Today in History – August 30, 2023

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2023. There are 123 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 30, 2021, the United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war with the Taliban back in power, as Air Force transport planes carried a remaining contingent of troops from Kabul airport. After watching the last U.S. planes disappear into the sky over Afghanistan, Taliban fighters fired their guns into the air, celebrating victory after a 20-year insurgency.
On this date:
In 1861, Union Gen. John C. Fremont instituted martial law in Missouri and declared slaves there to be free. (However, Fremont’s emancipation order was countermanded by President Abraham Lincoln.)
In 1941, during World War II, German forces approaching Leningrad cut off the remaining rail line out of the city.
In 1945, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Japan to set up Allied occupation headquarters.
In 1963, the “Hot Line” communications link between Washington and Moscow went into operation.
In 1967, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as the first Black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1983, Guion (GY’-un) S. Bluford Jr. became the first Black American astronaut to travel in space as he blasted off aboard the Challenger.
In 1991, Azerbaijan (ah-zur-by-JAHN’) declared its independence, joining the stampede of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.
In 1992, the television series “Northern Exposure” won six Emmy Awards, including best drama series, while “Murphy Brown” received three Emmys, including best comedy series.
In 1993, “The Late Show with David Letterman” premiered on CBS-TV.
In 1997, Americans received word of the car crash in Paris that claimed the lives of Princess Diana, her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed (DOH’-dee FY’-ehd), and their driver, Henri (AHN’-ree) Paul. (Because of the time difference, it was August 31 where the crash occurred.)
In 2005, a day after Hurricane Katrina hit, floods were covering 80 percent of New Orleans, looting continued to spread and rescuers in helicopters and boats picked up hundreds of stranded people.
In 2007, in a serious breach of nuclear security, a B-52 bomber armed with six nuclear warheads flew cross-country unnoticed; the Air Force later punished 70 people.
Ten years ago: Indonesia’s highest court upheld a death sentence for Lindsay Sandiford, a British woman convicted of smuggling $2.5 million worth of cocaine into the resort island of Bali. Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize for literature and gained a global reputation as Ireland’s greatest poet since William Butler Yates, died in Dublin at age 74.
Five years ago: A Los Angeles man was arrested and charged with making a series of phone calls threatening to kill journalists at The Boston Globe for what he allegedly called “treasonous” attacks on President Donald Trump. (Robert Chain later pleaded guilty to seven counts of making threatening communications; he is scheduled for sentencing in September.) The president told Congress that he would be canceling pay raises that were due in January for most civilian federal employees, citing budget constraints.
One year ago: Mikhail Gorbachev, who as the last leader of the Soviet Union waged a losing battle to salvage a crumbling empire but produced extraordinary reforms that led to the end of the Cold War, making him one of the most important political figures of the 20th century, died at age 91. Ukraine claimed to have destroyed bridges and ammunition depots and pounded command posts in a surge of fighting in the Russian-occupied south, fueling speculation that its long-awaited counteroffensive to try to turn the tide of war was underway. Russia said it repelled the attack and inflicted heavy casualties. Charlbi Dean, a South African actor and model who had a breakout role in “Triangle of Sadness,” which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival and would go on to be nominated for three Oscars, died at age 32.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Elizabeth Ashley is 84. Actor-turned politician Ben Jones is 82. Actor John Kani is 81. Cartoonist R. Crumb is 80. Olympic gold medal skier Jean-Claude Killy (zhahn-KLOHD’ kee-LEE’) is 80. Comedian Lewis Black is 75. Actor Timothy Bottoms is 72. Actor David Paymer is 69. Jazz musician Gerald Albright is 66. Actor Michael Chiklis is 60. Actor Michael Michele is 57. Country singer Sherrie Austin is 52. Rock singer-musician Lars Frederiksen (Rancid) is 52. Actor Cameron Diaz is 51. TV personality Lisa Ling is 50. Rock singer-musician Aaron Barrett (Reel Big Fish) is 49. Actor Raúl Castillo is 46. Actor Michael Gladis is 46. MLB pitcher Adam Wainwright is 42. Former tennis player Andy Roddick is 41. Singer Rachael Price (Lake Street Dive) is 38. Rock musician Ryan Ross is 37. Actor Johanna Braddy is 36. Actor Cameron Finley is 36.