• On Aug. 11, 1856, a hurricane hits the Louisiana coast, killing more than 400 people when Isle Derniere is totally submerged by storm surges. A tidal wave carried off upward of 150 people, with some bodies ending up 6 miles away. The only survivors were those who were able to make it to a steamship moored at the island.
• On Aug. 8, 1907, the Rolls- Royce Silver Ghost passes its 15,000-mile official trial with flying colors, showing off its seven-liter engine and four-speed overdrive gearbox. A total of 6,173 Silver Ghosts were produced.
• On Aug. 6, 1932, Richard Hollingshead Jr. first registers his patent for the drive-in movie theater. Hollingshead was awarded the patent in May 1933, though it was declared invalid in 1950. After the patent was revoked, thousands of drive-ins appeared on the American landscape, reaching a peak of 4,063 in 1958.
• On Aug. 9, 1949, author Jonathan Kellerman is born in New York City. His first novel, “When the Bough Breaks,” was published in 1985. Kellerman currently has more than 20 million books in print.
• On Aug. 7, 1971, the Bee Gees top the charts for the first time with “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.” The Brothers Gibb went on to score more No. 1 hits than any group in history except the Beatles and the Supremes.
• On Aug. 12, 1985, a Japan Air Lines Boeing 747SR crashes into Mount Otsuka, 70 miles northwest of Tokyo. Twelve minutes into the flight, as the jumbo jet was approaching its cruising altitude, an explosion shook the aircraft and blew off part of the tail section. There were 524 people aboard, and all but four were dead by the time rescuers reached the remote crash site 12 hours later.
• On Aug. 10, 1993, a rare collision of three ships (two fuel barges and one phosphate freighter) in Tampa Bay, Florida, results in a spill of 336,000 gallons of fuel oil. Three thousand volunteers saved almost all of the native wildlife that was affected by the disaster.
(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.