Today in History
Today in History
Today is Friday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2017. There are 163 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 21, 1925, the so-called “Monkey Trial” ended in Dayton, Tennessee, with John T. Scopes found guilty of violating state law for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. (The conviction was later overturned on a technicality.)
On this date:
In 1773, Pope Clement XIV issued an order suppressing the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. (The Society was restored by Pope Pius VII in 1814.)
In 1861, during the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a Confederate victory.
In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration (later the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).
In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II, capturing it from the Japanese some three weeks later. The Democratic national convention in Chicago nominated Sen. Harry S. Truman to be vice president.
In 1949, the U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.
In 1955, during a summit in Geneva, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented his “open skies” proposal under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union would trade information on each other’s military facilities and allow aerial reconnaissance. (The Soviets rejected the proposal.)
In 1961, Capt. Virgil “Gus” Grissom became the second American to rocket into a sub-orbital pattern around the Earth, flying aboard the Liberty Bell 7.
In 1967, actor Basil Rathbone, remembered for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in a series of films, died in New York at age 75.
In 1973, Israeli agents in Lillehammer, Norway, killed Ahmed Bouchikhi, a Moroccan waiter, in a case of mistaken identity, apparently thinking he was an official with Black September, the group that attacked Israel’s delegation at the 1972 Munich Olympics and killed 11 athletes.
In 1980, draft registration began in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.
In 1997, the USS Constitution, which defended the U.S. during the War of 1812, set sail under its own power for first time in 116 years, leaving its temporary anchorage at Marblehead, Massachusetts, for a one-hour voyage marking its 200th anniversary.
In 2011, the 30-year-old space shuttle program ended as Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after the 135th shuttle flight.
Ten years ago: Doctors removed five polyps from President George W. Bush’s colon after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office to Vice President Dick Cheney under the rarely invoked 25th Amendment. Ruediger Diedrich, one of two Germans kidnapped in southern Afghanistan on July 18, was found dead. David Beckham made his debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000. (Beckham got into the exhibition game in the 78th minute of Chelsea’s 1-0 victory.) “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final volume of the wizard series by J.K. Rowling (ROHL’-ing), went on sale.
Five years ago: The president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge (zhahk ROH’-geh), rejected the latest calls for a minute of silence for the Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich massacre at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, an Air Force training instructor at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes that included rape and sexual assault. (Walker died in August 2014.)
One year ago: Donald Trump accepted the GOP presidential nomination with a speech in which he pledged to cheering Republicans and still-skeptical voters that as president, he would restore the safety they feared they were losing, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from Hillary Clinton’s record of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.” The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its objections to a North Carolina law that limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people. Former NFL head coach Dennis Green, 67, died in San Diego.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Norman Jewison is 91. Actor David Downing is 74. Actor Leigh Lawson is 74. Actor Wendell Burton is 70. Singer Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is 69. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 69. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 66. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 64. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 60. Actor Lance Guest is 57. Actor Matt Mulhern is 57. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 54. Rock musician Koen Lieckens (K’s Choice) is 51. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney is 50. Soccer player Brandi Chastain is 49. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 48. Rock-soul singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 47. Actress Alysia Reiner is 47. Country singer Paul Brandt is 45. Christian rock musician Korey Cooper (Skillet) is 45. Actress Ali Landry is 44. Actor-comedian Steve Byrne is 43. Actor Justin Bartha is 39. Actor Josh Hartnett is 39. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 39. Actress Sprague Grayden is 39. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 39. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 39. MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia is 37. Singer Blake Lewis (“American Idol”) is 36. Rock musician Will Berman (MGMT) is 35. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 33. Actress Vanessa Lengies (LEHN’-jeez) is 32. Actor Rory Culkin is 28. Actor Jamie Waylett (“Harry Potter” films) is 28. Figure skater Rachael Flatt is 25.
Thought for Today: “Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” — Ingrid Bergman, Swedish-born actress (1915-1982).