Today in History
Today is Monday, July 29, the 210th day of 2019. There are 155 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 29, 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.)
On this date:
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 1921, Adolf Hitler became the leader (“fuehrer”) of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
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 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.)
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 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.
In 2004, Sen. John Kerry accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Boston with a military salute and the declaration: “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty.”
In 2017, U.S. and South Korean forces conducted joint live-fire exercises in response to North Korea’s second launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile; experts said the North Korean launch showed that a large portion of the United States was now within range of North Korea’s arsenal.
Ten years ago: Microsoft and Yahoo announced a 10-year Internet search partnership under which Bing would replace Yahoo Search, as the companies agreed to take on the overwhelming dominance of Google in the online advertising market. Federal authorities arrested more than 30 suspects, including doctors, in a major Medicare fraud bust in New York.
Five years ago: Spurred to action by the downing of a Malaysian airliner over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks; President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy. Mississippi’s effort to close its last abortion clinic was blocked by a federal appeals court.
One year ago: President Donald Trump tweeted that he was willing to see the government shut down over border security issues, including money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Pitcher Sean Newcomb of the Atlanta Braves was within one strike of a no-hitter before Chris Taylor singled for the Los Angeles Dodgers. (After the game, the 25-year-old Newcomb apologized for racist, homophobic and sexist tweets he had sent as a teenager; he described the tweets as “some stupid stuff” he said with friends.)
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker is 87. Actor Robert Fuller is 86. Former Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole is 83. Actor David Warner is 78. Actress Roz Kelly is 77. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 73. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 70. Actor Mike Starr is 69. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 66. Style guru Tim Gunn is 66. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 66. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 66. Actor Kevin Chapman is 57. Actress Alexandra Paul is 56. Actor/comedian Dean Haglund is 54. Country singer Martina McBride is 53. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 52. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 51. Actor Tim Omundson is 50. Actor Ato Essandoh is 47. Actor Wil Wheaton is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 46. Country singer-songwriter James Otto is 46. Actor Stephen Dorff is 46. Actor Josh Radnor is 45. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 42. Actress Rachel Miner is 39. Actress Allison Mack is 37. Actress Kaitlyn Black is 36. Actor Matt Prokop is 29. Actress Cait Fairbanks is 26.
Thought for Today: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” — Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890).