On this Day August 19
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1909 – The first race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before a crowd of 12,000. Austrian driver Louis Schwitzer wins the five-lap event behind the wheel of a Stoddard-Dayton traveling at an average speed of 57.4 miles per hour.
1960 – A Soviet military court sentences American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers to 10 years in prison for spying. Powers had pleaded guilty to spying for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after his plane was shot down at high altiitude above the Soviet Union.
1969 – Some 8,000 volunteers begin a massive cleanup of Max Yasgur’s Bethel, New York dairy farm after nearly half a million people leave the muddy, garbage-strewn site of the iconic Woodstock music festival. Decades later, archaeologists begin digging up remnants of the event.
1977 – Beloved, cigar-chomping comedian Groucho Marx dies at the age of 86. A member of the comedic Marx Brother, he spent nearly seven decades making people laugh with his snappy one-liners and sharp wit.
1978 – “Three Times a Lady,” by The Commodores featuring Lionel Richie, begins its second and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single is the band’s first No. 1 hit and garners two Grammy nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus.