu was dismissed by King Michael, paving the way for Romania to abandon the Axis in favor of the Allies.

In 1960, Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II died in Doylestown, Pa.

In 1972, the Republican national convention, meeting in Miami Beach, Fla., nominated Vice President Spiro T. Agnew for a second term.

In 1979, Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York.

In 1982, Lebanon's parliament elected Christian militia leader Bashir Gemayel president. He was assassinated some three weeks later.

In 1989, in a case that inflamed racial tensions in New York City, Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black youth, was shot dead after he and his friends were confronted by white youths in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.

Ten years ago: Republican senators threatened to thwart a $30 billion anti-crime bill unless Democrats accepted changes in the House-passed measure; President Clinton appealed for bipartisan cooperation.

Five years ago: The Dow Jones industrial average soared 199.15 to a record of 11,209.84. Fifty years after the German government moved to the capital of Bonn, Berlin reclaimed its role as a center of power in Germany with the arrival of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

One year ago: Former priest John Geoghan, the convicted child molester whose prosecution sparked the sex abuse scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church nationwide, died after another inmate attacked him in a Massachusetts prison. All-Star baseball player Bobby Bonds, slugger Barry Bonds' father, died at age 57.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Robert Mulligan is 79. Actress Vera Miles is 74. Political satirist Mark Russell is 72. Actress Barbara Eden is 70. Actor Richard Sanders is 64. Ballet dancer Patricia McBride is 62. Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello is 60. Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is 57. Singer Linda Thompson is 57. Actress Shelley Long is 55. Actor-singer Rick Springfield is 55. Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) is 55. Queen Noor of Jordan is 53. Actor-producer Mark Hudson is 53. Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) is 43. Country musician Ira Dean (Trick Pony) is 35. Actor Jay Mohr is 34. Rock singer Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) is 26.

Thought for Today: "Friendship is honey, but don't eat it all." - Moroccan proverb.

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