Today in History
Today is Tuesday, July 23, the 204th day of 2019. There are 161 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 23, 1999, space shuttle Columbia blasted off with the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope and Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a U.S. space flight.
On this date:
In 1829, William Austin Burt received a patent for his “typographer,” a forerunner of the typewriter.
In 1885, Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States, died in Mount McGregor, New York, at age 63.
In 1914, Austria-Hungary presented a list of demands to Serbia following the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serb assassin; Serbia’s refusal to agree to the entire ultimatum led to the outbreak of World War I.
In 1962, the first public TV transmissions over Telstar 1 took place during a special program featuring live shots beamed from the United States to Europe, and vice versa.
In 1967, five days of deadly rioting erupted in Detroit as an early morning police raid on an unlicensed bar resulted in a confrontation with local residents that escalated into violence that spread into other parts of the city; 43 people, mostly blacks, were killed.
In 1983, an Air Canada Boeing 767 ran out of fuel while flying from Montreal to Edmonton; the pilots were able to glide the jetliner to a safe emergency landing in Gimli, Manitoba. (The near-disaster occurred because the fuel had been erroneously measured in pounds instead of kilograms at a time when Canada was converting to the metric system.)
In 1996, at the Atlanta Olympics, Kerri Strug made a heroic final vault despite torn ligaments in her left ankle as the U.S. women gymnasts clinched their first-ever Olympic team gold medal.
In 1997, the search for Andrew Cunanan, the suspected killer of designer Gianni Versace and others, ended as police found his body on a houseboat in Miami Beach, an apparent suicide.
In 2001, Pope John Paul II urged President George W. Bush in their first meeting, held at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, to bar creation of human embryos for medical research.
In 2003, a new audiotape purported to be from toppled dictator Saddam Hussein called on Iraqis to resist the U.S. occupation. Massachusetts’ attorney general issued a report saying clergy members and others in the Boston Archdiocese probably had sexually abused more than 1,000 people over a period of six decades.
In 2011, singer Amy Winehouse, 27, was found dead in her London home from accidental alcohol poisoning.
In 2017, a tractor trailer was found in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio, Texas, crammed with dozens of immigrants; ten died and many more were treated at a hospital for dehydration and heat stroke. (The driver, James Bradley Jr., was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to transporting the immigrants resulting in death.) President Donald Trump tweeted that he has “complete power” to issue pardons. Jordan Spieth won the British Open for his third career major championship.
Ten years ago: Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was named in a search warrant as the target of a manslaughter probe into the singer’s death. (Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.) Authorities arrested 44 people in New Jersey in a corruption probe. Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox pitched the 18th perfect game in major league history, a 5-0 win over Tampa Bay.
Five years ago: Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways Flight 222, an ATR-72, crashed while attempting to land on Penghu Island, killing 48 of the 58 people on board. The state of Arizona executed Joseph Rudolph Wood, convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her father. (Wood repeatedly gasped as it took nearly two hours for him to die from his lethal injection.)
One year ago: The White House said President Donald Trump was considering revoking the security clearances of six former top national security officials who had been critical of his administration. The New York Daily News cut half of its newsroom staff, including the paper’s editor in chief. The Senate, by a vote of 86-9, confirmed Pentagon official Robert Wilkie to be secretary of Veterans Affairs. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspended swimming star Ryan Lochte from competition for a year for violating anti-doping rules by getting an intravenous injection of vitamins.
Today’s Birthdays: Concert pianist Leon Fleisher is 91. Retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is 83. Actor Ronny Cox is 81. Radio personality Don Imus is 79. Actor Larry Manetti is 76. Rock singer David Essex is 72. Singer-songwriter John Hall is 71. Actress Belinda Montgomery is 69. Rock musician Blair Thornton (Bachman Turner Overdrive) is 69. Actress-writer Lydia Cornell is 66. Actor Woody Harrelson is 58. Rock musician Martin Gore (Depeche Mode) is 58. Actor Eriq Lasalle is 57. Rock musician Yuval Gabay is 56. Rock musician Slash is 54. Actor Juan Pope is 52. Model-actress Stephanie Seymour is 51. Actress Charisma Carpenter is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sam Watters is 49. Country singer Alison Krauss is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Dalvin DeGrate is 48. Rock musician Chad Gracey (Live) is 48. Actor-comedian Marlon Wayans is 47. Country singer Shannon Brown is 46. Actress Kathryn Hahn is 46. Retired MLB All-Star Nomar Garciaparra is 46. Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky is 46. Actress Stephanie March is 45. Actor Shane McRae is 42. Country musician David Pichette is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Michelle Williams is 39. Actor Paul Wesley is 37. Actress Krysta Rodriguez is 35. Actor Daniel Radcliffe is 30. Country musician Neil Perry is 29. Actress Lili Simmons is 26. Country singer Danielle Bradbery (TV: “The Voice”) is 23.
Thought for Today: “To be proud and inaccessible is to be timid and weak.” — Jean Baptiste Massillon (zhahn bah-TEEST’ mah-see-YOHN’), French clergyman (1663-1742).