Today is Wednesday, July 15, the 197th day of 2020. There are 169 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 15, 1799, French soldiers in Egypt discovered the Rosetta Stone, which proved instrumental in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
On this date:
In 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was abolished more than 3 1/2 centuries after its creation.
In 1870, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union. Manitoba entered confederation as the fifth Canadian province.
In 1913, Augustus Bacon, D-Ga., became the first person elected to the U.S. Senate under the terms of the recently ratified 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing for popular election of senators.
In 1918, the Second Battle of the Marne, resulting in an Allied victory, began during World War I.
In 1975, three American astronauts blasted off aboard an Apollo spaceship hours after two Soviet cosmonauts were launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft for a mission that included a linkup of the two ships in orbit.
In 1976, a 36-hour kidnap ordeal began for 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver as they were abducted near Chowchilla, California, by three gunmen and imprisoned in an underground cell. (The captives escaped unharmed; the kidnappers were caught.)
In 1983, eight people were killed when a suitcase bomb planted by Armenian extremists exploded at the Turkish Airlines counter at Orly Airport in Paris.
In 1985, a visibly gaunt Rock Hudson appeared at a news conference with actress Doris Day (it was later revealed Hudson was suffering from AIDS).
In 1996, MSNBC, a 24-hour all-news network, made its debut on cable and the Internet.
In 1997, fashion designer Gianni Versace (ver-SAH’-chay), 50, was shot dead outside his Miami Beach home; suspected gunman Andrew Phillip Cunanan (koo-NAN’-an), 27, was found dead eight days later, a suicide. (Investigators believed Cunanan killed four other people before Versace in a cross-country rampage that began the previous March.)
In 2002, John Walker Lindh, an American who’d fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to two felonies in a deal sparing him life in prison.
In 2016, Donald Trump chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, an experienced politician with deep Washington connections, as his running mate.
Ten years ago: After 85 days, BP stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico using a 75-ton cap lowered onto the well earlier in the week. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Goldman Sachs & Co. would pay a record $550 million penalty to settle charges that the Wall Street giant had misled buyers of mortgage investments. Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Five years ago: Vigorously challenging his critics, President Barack Obama launched an aggressive and detailed defense of a landmark Iranian nuclear accord during a White House press conference, rejecting the idea that the agreement left Tehran on the brink of a bomb and arguing the only alternative to the diplomatic deal was war.
One year ago: Avowed white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. was sentenced to life in prison plus 419 years for killing one and injuring dozens of others when he deliberately drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Despite widespread criticism over a weekend tweet, President Donald Trump renewed his call for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now.” Former Chinese premier Li Peng, a hardliner who imposed martial law during the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, died at 90.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Patrick Wayne is 81. Rhythm-and-blues singer Millie Jackson is 76. Rock singer-musician Peter Lewis (Moby Grape) is 75. Singer Linda Ronstadt is 74. Rock musician Artimus Pyle is 72. Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post, is 70. Actress Celia Imrie is 68. Actor Terry O’Quinn is 68. Rock singer-musician David Pack is 68. Rock musician Marky Ramone is 68. Rock musician Joe Satriani is 64. Country singer-songwriter Mac McAnally is 63. Model Kim Alexis is 60. Actor Willie Aames is 60. Actor-director Forest Whitaker is 59. Actress Lolita Davidovich is 59. Actress Shari Headley is 57. Actress Brigitte Nielsen is 57. Rock musician Jason Bonham is 54. Actress Amanda Foreman is 54. Rock musician Phillip Fisher is 53. Rhythm-and-blues singer Stokley (Mint Condition) is 53. Actor-comedian Eddie Griffin is 52. Actor Reggie Hayes is 51. Actor-screenwriter Jim Rash is 49. Rock musician John Dolmayan is 48. Actor Scott Foley is 48. Actor Brian Austin Green is 47. Rapper Jim Jones is 44. Actress Diane Kruger is 44. Actress Lana Parrilla (LAH’-nuh pa-REE’-uh) is 43. Rock musician Ray Toro (My Chemical Romance) is 43. Actress Laura Benanti is 41. Actor Travis Fimmel is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kia Thornton (Divine) is 41. Actor Taylor Kinney is 39. Actor-singer Tristan “Mack” Wilds is 31. Actress Medalion Rahimi is 28. Actor Iain Armitage (TV: “Big Little Lies” “Young Sheldon”) is 12.