•On Aug. 13, 1521, after a three-month siege, Spanish forces under Hernando Cortés capture Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec empire. Cortés’ men leveled the city and captured Cuauhtemoc, the Aztec emperor. Tenochtitlán was founded in 1325 A.D. by a wandering tribe of hunters and gatherers on islands in Lake Texcoco, near present-day Mexico City.
•On Aug. 14, 1935, during the Great Depression, the Social Security Act is passed by Congress. The bill mandated the now familiar “contributory system” in which workers put part of their salaries into a joint pension fund.
•On Aug. 8, 1945, in the final days of World War II, the Soviet Union officially declares war on Japan, pouring more than 1 million soldiers into Japanese-occupied Manchuria in northeastern China.
•On Aug. 10, 1954, workers at the Studebaker factory in South Bend, Ind., agree to take a pay cut to help the struggling company. Despite the agreement, which trimmed workers’ salaries from $20 to $12 an hour, Studebaker soon went belly-up.
•On Aug. 11, 1965, in the predominantly black Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, racial tension reaches a breaking point after two white policemen scuffle with a black motorist suspected of drunken driving. The incident touched off five days of rioting that left 34 dead, 1,032 injured, nearly 4,000 arrested and $40 million worth of property destroyed.
•On Aug. 12, 1973, golfer Jack Nicklaus wins the PGA championship for his 14th major title, surpassing Bobby Jones’ record of 13 major championships. The “Golden Bear” shot a 7-under-par 277 at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio.
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