Today in History

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Today is Saturday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2018. 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 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 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin blasted off from the moon aboard the ascent stage of the lunar module for docking with the command module.

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 1999, Navy divers found and recovered the bodies of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, in the wreckage of Kennedy's plane in the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard.

In 2000, Special Counsel John C. Danforth concluded "with 100 percent certainty" that the federal government was innocent of wrongdoing in the siege that killed 80 members of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, in 1993.

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: In a face-to-face meeting with Iraq's leaders, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama gained fresh support for the idea of pulling all U.S. combat forces out of the war zone by 2010. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (RA'-doh-van KA'-ra-jich), one of the world's top war crimes fugitives, was arrested in a Belgrade suburb by Serbian security forces. Eric Dowling, who helped excavate tunnels used in the breakout from a World War II German prison camp that became known as the "Great Escape," died in Bristol, England, a day before his 93rd birthday.

Five years ago: Belgium's King Albert abdicated after a 20-year reign; his son Philippe took over as the fractured nation's seventh king. Phil Mickelson won the British Open, shooting a 5-under 66 to match the best round of the tournament and win his first claret jug. Britain's Chris Froome won the 100th Tour de France.

One year ago: White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly quit over President Donald Trump's decision to name financier Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House communications director. Scaramucci announced from the White House briefing room that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who had been Spicer's deputy, would take over for Spicer. (Scaramucci was fired on July 31 after 11 days on the job; he had used vulgar language to insult White House aides during a phone call to a reporter.) Escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the Holy Land's most contested shrine boiled over into violence that killed six people -- three Palestinians in street clashes in Jerusalem and three Israelis in a stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Norman Jewison is 92. Actor David Downing is 75. Actor Leigh Lawson is 75. Singer Yusuf Islam (also known as Cat Stevens) is 70. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 70. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 67. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 65. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 61. Actor Lance Guest is 58. Actor Matt Mulhern is 58. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 55. Rock musician Koen Lieckens (K's Choice) is 52. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney is 51. Soccer player Brandi Chastain is 50. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 49. Rock-soul singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 48. Actress Alysia Reiner is 48. Country singer Paul Brandt is 46. Christian rock musician Korey Cooper (Skillet) is 46. Actress Ali Landry is 45. Actor-comedian Steve Byrne is 44. Rock musician Tato Melgar (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 41. Actor Justin Bartha is 40. Actor Josh Hartnett is 40. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 40. Actress Sprague Grayden is 40. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 40. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 40. MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia is 38. Singer Blake Lewis ("American Idol") is 37. Rock musician Will Berman (MGMT) is 36. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 34. Actress Vanessa Lengies is 33. Actor Rory Culkin is 29. Actor Jamie Waylett ("Harry Potter" films) is 29. Figure skater Rachael Flatt is 26.

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).

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