Tues, Aug 4

2003—Lightning strikes a Bardstown, Ky., warehouse, sparking a fire; 19,000 barrels release 800,000 gallons—a flaming river of Jim Beam; thousands of fish die as high winds whip up a 100-foot firenado.

1992—Republicans re-nominate the Bush/Quayle ticket. Snicker.

1991—The captain and officers of the sinking Oceanos abandon the ship—and its passengers. Entertainers organize a successful rescue of all aboard.

1987—The FCC jettisons the Fairness Doctrine, declaring it “restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters.”

1964—The U.S.S. Maddox and U.S.S. Turner Joy report a second torpedo attack in Gulf of Tonkin. There are no casualties; nor is there any damage. Defense Secretary McNamara withholds from President Johnson warnings that it may just be a false alarm.

1961—Barack H. Obama allegedly is born in Hawaii.

1948—HUAC chairman J.P. Thomas’s pocketing of the payroll from his pals’ no-show jobs is exposed in Drew Pearson’s column.

1945—Joe Cleary’s MLB career lasts one-third of an inning, pitching for the Senators. He gives up five hits and three walks for an ERA of 189. He’s relieved by one-legged Bert Shepard, whose career lasts one game. The Red Sox win 15-4.

1942—The Bracero program begins. Mexican workers get to be criminally exploited north of the border.

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