Today is Sunday, Aug. 19, the 232nd day of 2012. There are 134 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 19, 1812, the USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia during the War of 1812, earning the nickname "Old Ironsides."
On this date:
In 1807, Robert Fulton's North River Steamboat arrived in Albany, two days after leaving New York.
In 1848, the New York Herald reported the discovery of gold in California.
In 1909, the first automobile races were run at the just-opened Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In 1934, a plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.
In 1936, the first of a series of show trials orchestrated by Soviet leader Josef Stalin began in Moscow as 16 defendants faced charges of conspiring against the government (all were convicted and executed).
In 1942, during World War II, about 6,000 Canadian and British soldiers launched a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering more than 50 percent casualties.
In 1951, the owner of the St. Louis Browns, Bill Veeck (vehk), sent in 3-foot-7 Eddie Gaedel to pinch-hit in a game against Detroit. (In his only major league at-bat, Gaedel walked on four pitches and was replaced at first base by a pinch-runner.)
In 1960, a tribunal in Moscow convicted American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage. (Although sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, Powers was returned to the United States in 1962 as part of a prisoner exchange.)
In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford won the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Kansas City.
In 1980, 301 people aboard a Saudi Arabian L-1011 died as the jetliner made a fiery emergency return to the Riyadh airport.
In 1982, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya (sah-VEETS'-kah-yah) became the second woman to be launched into space.
In 1991, Soviet hard-liners made the stunning announcement that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev had been removed from power. (The coup attempt collapsed two days later.)