Today in History


The Associated Press



Today is Wednesday, July 29, the 211th day of 2020. There are 155 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 29, 1967, an accidental rocket launch on the deck of the supercarrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin resulted in a fire and explosions that killed 134 servicemen. (Among the survivors was future Arizona senator John McCain, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander who narrowly escaped with his life.)

On this date:

In 1856, German composer Robert Schumann died in Endenich at age 46.

In 1914, transcontinental telephone service in the U.S. became operational with the first test conversation between New York and San Francisco. Massachusetts’ Cape Cod Canal, offering a shortcut across the base of the peninsula, was officially opened to shipping traffic.

In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established. Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.

In 1965, The Beatles’ second feature film, “Help!,” had its world premiere in London.

In 1968, Pope Paul the Sixth reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s stance against artificial methods of birth control.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford became the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland.

In 1980, a state funeral was held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60.

In 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a glittering ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)

In 1986, a federal jury in New York found that the National Football League had committed an antitrust violation against the rival United States Football League. But in a hollow victory for the U-S-F-L, the jury ordered the N-F-L to pay token damages of only three dollars.

In 1994, abortion opponent Paul Hill shot and killed Dr. John Bayard Britton and Britton’s bodyguard, James H. Barrett, outside the Ladies Center clinic in Pensacola, Florida. (Hill was executed in Sept. 2003.)

In 1997, members of Congress from both parties embraced compromise legislation designed to balance the budget while cutting taxes.

Ten years ago: Army Spc. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning was flown from a detention facility in Kuwait to the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia, to await trial on charges of giving military secrets to WikiLeaks. The House rejected a bill that would have provided up to $7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust; Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., angrily denounced Republicans who’d voted against the measure, calling it “a shame, a shame.” A House panel charged New York Democrat Charles Rangel with 13 counts of ethical misdeeds (he was later censured by the full House).

Five years ago: Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee that America’s armed forces stood ready to confront Iran, but that a successful implementation of the nuclear agreement with Tehran was preferable to a military strike. Afghan authorities announced they were certain that the Taliban’s reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had died in a Pakistani hospital in 2013. Microsoft released its Windows 10 operating system, an upgrade of Windows 8.

One year ago: Britain’s weather agency confirmed that the country had seen its highest temperature on record, 101.7 degrees Farenheit, during the heat wave that broke temperature records across Europe in the preceding days.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker is 88. Actor Robert Fuller is 87. Former Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole is 84. Actor David Warner is 79. Actress Roz Kelly is 78. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 74. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 71. Actor Mike Starr is 70. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 67. Style guru Tim Gunn is 67. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 67. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 67. Actor Kevin Chapman is 58. Actress Alexandra Paul is 57. Actor/comedian Dean Haglund is 55. Country singer Martina McBride is 54. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 53. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 52. Actor Tim Omundson is 51. Actor Ato Essandoh is 48. Actor Wil Wheaton is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 47. Country singer-songwriter James Otto is 47. Actor Stephen Dorff is 47. Actor Josh Radnor is 46. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 43. Actress Rachel Miner is 40. Actress Allison Mack is 38. Actress Kaitlyn Black is 37. Actor Matt Prokop is 30. Actress Cait Fairbanks is 27.

The Associated Press