Today In History...

In 1831 Belgium gained independence from the Netherlands, and Leopold I was proclaimed king.
In 1861 The First Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a Confederate victory.
In 1873 Jesse James pulled off the world's first train robbery.
In 1925 The so-called "monkey trial" ended 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 annexed Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
In 1944 U.S. forces landed in Guam during World War II.
In 1944 The Democratic National Convention meeting in Chicago nominated Senator Harry S. Truman as vice president.
In 1949 The U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty by a vote of 82 to 13.
In 1954 France agreed to give independence to North and South Vietnam.
In 1955 During the Geneva Summit, President Eisenhower presented 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 became the second American to rocket into a sub-orbital pattern around the Earth aboard the Mercury IV.
In 1965 Gemini V was launched atop Titan V with Cooper and Conrad.
In 1966 Gemini X returned 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 that read, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all humanity."
In 1976 "Legionnaire's Disease" killed 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 ended 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. announced 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 died of a heart attack while jogging at age 52.
In 1984 The first reported killing of a human by a robot occurred in Jackson, Michigan when a man was crushed to death.
In 1986 South African Bishop Desmond Tutu met with President P.W. Botha in Pretoria.
In 1986 Robert J. Brown withdrew from consideration as U.S. ambassador to South Africa.
1986 Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres arrives in Morocco for talks with King Hassan II.
In 1987, The U.S. Senate approved a trade bill requiring companies to give 60 days' notice to employees of impending plant closings and large-scale layoffs.
In 1988 Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis accepted the Democratic presidential nomination in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1989 The U.S. State Department confirmed that U.S. diplomat Felix S. Bloch was being investigated as a possible Soviet spy. (Bloch was never charged with espionage but was fired in 1990.)
In 1991 Jordan became the fourth Arab country to sign on to a U.S.-backed Middle East peace conference.
1992 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited Cairo and met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
In 1993 Transportation Secretary Federico Pena we examined flood damage along the Mississippi in Keokuk, Iowa.
In 1994 Former Senate Republican leader Hugh Scott died at age 93.
1994 Britain's Labor Party elected 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 gave 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 the War of 1812, sets sail for the 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 announced a crackdown on states who had been doing a poor job of regulating nursing homes.
In 1998 Astronaut Alan Shepard died in Monterey, CA, at age 74.
1998 Actor Robert Young ("Father Knows Best") died at 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. filed 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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