Today in History
Today is Saturday, July 27, the 208th day of 2019. There are 157 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 27, 1909, during the first official test of the U.S. Army’s first airplane, Orville Wright flew himself and a passenger, Lt. Frank Lahm, above Fort Myer, Va., for one hour and 12 minutes.
On this date:
In 1794, French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre was overthrown and placed under arrest; he was executed the following day.
In 1861, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.
In 1866, Cyrus W. Field finished laying out the first successful underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe (a previous cable in 1858 burned out after only a few weeks’ use).
In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.
In 1960, Vice President Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Chicago.
In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of urban rioting, the same day black militant H. Rap Brown told a press conference in Washington that violence was “as American as cherry pie.”
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, charging he had personally engaged in a course of conduct designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.
In 1976, Air Force veteran Ray Brennan became the first person to die of so-called “Legionnaire’s Disease” following an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.
In 1980, on day 267 of the Iranian hostage crisis, the deposed Shah of Iran died at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt, at age 60.
In 1996, terror struck the Atlanta Olympics as a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, directly killing one person and injuring 111. (Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing, exonerating security guard Richard Jewell, who had been wrongly suspected.)
In 2013, security forces and armed men clashed with supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, killing at least 80 people.
In 2017, Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, died at his Kentucky home at the age of 73 from complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Ten years ago: The presidents of Taiwan and China exchanged direct messages for the first time since the two sides split 60 years earlier. Football player Michael Vick, suspended for bankrolling a dogfighting operation, was reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Five years ago: Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France, becoming the first Italian to win cycling’s greatest race in 16 years. Bernhard Langer ran away with the Senior British Open for his fourth senior major title, finishing a Champions Tour-record 13 strokes ahead of Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie. Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, were inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
One year ago: The White House announced that North Korea had returned the remains of what were believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War, with a U.S. military plane making a rare trip into North Korea to retrieve 55 cases of remains. The Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy surged in the second quarter at an annual growth rate of 4.1 percent, the fastest pace since 2014. Official results showed that former cricket star Imran Khan won in Pakistan’s elections, but that he would have to seek out allies to form a coalition government. A federal judge ruled that the Justice Department doesn’t have the authority to withhold grants to the city of Chicago because of its policies providing sanctuary to immigrants.
Today’s Birthdays: TV producer Norman Lear is 97. Sportscaster Irv Cross is 80. Actor John Pleshette is 77. Actress-director Betty Thomas is 72. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 71. Singer Maureen McGovern is 70. Actress Janet Eilber is 68. Rock musician Tris Imboden (formerly with Chicago) is 68. Actress Roxanne Hart is 65. Country musician Duncan Cameron is 63. Comedian-actress-writer Carol Leifer is 63. Comedian Bill Engvall is 62. Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 57. Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 52. Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 52. Actor Julian McMahon is 51. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is 49. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 47. Rock musician Abe Cunningham is 46. Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 45. Former MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez is 44. Actor Seamus Dever is 43. Actress Martha Madison is 42. Actor Jonathan Rhys (rees) Meyers is 42. Actress/comedian Heidi Gardner is 36. Actor Blair Redford is 36. Actress Taylor Schilling is 35. MLB All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer is 35. Singer Cheyenne Kimball is 29. Golfer Jordan Spieth is 26. Actress Alyvia Alyn Lind is 12.
Thought for Today: “The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.” — Ralph W. Sockman, American clergyman (1889-1970).