Way back when: Today in history
BY GENE CURTIS
Monday, August 13, 2012
8/13/12 at 2:33 AM
1919 - Man o' War loses
Previously undefeated racehorse Man o' War lost by half a length to a horse appropriately named Upset, a horse he had defeated six previous times, in the Sanford Stakes race at Saratoga, N.Y. But Man o' War never lost another. Man o' War was retired from racing in 1920 to a ranch in Lexington, Ky., where he sired many later winners, including War Admiral, the 1937 triple crown winner. Man o' War died in 1947.
1936 - Capone parole denied
The federal parole board denied a parole to Chicago gangster Al Capone "for the welfare of society." Capone began a 10-year prison term in 1932 after a conviction for income tax evasion - the only charge the government could make stick against the beer baron and gangster. The full board voted unanimously against the gangster. Capone, who took the news stoically at Alcatraz prison, won a parole in 1939 and, suffering from syphilis, spent the rest of his life in Florida. He died in 1947.
1961 - Berlin barrier erected
The Communists banned East Germans from West Berlin, either to work or visit, in an attempt to stop the flow of refugees to the West. Hundreds of armed police and troops took up guard along the 28-mile border and began erecting wooden barriers and barbed-wire barricades. The wooden fence was replaced with a more substantial rock and mortar wall later. An estimated 80,000 East Berliners commuted to the western sector daily to work but East Berlin Mayor Friedrich Ebert signed an order prohibiting East Berliners from working in West Berlin. West Berlin had been the main escape hatch for East Germans fleeing to the West.
2008 - Phelps sets record
American swimmer Michael Phelps swam into history by winning five gold medals and setting five world records over the course of four days - and he wasn't through. Before the Beijing Olympic games ended, he won three more, giving him the record of winning more gold at a single Olympic game than any other athlete. In addition to those eight medals, Phelps, 23, of Baltimore, had won six other gold medals, making him the winner of the most gold of any Olympian.
Michael Phelps celebrates after winning his eighth gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. AP file