Today in History


Today is Monday, July 10, the 191st day of 2023. There are 174 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 10, 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as the Luftwaffe started attacking southern England. (The Royal Air Force was ultimately victorious.)

On this date:

In 1509, theologian John Calvin, a key figure of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Noyon, Picardy, France.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) to the Senate and urged its ratification. (However, the Senate rejected it.)

In 1925, jury selection took place in Dayton, Tennessee, in the trial of John T. Scopes, charged with violating the law by teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. (Scopes was convicted and fined, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality.)

In 1929, American paper currency was reduced in size as the government began issuing bills that were approximately 25 percent smaller.

In 1951, armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean War began at Kaesong.

In 1985, the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk with explosives in Auckland, New Zealand, by French intelligence agents; one activist was killed.

In 1991, Boris N. Yeltsin took the oath of office as the first elected president of the Russian republic. President George H.W. Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa.

In 2002, the House approved, 310-113, a measure to allow airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit to defend their planes against terrorists (President George W. Bush later signed the measure into law).

In 2005, a search-and-rescue team found the body of a missing U.S. commando in eastern Afghanistan, bringing an end to the desperate search for the last member of an ill-fated, four-man special forces unit that had disappeared the previous month.

In 2015, to the cheers of thousands, South Carolina pulled the Confederate flag from its place of honor at the Statehouse after more than 50 years.

In 2020, President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime political confidant Roger Stone, intervening in extraordinary fashion in a criminal case that was central to the Russia investigation and concerned Trump’s own conduct; the move came days before Stone was to begin serving a 40-month sentence for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign had colluded with Russia.

Ten years ago: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty in the Boston Marathon bombing in a seven-minute proceeding that marked his first appearance in public since his capture in mid-April 2013. In a first, the Navy succeeded in landing a drone the size of a fighter jet aboard an aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, off the Virginia coast. David Ortiz doubled in his first at-bat to become baseball’s career leader in hits as a designated hitter and hit a two-run homer an inning later, leading the Boston Red Sox to an 11-4 victory over Seattle.

Five years ago: A daring rescue mission in Thailand was completed successfully, as the last four of the 12 boys who were trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks were brought to safety along with their soccer coach. The other eight had been brought out in the two preceding days. Rancher Dwight Hammond and his son Steven, who had been convicted of intentionally setting fires on public land in Oregon, were pardoned by President Donald Trump.

One year ago: Japan’s governing party and its coalition partner scored a major victory in a parliamentary election, possibly propelled by sympathy votes in the wake of the assassination two days earlier of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Sri Lanka’s opposition political parties met to install a new government a day after the president and prime minister offered to resign in the most dramatic day of monthslong political turmoil. Dozens of Ukrainian emergency workers labored to pull people out of the rubble after a Russian rocket attack smashed into apartment buildings in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 15 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Smithers is 96. Actor Lawrence Pressman is 84. Singer Mavis Staples is 84. Actor Mills Watson is 83. Actor Robert Pine is 82. Rock musician Jerry Miller (Moby Grape) is 80. International Tennis Hall of Famer Virginia Wade is 78. Folk singer Arlo Guthrie is 76. Rock musician Dave Smalley is 74. Country-folk singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler is 72. Rock singer Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) is 69. Banjo player Bela Fleck is 65. Actor Fiona Shaw is 65. Bluegrass singer-musician Tim Surrett (Balsam Range) is 60. Actor Alec Mapa is 58. Country singer-songwriter Ken Mellons is 58. Rock musician Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros) is 58. Actor Gale Harold is 54. Country singer Gary LeVox (leh-VOH’) (Rascal Flatts) is 53. Actor Aaron D. Spears is 52. Actor Sofia Vergara is 51. Rockabilly singer Imelda May is 49. Actor Adrian Grenier (grehn-YAY’) is 47. Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (CHOO’-ih-tehl EHJ’-ee-oh-for) is 46. Actor Gwendoline Yeo is 46. Actor Thomas Ian Nicholas is 43. Singer-actor Jessica Simpson is 43. Actor Heather Hemmens is 39. Actor Emily Skeggs (TV: “When We Rise”) is 33. Rapper/singer Angel Haze is 32. Pop singer Perrie Edwards (Little Mix) is 30.

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