Today in History


Today is Tuesday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2015. 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 reconnaisance. (The Soviets rejected the proposal.)

In 1959, the NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship, was christened by first lady Mamie Eisenhower at Camden, New Jersey.

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 1972, the Irish Republican Army carried out 22 bombings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing nine people and injuring 130 in what became known as “Bloody Friday.”

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 1990, a benefit concert took place in Germany at the site of the fallen Berlin Wall; the concert, which drew some 200,000 people, was headlined by Roger Waters, a founder of Pink Floyd. (The concert ended with the collapse of a mock Berlin Wall made of styrofoam.)

Ten years ago: The House voted to extend the USA Patriot Act. Two weeks after the deadly London terror bombings, small explosions struck the Underground and a bus, but no deaths resulted. Two Algerian diplomats and their driver were abducted in Baghdad; al-Qaida later announced it had killed the diplomats. Sudanese security officers roughed up members of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s entourage; Rice demanded, and got, an apology.

Five years ago: A triumphant President Barack Obama signed into law the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. lending and high finance rules since the 1930s.

One year ago: President Barack Obama ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who worked for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates at a White House signing ceremony he embraced the “irrefutable rightness of your cause.” Pro-Moscow separatists, bowing to international pressure, agreed to turn over flight data recorders from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane four days after it plunged into eastern Ukraine.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Kay Starr is 93. Movie director Norman Jewison is 89. Former Attorney General Janet Reno is 77. Actress Patricia Elliott is 73. Actor David Downing is 72. Actor Leigh Lawson is 72. Actor Wendell Burton is 68. Singer Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is 67. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 67. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 64. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 62. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 58. Actor Lance Guest is 55. Actor Matt Mulhern is 55. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 52. Rock musician Koen Lieckens (K’s Choice) is 49. Soccer player Brandi Chastain is 47. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 46. Rock-soul singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 45. Actress Alysia Reiner is 45. Country singer Paul Brandt is 43. Christian rock musician Korey Cooper (Skillet) is 43. Actress Ali Landry is 42. Actor-comedian Steve Byrne is 41. Actor Justin Bartha is 37. Actor Josh Hartnett is 37. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 37. Actress Sprague Grayden is 37. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 37. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 37. MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia is 35. Singer Blake Lewis (“American Idol”) is 34. Rock musician Will Berman (MGMT) is 33. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 31. Actress Vanessa Lengies (LEHN’-jeez) is 30. Actor Jamie Waylett (“Harry Potter” films) is 26. Figure skater Rachael Flatt is 23.

Thought for Today: “We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.” — Abigail Adams, American first lady (1744-1818).

By The Associated Press

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