Friday, July 21, 2017

Today In History...

In 1831 Belgium gains its independence from the Netherlands and Leopold Iv is proclaimed king.

In 1861 The first Battle of Bull Run is fought at Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a Confederate victory.

In 1873 Jesse James pulls off the world's first train robbery.

In 1925 The so-called "monkey trial" ends in Dayton, TN, with John T. Scopes found guilty of violating state law for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution. (The conviction was later overturned.)

In 1940 The Soviet Union annexes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

In 1944 U.S. forces land in Guam during World War II.

In 1944 The Democratic National Convention meeting in Chicago nominates Senator Harry S. Truman to be vice president.

In 1949 The U.S. Senate ratifies the North Atlantic Treaty by a vote of 82 to 13.

In 1954 France agrees to give independence to North and South Vietnam.

In 1955 During the Geneva summit, President Eisenhower presents his "open skies" proposal under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union would trade information on each other's military facilities.

In 1961 Captain Virgil "Gus" Grissom becomes the second American to rocket into a sub-orbital pattern around the Earth aboard the Mercury IV.

In 1965 Gemini V is launched atop Titan V with Cooper and Conrad.

In 1966 Gemini X returns to Earth.

In 1969 Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin blast-off from the moon in Apollo XI's Lunar Lander after 21.5 hours on the surface. They left behind a plaque which read, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."

In 1976 "Legionnaire's Disease" kills 29 in Philadelphia.

In 1980 Draft registration begins in the U.S. for 19-and 20-year-old men.

In 1983 Maine schoolgirl Samantha Smith ends her 2-week tour of the Soviet Union without getting to see the man that invited her, Yuri V. Andropov.

In 1983 The U.S. announces that American hostage David Dodge had been freed in Lebanon.

In 1984 Reverand Sun Moon goes to prison for tax evasion.

In 1984 Jogger Jim Fixx dies of a heart attack while jogging at age 52.

In 1984 The first reported killing of a human by a robot occurs in Jackson, Michigan, when a man is crushed to death.

In 1986 South African Bishop Desmond Tutu meets with President P.W. Botha in Pretoria.

In 1986 Robert J. Brown withdraws from consideration as U.S. ambassador to South Africa.

In 1986 Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres arrives in Morocco for talks with King Hassan II.

In 1987 The U.S. Senate approves a trade bill containing a provision requiring companies to give 60 days' notice to employees of impending plant closings and large-scale layoffs.

In 1988 Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis accepts the Democratic presidential nomination in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1989 The U.S. State Department confirms that U.S. diplomat Felix S. Bloch was being investigated as a possible Soviet spy. (Bloch was never charged with espionage, but was fired from his job in 1990.)

In 1991 Jordan becomes the fourth Arab country to sign on to a U.S.-backed Middle East peace conference.

In 1992 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visits Cairo, where he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

In 1993 Transportation Secretary Federico Pena examines flood damage along the Mississippi in Keokuk, Iowa.

In 1994 Former Senate Republican leader Hugh Scott dies at age 93.

In 1994 Britain's Labor Party elects Tony Blair its new leader, succeeding the late John Smith.

In 1995 At a 16-nation conference in London, the U.S. and NATO allies warned Bosnian Serbs that further attacks on U.N. safe havens would draw a "substantial and decisive response."

In 1996 At the Atlanta Olympics, swimmer Tom Dolan gives the U.S. its first gold, in the 400-meter individual medley. The men's 800-meter freestyle relay team also won.

In 1997 The USS Constitution, which defended the U.S. in War of 1812, sets sail for first time in 116 years, for a one-hour voyage marking its 200th anniversary. The actual anniversary was the following October.

In 1998 President Clinton announces a crackdown on states who had been doing a poor job of regulating nursing homes.

In 1998 Astronaut Alan Shepard dies in Monterey, CA, at age 74.

In 1998 Actor Robert Young ("Father Knows Best") dies at age 91.

In 1999 Navy divers find the bodies of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, in the wreckage of Kennedy's plane in the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard.

In 2001 Street battles rage for the second straight day in Genoa, Italy, the site of a Group of Eight meeting.

In 2002 WorldCom Inc. files for bankruptcy protection.

In 2003 Carlton Dotson Jr., the roommate of missing Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy, is charged with Dennehy's murder.

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