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Wednesday, August 6

July 29, 2014

Today is Wednesday, August 6, the 218th day of 2014. There are 147 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1497 - Genovese navigator Giovanni Caboto returns from a voyage on which he claimed Nova Scotia for his sponsor, England.

1661 - Portuguese and Dutch sign treaty whereby Portugal retains Brazil and the Dutch keep Ceylon — now Sri Lanka.

1787 - The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia begins to debate the articles in a draft of the United States Constitution.

1806 - Holy Roman Empire ends as Francis II formally resigns the Imperial Dignity and becomes Francis I, Emperor of Austria.

1824 - Simon Bolivar defeats Spanish forces at Junin in Peru.

1825 - Bolivia declares its independence from Peru.

1828 - Mehmet Ali, ruler of Egypt, agrees to British demands to quit Greece.

1840 - Louis Napoleon attempts uprising at Bologne in France, but fails and is later sentenced to life imprisonment.

1844 - French under Duc de Joinville begin hostilities against Morocco.

1849 - Peace of Milan ends war between Sardinia and Austria.

1890 - Convicted murderer William Kemmler is the first person executed by electric chair. He is put to death at Auburn State Prison in New York.

1896 - The French Parliament votes for the annexation of Madagascar, a protectorate since the year before.

1914 - Serbia and Montenegro declare war on Germany.

1926 - Warner Brothers Studios premieres the first movie with sound in New York; Gertrude Ederle of New York becomes the first American woman to swim the English Channel.

1942 - On behalf of Pope Pius XII, the Papal Nuncio protests the “inhuman arrests and deportations” of Jews from occupied France to Silesia and occupied Russian territory by German authorities.

1945 - The first atomic bomb ever used in a war is dropped by the U.S. plane, Enola Gay, on Hiroshima, Japan. The world learns of the horrifying effects of radiation for years to come.

1948 - The first round-the-world flight by B-29s is completed when two giant bombers land at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. The planes made the trip to the U.S. base in a leisurely 15 days with 8 stops.

1957 - A joint Soviet-Syrian committee signs a pact in Moscow, granting extensive Soviet aid for industrial, road, communications and irrigation projects in Syria.

1962 - Jamaica becomes an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth.

1965 - U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act.

1970 - Eyewitness reports by American journalists that U.S. planes flew bombing missions in direct support of Cambodian troops are denied by Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird.

1973 - Mistaken attack by U.S. bombers on Cambodian town of Neak Long kills and wounds hundreds.

1977 - Bomb explodes in store in Salisbury, Rhodesia, killing 11 people in one of the worst acts of urban terrorism in five years of guerrilla warfare. The country is now known as Zimbabwe.

1980 - Edgar Z. Tekere, a senior Zimbabwe Cabinet minister, is arrested for murdering an elderly white farmer. Even though it had been determined Tekere murdered Gerald Adams, he is acquitted on Dec. 8.

1986 - William J. Schroeder dies after living 620 days with the “Jarvik 7” artificial heart.

1990 - Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto is ousted by the military after 20 months as prime minister; U.N. Security Council imposes economic embargo on Iraq for invading Kuwait and Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd gives the United States permission to deploy military defense force on Saudi soil.

1991 - Yugoslavia’s presidency proclaims an unconditional cease-fire in Croatia.

1992 - The United States grants full diplomatic recognition to Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

1993 - Morihiro Hosokawa, head of reformist coalition, is elected Japanese prime minister.

1994 - U.S. aircraft attack Bosnian Serbs after they take armored vehicles from a U.N. depot just west of Sarajevo. The vehicles are soon returned.

1995 - United States opens embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

1996 - Hundreds of Chechen rebels storm into central Grozny despite heavy fire from Russian forces backed by jets and helicopter gunships.

1997 - Cambodian lawmakers endorse bloody coup of strongman Hun Sen by voting in a new co-premier to replace deposed Prince Norodom Ranariddh; British Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams for the first meeting in 76 years between a British leader and the Irish Republican Army’s political wing.

1998 - The World Bank approves a US$1.5 billion loan to Russia as part of a US$22.6 billion emergency rescue package designed to help the financially troubled nation restructure its economy.

1999 - After 14 months of deliberating, the U.S. Senate confirms Richard Holbrooke as U.N. ambassador, filling a post that stood vacant through military conflicts in the Balkans and the Persian Gulf.

2000 - Some 1,400 Lithuanians identify themselves to the government as KGB — the former Soviet secret police and intelligence agency — agents and informers. The former Soviet Union ruled Lithuania from World War II through 1991.

2001 - The Irish Republican Army agrees on gradually getting rid of its weapons, but offers no timetable on when it will start. Britain, Ireland and Catholic leaders welcome the move as a breakthrough.

2002 - Five suspected Muslim separatist militants kill nine Hindu pilgrims and wound 28 in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state.

2003 - Action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger announces that he will run as a Republican candidate to replace California Governor Gray Davis in a recall election.

2004 - Battles between coalition forces and Iraqi insurgents in the Shiite holy city of Najaf kill 300 militants, the U.S. military says, the worst fighting here since the height of a spring insurrection.

2005 - Iran rejects a European proposal for a settlement of its nuclear standoff, saying the offer fails to recognize its right to enrich uranium, as ultraconservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is sworn in as president.

2006 - A boat capsizes in a rain-swollen river near New Delhi, leaving at least six people dead and 16 others missing, as monsoon rains trigger floods across western India and force thousands to evacuate.

2007 - Russia deploys new air defense systems capable of shooting down ballistic missiles.

2008 - Army commanders oust Mauritania’s freely elected president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi in a bloodless coup.

2009 - Sonia Sotomayor wins confirmation as the first Hispanic justice on the U.S Supreme Court, a landmark Senate vote that caps a summer-long debate heavy with ethnic politics and hints of high court fights to come.

2010 - A suspected al-Qaida operative who lived for more than 15 years in the U.S. has become chief of the terror network’s global operations, the FBI says, marking the first time a leader so intimately familiar with American society has been placed in charge of planning attacks.

2011 - Insurgents shoot down a U.S. military helicopter during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, most of them belonging to the same elite Navy unit that killed Osama bin Laden, as well as seven Afghan commandos. It was the deadliest single loss for American forces in the decade-old war.

2012 - Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab escapes to Jordan to join the rebel side becoming the highest ranking government official to defect, emboldening the opposition to President Bashar Assad’s regime.

2013 — Yemen is thrust back into the forefront of the international fight against terrorism when the U.S. and Britain evacuate embassy staff due to a threatened attack, a suspected U.S. drone kills four alleged members of al-Qaida and militants shoot down a Yemeni army helicopter.

Today’s Birthdays:

Alfred Lord Tennyson, English poet (1809-1892); Alexander Fleming, British discoverer of penicillin (1881-1945); Lucille Ball, U.S. actress (1911-1989); Robert Mitchum, U.S. actor (1917-1997); Andy Warhol, U.S. artist (1928-1987); Peggy and Patsy Lynn, U.S country singers(1964--); M. Night Shyamalan, U.S. film director (1970--); Charlie Haden, U.S. jazz bassist (1937-2014); Abbey Lincoln, U.S. jazz singer/actress (1930-2010).

Thought For Today:

There are philosophies which are unendurable not because men are cowards, but because they are men — Ludwig Lewisohn, German-born novelist-critic (1883-1955).

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