Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 11, 1972, the World Chess Championship opened as grandmasters Bobby Fischer of the United States and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union began play in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Fischer won after 21 games.)
On this date:
In 1798, the U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-established by a congressional act that also created the U.S. Marine Band.
In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. (Hamilton died the next day.)
In 1859, Big Ben, the great bell inside the famous London clock tower, chimed for the first time.
In 1914, Babe Ruth made his Major League baseball debut, pitching the Boston Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over Cleveland.
In 1915, the Chicago Sunday Tribune ran an article titled, “Blues Is Jazz and Jazz Is Blues.” (It’s believed to be one of the earliest, if not the earliest, uses of the word “jazz” as a musical term by a newspaper.)
In 1937, American composer and pianist George Gershwin died at a Los Angeles hospital of a brain tumor; he was 38.
In 1952, the Republican National Convention, meeting in Chicago, nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Richard M. Nixon for vice president.
In 1955, the U.S. Air Force Academy swore in its first class of cadets at its temporary quarters at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado.
In 1960, the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee was first published by J.B. Lippincott and Co.
In 1979, the abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
In 1995, the U.N.-designated “safe haven” of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina fell to Bosnian Serb forces, who then carried out the killings of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. The United States normalized relations with Vietnam.
In 2017, emails released by Donald Trump Jr. revealed that he’d been told before meeting with a Russian attorney during the presidential campaign that the Russian government had information that could “incriminate” Hillary Clinton. MSNBC “Morning Joe” host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough announced that he was leaving the Republican party, partly because of its loyalty to President Donald Trump.
Ten years ago: During a visit to sub-Saharan Africa, President Barack Obama addressed Ghana’s Parliament, where he challenged the continent of his ancestors to shed corruption and conflict in favor of peace. Funeral services were held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for former NFL star Steve McNair, who had been shot to death in Nashville a week earlier by Sahel Kazemi, who then took her own life.
Five years ago: House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said that President Barack Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency request to deal with tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border was too big to get through the House, as a growing number of Democrats rejected policy changes Republicans were demanding as their price for approving any money. Tommy Ramone, 65, a co-founder of the seminal punk band the Ramones and the last surviving member of the original group, died in New York.
One year ago: At a NATO summit in Brussels, President Donald Trump declared that a gas pipeline venture had left Germany’s government “captive to Russia,” and questioned the necessity of the NATO alliance. John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s, resigned as chairman of the board of the pizza chain, and apologized for using a racial slur during a conference call in May. Porn star Stormy Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club, accused of touching and being touched by patrons in violation of state law; prosecutors dropped the charges hours later, saying the law had been improperly applied.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Susan Seaforth Hayes is 76. Singer Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 72. Ventriloquist-actor Jay Johnson is 70. Actor Bruce McGill is 69. Singer Bonnie Pointer is 69. Actor Stephen Lang is 67. Actress Mindy Sterling is 66. Former boxer Leon Spinks is 66. Actress Sela Ward is 63. Reggae singer Michael Rose (Black Uhuru) is 62. Singer Peter Murphy is 62. Actor Mark Lester is 61. Jazz musician Kirk Whalum is 61. Singer Suzanne Vega is 60. Rock guitarist Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) is 60. Actress Lisa Rinna is 56. Rock musician Scott Shriner (Weezer) is 54. Actress Debbe Dunning is 53. Actor Greg Grunberg is 53. Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin is 52. Actor Justin Chambers is 49. Actress Leisha Hailey is 48. Actor Michael Rosenbaum is 47. Pop-rock singer Andrew Bird is 46. Country singer Scotty Emerick is 46. Rapper Lil’ Kim is 44. Actor Jon Wellner is 44. Rock singer Ben Gibbard is 43. Rapper Lil’ Zane is 37. Pop-jazz singer-musician Peter Cincotti is 36. Actress Serinda Swan is 35. Actor Robert Adamson is 34. Actor David Henrie is 30. Actor Connor Paolo is 29. Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki is 29. R&B/pop singer Alessia Cara is 23.
Thought for Today: “Life is a lot like jazz — it’s best when you improvise.” — George Gershwin (1898-1937).
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