Today’s Highlights in History:
On July 10, 1991, Boris N. Yeltsin took the oath of office as the first elected president of the Russian republic. President George H.W. Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa.
On this date:
In A.D. 138, Roman Emperor Hadrian, responsible for the construction of opulent temples as well as the barrier in northern Britain known as Hadrian’s Wall, died at age 62.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) to the Senate and urged its ratification. (However, the Senate rejected it.)
In 1925, jury selection took place in Dayton, Tennessee, in the trial of John T. Scopes, charged with violating the law by teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. (Scopes was convicted and fined, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality.)
In 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as the Luftwaffe started attacking southern England. (The Royal Air Force was ultimately victorious.)
In 1943, during World War II, U.S. and British forces invaded Sicily.
In 1951, armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean War began at Kaesong.
In 1985, the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk with explosives in Auckland, New Zealand, by French intelligence agents; one activist was killed.
In 1989, Mel Blanc, the “man of a thousand voices,” including such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, died in Los Angeles at age 81.
In 2002, The House approved, 310-113, a measure to allow airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit to defend their planes against terrorists (President George W. Bush later signed the measure into law).
In 2005, a search-and-rescue team found the body of a missing U.S. commando in eastern Afghanistan, bringing an end to the desperate search for the last member of an ill-fated, four-man special forces unit that had disappeared the previous month.
In 2015, to the cheers of thousands, South Carolina pulled the Confederate flag from its place of honor at the Statehouse after more than 50 years.
In 2018, a daring rescue mission in Thailand was completed successfully, as the last four of the 12 boys who were trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks were brought to safety along with their soccer coach; the other eight had been brought out in the two preceding days.
Ten years ago: The space shuttle Atlantis docked with the International Space Station, the final such hookup in orbit. An overloaded cruise vessel sank in Russia’s Volga River, killing 122 people. Some 70 people were killed when a train derailed in northern India. Britain’s best-selling Sunday tabloid the News of the World, brought down by a phone-hacking scandal, signed off with a simple front page message: “THANK YOU & GOODBYE.”
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, during an abbreviated visit to Spain, urged respect and restraint from Americans angered by the killing of Black men by police, saying anything less did a “disservice to the cause” of ridding the criminal justice system of racial bias. Andy Murray won his second Wimbledon title by beating Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) on Centre Court.
One year ago: President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime political confidant Roger Stone, intervening in extraordinary fashion in a criminal case that was central to the Russia investigation and concerned Trump’s own conduct; the move came days before Stone was to begin serving a 40-month sentence for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign had colluded with Russia.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor William Smithers is 94. Actor Lawrence Pressman is 82.
Singer Mavis Staples is 82. Actor Mills Watson is 81. Actor Robert Pine is 80. Rock musician Jerry Miller (Moby Grape) is 78. International Tennis Hall of Famer Virginia Wade is 76. Folk singer Arlo Guthrie is 74. Rock musician Dave Smalley is 72. Country-folk singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler is 70. Rock singer Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) is 67. Banjo player Bela Fleck is 63. Actor Fiona Shaw is 63. Bluegrass singer-musician Tim Surrett (Balsam Range) is 58. Actor Alec Mapa is 56. Country singer-songwriter Ken Mellons is 56. Rock musician Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros) is 56. Actor Gale Harold is 52. Country singer Gary LeVox (leh-VOH’) (Rascal Flatts) is 51. Actor Aaron D. Spears is 50. Actor Sofia Vergara is 49. Rockabilly singer Imelda May is 47. Actor Adrian Grenier (grehn-YAY’) is 45. Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (CHOO’-ih-tehl EHJ’-ee-oh-for) is 44. Actor Gwendoline Yeo is 44. Actor Thomas Ian Nicholas is 41. Singer-actor Jessica Simpson is 41. Actor Heather Hemmens is 37. Actor Emily Skeggs (TV: “When We Rise”) is 31. Rapper/singer Angel Haze is 30. Pop singer Perrie Edwards (Little Mix) is 28.