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Wednesday, July 22

July 14, 2015

Today is Wednesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2015. There are 162 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date

1298 - William Wallace, who led Scottish resistance against English rule, uses extra-long spears against mounted soldiers at the Battle of Falkirk. The new fighting tactic is depicted in the 1995 movie “Braveheart.”

1587 - A second English colony, which later vanishes under mysterious circumstances, is established on Roanoke Island off Virginia.

1620 - Exiled British Pilgrims set out from Holland for the New World on their ship Speedwell, which leaks so badly they return to England and transfer to the Mayflower.

1739 - Turks defeat Austrian troops at Crocyka, and threaten Belgrade. The Austrians are later forced to cede northern Serbia and part of Romania.

1793 - Scottish fur trader and explorer Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Canadian Pacific coast, becoming the first to cross the North American continent north of Mexico.

1933 - U.S. aviator Wiley Post completes first solo airplane flight around the world in seven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

1943 - Allied forces led by Gen. George S. Patton capture Palermo, Sicily, in World War II.

1950 - King Leopold III returns to Belgium after six years of exile, but abdicates in August. His actions during World War II as commander in chief of the Belgian Army during the German conquest aroused opposition.

1962 - Algeria declares independence following protracted war of secession from France.

1968 - Israeli airliner bound for Israel from Rome with 48 people aboard is hijacked and diverted to Algeria.

1971 - Last U.S. infantry units pull out of South Vietnam’s northern border area.

1973 - Soviet space probe begins six-month journey toward Mars.

1976 - Japan completes its World War II reparations payments with a final payment to the Philippines.

1981 - Turkish extremist Mehmet Ali Agca is sentenced in Rome to life in prison for shooting Pope John Paul II.

1988 - Car loaded with bombs blows up near Syrian military intelligence base in west Beirut, killing seven people and wounding 48.

1992 - Medellin drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar slips past scores of guards at his luxury, custom-built prison and walks to freedom. He dies in a shootout with police the following year.

1994 - Citing an economic crisis, Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera suspends constitutional rights.

1996 - A U.N. agency begins dropping tons of food from a cargo plane to help an estimated 700,000 people facing serious food shortages in southern Sudan.

2001 - Divers begin preparations for raising the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, which sank in August 2000 during a training exercise in the Barents Sea off northern Russia, killing all 118 crew members.

2003 - U.S. forces attack a home in Mosul, Iraq, killing former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s two sons, Uday and Qusay.

2005 - Multiple pre-dawn bombings targeting several hotels kill at least 88 in the Egyptian tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheik in the Sinai Peninsula.

2007 - Turkey’s Islamic-rooted ruling party wins parliamentary elections, taking at least 331 of 550 seats despite warnings from the secular opposition that the government is a threat to secular traditions.

2011 - A home-grown right-wing terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, sets off a car bomb explosion that ripped open buildings in the heart of Norway’s government quarter in Oslo, then goes to a summer camp dressed as a police officer and guns down youths as they ran and even swam for their lives. At least 77 people are killed in the Nordic nation’ worst violence since World War II.

2013 - Frenzied crowds of Roman Catholics in Rio de Janeiro mob the car carrying Pope Francis when he returns to his home continent for the first time as pontiff.

2014 — A Hamas rocket explodes near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada. l

Today’s Birthdays:

Gregor Johann Mendel, Austrian botanist (1822-1882); Edward Hopper, U.S. painter (1882-1967); Alexander Calder, U.S. sculptor (1898-1976); Licia Albanese, Italian-born soprano (1913-2014); George Clinton, U.S. singer (1941--); Alex Trebek, Canadian game show host of ‘Jeopardy’ (1940--); Danny Glover, U.S. actor (1947--); Willem Dafoe, U.S. actor (1955--); David Spade, U.S. actor/comedian (1964--); Rhys Ifans, Welsh actor (1967--); Rufus Wainwright, U.S.-Canadian rock singer (1973--).

Thought For Today:

When fate hands us a lemon, let’s try to make lemonade. — Dale Carnegie, American author (1888-1955)

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