Today is the 230th day of 2012 and the 59th day of summer.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1863, Union forces began shelling Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
In 1896, prospectors discovered gold in Alaska, sparking the Klondike gold rush.
In 1945, Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands.
In 1988, Pakistani President Muhammad Zia died in an airplane crash.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Davy Crockett (1786-1836), frontiersman/soldier; Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), Black Nationalist leader; Samuel Goldwyn (1882-1974), film producer; Mae West (1893-1980), actress; Maureen O'Hara (1920- ), actress; Robert De Niro (1943- ), actor; Sean Penn (1960- ), actor/director; Jorge Posada (1971- ), baseball player; Dustin Pedroia (1983- ), baseball player.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2008, swimmer Michael Phelps won his historic eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
TODAY'S FCAT: Only about 161,000 metric tons of gold have been mined in all of human history.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be." -- Thomas Jefferson
TODAY'S NUMBER: 17,508 -- islands counted within the territory of Indonesia.
TODAY'S MOON: New moon (Aug. 17).