Ten years ago: For the first time in 20 years, a delegation of Soviet diplomats arrived in Israel for what was described as a “technical mission” to document Soviet citizens and make an inventory of Soviet property.

Five years ago: In an emotional farewell speech, Benjamin Hooks, outgoing executive director of the NAACP, urged the group’s convention in Nashville, Tenn., to show the world that it remained vital.

One year ago: The House voted overwhelmingly to define marriage in federal law as a legal union of one man and one woman, no matter what states might say. Hurricane Bertha hit North Carolina’s Cape Fear, then moved on to batter a string of coastal towns.

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