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August 19th

1915 Two Americans were killed when a German U-boat torpedoed the British liner Lusitania in the Atlantic Ocean, an incident that helped move the United States into World War I.
1955 Floods hit the northeastern United States, killing 200 people.
1960 U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers was convicted in a Moscow court and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released 18 months later and exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.
1977 One of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history hit the eastern Indian Ocean between Australia and Indonesia, rattling buildings in Perth, Australia, 1,000 miles to the south.
1987 Gun enthusiast Michael Ryan went on a shooting rampage in Hungerford, England, killing 16 people.
1991 Soviet President Gorbachev was detained at his vacation dacha as military and KGB hard-liners staged a coup that ultimately failed.
1992 Delegates to the Republican National Convention nominated President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle for re-election. They were defeated in November by Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore.
1993 Former contra rebels in Nicaragua took a government delegation hostage. In retaliation, ex-Sandinista soldiers seized political leaders in Managua, the capital. All hostages were released by both groups by Aug. 25.
1994 U.S. President Bill Clinton announced he was ending the 28-year U.S. policy of letting Cuban refugees take up U.S. residency if they reached the country.
1995 Three U.S. negotiators, including U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Frasure, were killed when their vehicle plunged from a mountain road near Sarajevo, Bosnia.
1996 The Green Party nominated Ralph Nader as its presidential candidate.
2003 The U.N. representative to Iraq was among the 22 people killed when a cement mixer truck loaded with 1,500 pounds of explosives blew up at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.
2003 A suicide bomber exploded a device aboard a Jerusalem bus killing and injuring more than 100 people.
2004 The price of oil hit a record high of $48.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
2005 Merck & Co, said it would appeal a Texas jury's award of $253 million in a wrongful death suit over the company's Vioxx painkiller. It was the first civil trial for the drug, pulled from the market after a study showed it could increase a risk of heart attack or stroke. In all, some 4,000 lawsuits were filed in the case.
2006 More than 30 people were feared dead after a boat carrying up to 200 illegal immigrants capsized and sank near Sicily, the Italian coast guard said.
2007 Voters in Thailand approved a constitutional referendum by the military-backed government, which seized power the previous year.
2007 Rescue workers were reported ending their search for six miners trapped in a Utah coal mine for nearly two weeks. Three would-be rescuers were killed in a second cave-in.
2008 The resignation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was followed by insurgent bombing attacks that killed about 100 people. One bomb blast tore through the emergency area of a hospital in northwest Pakistan while two suicide bombers set off explosions outside Pakistan's main military weapons plant north of Islamabad.
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