Today is Friday, July 17, the 198th day of 2015. There are 167 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1429 - With Saint Joan of Arc standing by, Charles VII is crowned king of France in Reims, a day after the English-held town surrenders.

1453 - The French defeat the English at the battle of Castillon, ending the Hundred Years' War, with Calais the only English possession on the continent.

1586 - Sir Francis Walsingham, diplomat and principal secretary to England's Queen Elizabeth, exposes Babington Plot, a letter from Mary, Queen of Scots, to Anthony Babington planning Queen Elizabeth's murder. As a result, Mary is executed a year later.

1603 - Sir Walter Raleigh is arrested for suspected complicity in plot to dethrone England's King James I.

1683 - Turks lay siege to Vienna, marking the high tide of Ottoman power in Europe.

1762 - Peter III, Czar of Russia, is assassinated a week after he abdicates the throne. His wife, Catherine II, who suspected Peter was going to divorce her, conspires to overthrow him and becomes Empress of Russia.

1791 - Troops under Marquis de Lafayette fire at a crowd of petitioners gathered on the Champ de Mars in Paris to demand the abdication of the king, killing or wounding about 50 demonstrators.

1890 - Cecil Rhodes becomes premier of Cape Colony in Africa.

1894 - Italian forces take Kassale, Sudan, from the Dervishes.

1918 - Communists kill last Russian czar, Nicholas II, and his family following the October Revolution in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg.

1936 - Spanish Civil War starts as General Francisco Franco leads army forces in revolt against the government.

1945 - U.S. President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Clement Atlee, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin meet at Potsdam, Germany, to settle the post-World War II future of Europe, in a conference that lasts until Aug. 2.

1955 - Disneyland, the first Disney amusement park, opens its gates in Anaheim, California.

1965 - U.S. B-52 bombers from Guam make their first strikes in Vietnam in support of Allied ground operations.

1968 - The Baath Party, including Saddam Hussein, overthrows the Iraqi government.

1973 - Afghanistan is proclaimed republic following palace coup that ends 40-year rule of King Mohammad Zaher Shah.

1975 - U.S. astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts in Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft link up while in orbit and join hands.

1990 - German Chancellor Helmut Kohl says all major obstacles to a united Germany have been swept away and announces elections for a united German parliament.

1991 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President George H.W. Bush announce a treaty to make historic cuts in nuclear weapons.

1993 - An agreement to restore peace in Liberia is reached by the warring factions.

1994 - Brazil makes World Cup soccer history with a fourth title.

1998 - Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his family are given a state funeral and reburied in a St. Petersburg cathedral, 80 years to the day after they were murdered by Bolsheviks. Scientists located the remains in 1976 but kept it secret until the collapse of the Soviet Union.

2005 - Israel threatens to invade Gaza if Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas does not control militants who have stepped up rocket and mortar attacks ahead of Israel's pullout from Gaza the following month.

2006 - A tsunami crashes into beach resorts and fishing villages on Java island, killing more than 300 people and leaving more than 160 missing after bulletins failed to reach the Indonesian region because no warning system was in place.

2007 - Israeli Cabinet ministers approve a list of 256 Palestinian prisoners slated to be released in a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

2013 - Children at a school in India's eastern state of Bihar fall violently ill eating their free school lunch of rice, lentils, soybeans and potatoes that was tainted with insecticide and 22 die and dozens are hospitalized.

2014 — A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people is shot down over war-torn Ukraine, and both the government and pro-Russian separatists fighting in the region deny any involvement.

Today's Birthdays:

Isaac Watts, English churchman (1674-1748); David Lloyd George, English statesman (1863-1945); James Cagney, U.S. actor (1899-1986); Phyllis Diller, U.S. comedian (1917-2012); Diahann Carroll, U.S. actress/singer (1935--); Donald Sutherland, actor (1935--); Lucie Arnaz U.S. actress (1951--); David Hasselhoff, U.S. actor (1952--); Mark Burnett, TV producer (1960--).

Thought For Today:

Every soul is a melody which needs renewing — Stephane Mallarme, French essayist and poet (1842-1898).