Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 27, 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.
On this date:
In 1789, President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.
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 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, Virginia, for one hour and 12 minutes.
In 1940, Billboard magazine published its first “music popularity chart” listing best-selling retail records (in first place was “I’ll Never Smile Again” recorded by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, with featured vocalist Frank Sinatra).
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 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 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted from a department store in Hollywood, Fla., and was later murdered. (His father, John Walsh, became a well-known crime victims’ advocate.)
In 1984, the film “Purple Rain” was released in theaters.
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 2015, the Boy Scouts of America ended its blanket ban on gay adult leaders while allowing church-sponsored Scout units to maintain the exclusion for religious reasons.
In 2020, the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccine study began with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc.
Ten years ago: Britain opened its Olympic Games in a celebration of Old England and new, even cheekily featuring a stunt double for Queen Elizabeth II parachuting with James Bond into Olympic Stadium.
Five years ago: New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, in an interview published by The New Yorker, attacked chief of staff Reince Priebus and other White House officials in sometimes profane terms. (A day later, President Donald Trump announced that Priebus was being replaced by John Kelly. Scaramucci himself was ousted on July 31.)
One year ago: American gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of the gymnastics team competition at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental well-being, saying she realized following a shaky vault that she wasn’t in the right headspace to compete; she was the latest high-profile athlete to discuss mental health struggles. Seventeen-year-old Lydia Jacoby of Alaska won the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, upsetting American teammate and defending champion Lilly King. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus was fueling infection surges. Robert Aaron Long, accused in eight killings at Atlanta-area massage businesses, pleaded guilty to murder in four of the deaths and was sentenced to life in prison. Actor Bob Odenkirk collapsed on the set of the TV drama “Better Call Saul” in New Mexico; he later announced that he’d had a small heart attack.
Today’s Birthdays: TV producer Norman Lear is 100. Actor John Pleshette is 80. Actor-director Betty Thomas is 75. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 74. Singer Maureen McGovern is 73. Rock musician Tris Imboden (formerly with Chicago) is 71. Actor Roxanne Hart is 68. Comedian-actor-writer Carol Leifer is 66. Comedian Bill Engvall is 65. Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 60. Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 55.
Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 55. Actor Julian McMahon is 54. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (NIH’-koh-lye KAH’-stur WAHL’-dah) is 52. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 50. Rock musician Abe Cunningham is 49. Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 48. Former MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez is 47. Actor Seamus Dever is 46. Actor Martha Madison is 45. Actor Jonathan Rhys (rees) Meyers is 45. Actor/comedian Heidi Gardner is 39. Actor Blair Redford is 39. Actor Taylor Schilling is 38. MLB All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer is 38. Singer Cheyenne Kimball is 32. Golfer Jordan Spieth (speeth) is 29. Actor Alyvia Alyn Lind is 15.