On This Day: Beirut blasts kill hundreds

Workers inspect the damage one day after two explosions in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on August 5, 2020. File Photo by Ahmad Terro/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 4 (UPI) — In 1735, the standard of truth as a defense against a claim of libel was established in the American colonies when John Peter Zenger, publisher of a New York City newspaper, was acquitted of libel charges.

In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden, the elderly parents of Lizzie Borden, were found hacked to death with a hatchet. Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders at trial.

In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. The United States initially declared itself neutral in World War I.

In 1944, acting on a tip from a Dutch informer, the Nazi Gestapo captured 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam, Netherlands, warehouse. She died less than a year later in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.

In 1958, Billboard magazine introduced its “Hot 100” chart, covering the 100 most popular pop singles in the country. The first No. 1 was Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool.”

File Photo courtesy of Decca Records

In 1964, the remains of three slain civil rights workers, whose disappearance on June 21 garnered national attention, were found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Miss. In 2005, A Mississippi judge sentenced ex-Klansman Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison for killing James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. The incident became the basis of the movie, Mississippi Burning.

In 1972, Arthur Bremer was found guilty of severely injuring Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who was campaigning for president. Bremer was sentenced to 63 years in prison.

In 1984, the African Republic of Upper Volta changed its named to Burkina Faso, which means “the land of upright men.”

In 2007, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 755th career home run, tying Hank Aaron’s all-time major league record. He broke the record three days later and finished the season at 762 home runs. His achievements were clouded by accusations of using performance-enhancing substances.

File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI

In 2014, James Brady, the White House press secretary who was paralyzed by a gunshot in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan and became a leading gun-control advocate, died in Alexandria, Va.; he was 73. Brady’s death was ruled a homicide, resulting from the 1981 shootings, which also wounded the president and two other men.

In 2020, two explosions rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut, shattering windows for miles across the city. The blasts killed more than 200 people and injured thousands.

File Photo by Ahmad Terro/UPI