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Today is the 227th day of 2021 and the 57th day of sum- mer.
TODAY’S HISTORY: In 1483, the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel was consecrated.
In 1914, the Panama Canal officially opened.
In 1947, India and Pakistan won independence from Britain.
In 1971, President Richard M. Nixon canceled the direct convertibility of the U.S. dollar to gold.
In 2003, Libya accepted responsibility for the bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, and agreed to pay reparations.
TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS: Napoleon Bonaparte (1769- 1821), French emperor; Walter Scott (1771-1832), poet/novelist; Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959), actress; Edna Ferber (1885-1968), author; Julia Child (1912-2004), cook- book author/TV personality; Stieg Larsson (1954-2004), journalist/author; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (1963- ), filmmaker; Debra Messing (1968- ), actress; Ben Affleck (1972- ), actor; Carl Edwards (1979- ), race car driver; Jennifer Lawrence (1990- ), actress.
TODAY’S FACT: The price of gold skyrocketed from $35 per ounce in 1971 to $800 per ounce in 1980 as a result of the economic measures undertaken by President Nixon in 1971.
TODAY’S SPORTS: In 1948, Babe Didrikson Zaharias won the third women’s golf U.S. Open, even after missing a 5-foot putt on the 18th hole.
TODAY’S QUOTE: “When I was a young girl, my family used to drive up to Manhattan to see all the big musicals. And I remember levitating off my seat, amazed that there were these people, arm’s length away, singing and dancing. It’s always been magic to me.” — Debra Messing
TODAY’S NUMBER: 400,000 — estimated number of con- certgoers who attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair when it opened near Bethel, New York, on this day in 1969.
TODAY’S MOON: First quarter moon (Aug. 15).