Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 21, 1925, the so-called “Monkey Trial” ended in Dayton, Tennessee, with John T. Scopes found guilty of violating state law for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. (The conviction was later overturned on a technicality.)
On this date:
In 1861, during the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a Confederate victory.
In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II, capturing it from the Japanese some three weeks later.
In 1954, the Geneva Conference concluded with accords dividing Vietnam into northern and southern entities.
In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin blasted off from the moon aboard the ascent stage of the lunar module for docking with the command module.
In 1972, the Irish Republican Army carried out 22 bombings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing nine people and injuring 130 in what became known as “Bloody Friday.”
In 1987, Guns & Roses debut album “Appetite for Destruction” is released, and becomes the best-selling debut album of all time with more than 30 million copies sold.
In 1998, astronaut Alan Shepard died in Monterey, California, at age 74; actor Robert Young died in Westlake Village, California, at age 91.
In 1999, Navy divers found and recovered the bodies of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette (bih-SEHT’), in the wreckage of Kennedy’s plane in the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard.
In 2002, Ernie Els won the British Open in the first sudden-death finish in the 142-year history of the tournament.
In 2008, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (RA’-doh-van KA’-ra-jich), one of the world’s top war crimes fugitives, was arrested in a Belgrade suburb by Serbian security forces. (He was sentenced by a U.N. court in 2019 to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.)
In 2009, prosecutors in Cambridge, Massachusetts, dropped a disorderly conduct charge against prominent Black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was arrested by a white officer at his home near Harvard University after a report of a break-in.
In 2011, the 30-year-old space shuttle program ended as Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after the 135th shuttle flight.
In 2016, Donald Trump accepted the GOP presidential nomination with a speech in which he pledged to cheering Republicans and still-skeptical voters that as president, he would restore the safety they feared they were losing, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from what he said was Hillary Clinton’s record of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.” The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its objections to a North Carolina law that limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.
Ten years ago: The president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge (zhahk ROH’-geh), rejected the latest calls for a minute of silence for the Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich massacre at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, an Air Force training instructor at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes that included rape and sexual assault. (Walker died in August 2014.)
Five years ago: White House press secretary Sean Spicer abruptly quit over President Donald Trump’s decision to name financier Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House communications director. Scaramucci announced from the White House briefing room that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who had been Spicer’s deputy, would take over for Spicer. (Scaramucci would be fired on July 31 after 11 days on the job; he had used vulgar language to insult White House aides during a phone call to a reporter.) Escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the Holy Land’s most contested shrine boiled over into violence that killed six people — three Palestinians in street clashes in Jerusalem and three Israelis in a stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement.
One year ago: Public health officials said U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II; the drop was due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic. A day after he was extradited from New York, convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to four counts of rape and seven other sexual assault counts. Organizers of the Kennedy Center Honors announced that the 2021 honorees would be Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, “Saturday Night Live” mastermind Lorne Michaels, opera singer Justino Diaz, folk music legend Joni Mitchell, and actor-singer Bette Midler.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Norman Jewison is 96. Actor Leigh Lawson is 79. Singer Yusuf Islam (also known as Cat Stevens) is 74. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 74. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 71. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 69. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 65. Actor Lance Guest is 62. Actor Matt Mulhern is 62. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 59. Retired soccer player Brandi Chastain is 54. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 53.
Rock-soul singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 52. Actor Alysia Reiner is 52. Country singer Paul Brandt is 50. Christian rock musician Korey Cooper (Skillet) is 50. Actor Ali Landry is 49. Actor-comedian Steve Byrne is 48. Rock musician Tato Melgar (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 45. Actor Justin Bartha is 44. Actor Josh Hartnett is 44. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 44. Actor Sprague Grayden is 44. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 44. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 44. Former MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia (suh-BATH’-ee-uh) is 42. Singer Blake Lewis (“American Idol”) is 41. Latin singer Romeo Santos is 41. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 38. Actor Vanessa Lengies (LEHN’-jeez) is 37. Actor Betty Gilpin is 36. Actor Rory Culkin is 33. Actor Jamie Waylett (“Harry Potter” films) is 33. Figure skater Rachael Flatt is 30.