August 21

1858 The Lincoln-Douglas debates began in Illinois, with U.S. Senate candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debating the issue of slavery. The two debated in seven Illinois towns, with their speeches lasting for hours. Lincoln advocated the abolition of slavery, making him a national political figure. However, Douglas won the election.

1878 A group of lawyers, judges, and law professors founded the American Bar Association.

1931 Babe Ruth became the first major league baseball player to hit 600 career home runs.

1947 The first Little League World Series tournament was held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

1952 Clash singer-guitarist Joe Strummer is born. He dies in 2002.

1959 Hawaii becomes the 50th state.

1959 President Dwight Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.

1965 Out Of Our Heads by the Rolling Stones hits Number One on the album chart, where it stays for three weeks.

1971 “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” by Creedence Clearwater Revival peaks at Number Six on the pop chart, where it stays for two weeks.

1971 Ram by Paul & Linda McCartney peaks at Number Two on the album chart, where it stays for two weeks.

1971 B, S & T; 4 by Blood, Sweat & Tears peaks at Number 10 on the album chart.

1972 Jefferson Airplane gets in a fight with police in Akron, Ohio, after the band’s equipment manager calls the officers “pigs.” Lead singer Grace Slick is maced and bassist Jack Casady is arrested and pulled off the stage.

1973 Brothers And Sisters by the Allman Brothers Band is certified gold.

1973 Toulouse Street by the Doobie Brothers is certified gold.

1982 “Wasted On The Way” by Crosby, Stills & Nash peaks at Number Nine on the pop chart, where it stays for four weeks.

1982 “Take It Away” by Paul McCartney peaks at Number 10 on the pop chart, where it stays for five weeks.

1982 Three Sides Live by Genesis peaks at Number 10 on the album chart, where it stays for three weeks.

1982 Bono and Alison Stewart are married.

1991 The coup attempt against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev collapsed in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.

1992 A standoff between U.S. federal agents and white supremacist Randy Weaver began at Weaver’s Ruby Ridge, Idaho, mountaintop home. When it ended 11 days later with Weaver’s surrender, three people had been killed — Weaver’s wife, his teenage son, and a deputy marshal.

1993 Engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the planet on a $980 million mission. It’s believed to have been destroyed due to a malfunction.

1996 President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act Of 1996, which allowed Americans to carry health insurance from one job to the next and limited denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

1998 Monica Lewinsky goes before a grand jury for a second round of explicit testimony about her White House trysts with President Clinton.

2002 David Westerfield was convicted of kidnapping and killing his neighbor, seven-year-old Danielle Van Dam, who was taken from her San Diego bedroom six months earlier.

2005 Synthesizer inventor Robert Moog (pronounced to rhyme with “rogue”) dies at age 71.