Today in History: August 4

Josia Thugwane of South Africa celebrates as he approaches the finish line to win the men's marathon at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Sunday August 4, 1996. Thugwane is the first black South African to win Olympic gold. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

Today is Thursday, Aug. 4, the 217th day of 2016. There are 149 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 4, 1991, the Greek luxury liner Oceanos sank in heavy seas off South Africa’s southeast coast; the 402 passengers and 179 crew members all survived, largely through the efforts of ship’s entertainers who oversaw rescue operations. (Capt. Yiannis Avranas and other officers faced criticism for leaving the ship while some passengers were still on board.)

On this date:

In 1735, a jury found John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal not guilty of committing seditious libel against the colonial governor of New York, William Cosby.

In 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard had its beginnings as President George Washington signed a measure authorizing a group of revenue cutters to enforce tariff and trade laws and prevent smuggling.

In 1830, plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.

In 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were axed to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden, Andrew’s daughter from a previous marriage, was accused of the killings, but acquitted at trial.

In 1914, Britain declared war on Germany for invading Belgium; the United States proclaimed its neutrality in the mushrooming world conflict.

In 1936, Jesse Owens of the U.S. won the second of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics as he prevailed in the long jump over German Luz Long, who was the first to congratulate him.

In 1944, 15-year-old diarist Anne Frank was arrested with her sister, parents and four others by the Gestapo after hiding for two years inside a building in Amsterdam. (Anne and her sister, Margot, died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.)

In 1964, the bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy.

In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission voted to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required radio and television stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues.

In 1996, on the final day of the Atlanta Olympics, Josiah Thugwane became the first black South African to win a gold medal as he finished first in the marathon.

In 2001, thousands of admirers turned out in London for what would prove to be the last birthday celebration for Britain’s Queen Mother Elizabeth, who was 101. (The Queen Mother died in March 2002.)

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