Today is Friday, Aug. 11, the 223rd day of 2017. There are 142 days left in the year.
On August 11, 1997, President Bill Clinton made the first use of the historic line-item veto, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court later struck down the veto as unconstitutional.)
In 1860, the nation's first successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nevada.
In 1909, the steamship SS Arapahoe became the first ship in North America to issue an S.O.S. distress signal, off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras.
In 1934, the first federal prisoners arrived at Alcatraz Island (a former military prison) in San Francisco Bay.
In 1942, during World War II, Pierre Laval, prime minister of Vichy France, publicly declared that "the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war."
In 1954, a formal peace took hold in Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting between the French and Communist Viet Minh.
In 1956, abstract painter Jackson Pollock, 44, died in an automobile accident on Long Island, New York.
In 1962, Andrian Nikolayev became the Soviet Union's third cosmonaut in space as he was launched on a 94-hour flight.
In 1965, rioting and looting that claimed 34 lives broke out in the predominantly black Watts section of Los Angeles.
In 1975, the United States vetoed the proposed admission of North and South Vietnam to the United Nations, following the Security Council's refusal to consider South Korea's application.
In 1984, during a voice test for a paid political radio address, President Ronald Reagan joked that he had "signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
In 1992, the Mall of America, the nation's largest shopping-entertainment center, opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.
In 2014, Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, 63, died in Tiburon, California, a suicide.