Highlights: In 3114 B.C., the current cycle of the Mayan “Long Count" calendar began. (By some estimates, the cycle will end, and a new one will begin, on Dec. 21 of this year.) In 1934, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Island (a former military prison) in San Francisco Bay.In 1965, rioting and looting that claimed 34 lives broke out in the predominantly black Watts section of Los Angeles. In 1984, during a voice test for a paid political radio address, President Ronald Reagan joked that he had “signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
Ten years ago: Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, a bioweapons expert under scrutiny for anthrax-laced letters, fiercely denied any involvement and said he had cooperated with the investigation. (Hatfill was never charged, and the Justice Department ended up agreeing to pay $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit Hatfill had brought against the government for wrongly implicating him.)
Five years ago: President George W. Bush welcomed French President Nicolas Sarkozy to his family’s estate in Kennebunkport, Maine. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won an easy and expected victory in a high-profile Iowa Republican Party Straw Poll. Funerals were held in Newark, N.J., for three college or college-bound students shot to death in a schoolyard.
One year ago: Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann sparred bitterly during an eight-candidate Republican debate in Ames, Iowa; Mitt Romney sought to stay above the fray as he focused on President Barack Obama, saying, “Our president simply doesn’t understand how to lead and how to grow the economy."
Computer scientist and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is 62. Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan is 59. Actress Viola Davis is 47. Actor-host Joe Rogan is 45. Actor Chris Hemsworth is 29.
— From wire reports