Today in History
Today is Saturday, July 20, the 201st day of 2019. There are 164 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon after reaching the surface in their Apollo 11 lunar module.
On this date:
In 1861, the Congress of the Confederate States convened in Richmond, Virginia.
In 1923, Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa was assassinated by gunmen in Parral.
In 1944, an attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb failed as the explosion only wounded the Nazi leader. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a fourth term of office at the Democratic convention in Chicago.
In 1960, a pair of Polaris missiles were fired from the submerged USS George Washington off Cape Canaveral, Fla., at a target more than 1,100 miles away.
In 1968, the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, organized by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, were held at Soldier Field in Chicago.
In 1976, America’s Viking 1 robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars.
In 1977, a flash flood hit Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing more than 80 people and causing $350 million worth of damage. The U.N. Security Council voted to admit Vietnam to the world body.
In 1982, Irish Republican Army bombs exploded in two London parks, killing eight British soldiers, along with seven horses belonging to the Queen’s Household Cavalry.
In 1989, Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest by the military government of Myanmar.
In 1990, Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, one of the court’s most liberal voices, announced he was stepping down.
In 1993, White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster Jr., 48, was found shot to death in a park near Washington, D.C.; his death was ruled a suicide.
In 2012, gunman James Holmes opened fire inside a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 people and wounding 70 others. (Holmes was later convicted of murder and attempted murder, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)
Ten years ago: A roadside bomb killed four American troops in eastern Afghanistan. The astronauts aboard the shuttle-station complex celebrated the 40th anniversary of man’s first moon landing with their own spacewalk.
Five years ago: Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 into four refrigerated boxcars in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from Western leaders who said the rebels were tampering with the site. Rory McIlroy completed a wire-to-wire victory in the British Open to capture the third leg of the career Grand Slam, closing with a 1-under 71 for a two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.
One year ago: President Donald Trump escalated his threats to punish China for its trade policies, warning in an interview airing on CNBC that he was prepared to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports. Ohio Gov. John Kasich spared the life of condemned killer Raymond Tibbetts, commuting his sentence to life without parole, after a juror came forward and said information about the extent of Tibbetts’ tough childhood wasn’t properly presented at trial. Charlotte, North Carolina, was chosen to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress-singer Sally Ann Howes is 89. Author Cormac McCarthy is 86. Rockabilly singer Sleepy LaBeef is 84. Former Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., is 83. Actress Diana Rigg is 81. Artist Judy Chicago is 80. Rock musician John Lodge (The Moody Blues) is 76. Country singer T.G. Sheppard is 75. Singer Kim Carnes is 74. Rock musician Carlos Santana is 72. Rock musician Jay Jay French (Twisted Sister) is 67. Rock musician Paul Cook (The Sex Pistols, Man Raze) is 63. Actress Donna Dixon is 62. Rock musician Mick McNeil (Simple Minds) is 61. Country singer Radney Foster is 60. Actor Frank Whaley is 56. Actor Dean Winters is 55. Rock musician Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) is 53. Actor Reed Diamond is 52. Actor Josh Holloway is 50. Singer Vitamin C is 50. Actress Sandra Oh is 48. Actor Omar Epps is 46. Actor Simon Rex is 45. Actress Judy Greer is 44. Actor Charlie Korsmo is 41. Singer Elliott Yamin (yah-MEEN’) (American Idol) is 41. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen is 39. Rock musician Mike Kennerty (The All-American Rejects) is 39. Actor Percy Daggs III is 37. Actor John Francis Daley is 34. Country singer Hannah Blaylock (Edens Edge) is 33. Dancer-singer-actress Julianne Hough is 31. Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is 31. Actress Billi Bruno is 23.
Thought for Today: “We may well go to the moon, but that’s not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us.” — Charles de Gaulle, French statesman (1890-1970).