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 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh, 37, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.
In 1914, transcontinental telephone service in the U.S. became operational with the first test conversation between New York and San Francisco.
In 1921, Adolf Hitler became the leader (“fuehrer”) of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established. Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show.”
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.
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 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 1983, the film “National Lampoon’s Vacation” was released in theaters.
In 1986, a federal jury in New York found that the National Football League had committed an antitrust violation against the rival United States Football League. But in a hollow victory for the U-S-F-L, the jury ordered the N-F-L to pay token damages of only three dollars.
In 1994, abortion opponent Paul Hill shot and killed Dr. John Bayard Britton and Britton’s escort, James H. Barrett, outside the Ladies Center clinic in Pensacola, Florida. (Hill was executed in Sept. 2003.)
In 1999, a former day trader, apparently upset over stock losses, opened fire in two Atlanta brokerage offices, killing nine people and wounding 13 before shooting himself to death; authorities said Mark O. Barton had also killed his wife and two children.
In 2016, former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson was given an additional 40 years in prison for trying to hire someone to kill the prosecutor who put him behind bars for killing his third wife.
Ten years ago: Standing on Israeli soil, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish state and said the United States had “a solemn duty and a moral imperative” to block Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. At the London Olympics, Dana Vollmer of the United States set a world record to win the 100-meter butterfly in 55.98 seconds. Yannick Agnel rallied the French to the gold medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3 minutes, 9.93 seconds, pulling ahead of American star Ryan Lochte on the final lap.
Five years ago: 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.
One year ago: With teammate Simone Biles watching from the stands, American Sunisa Lee won the gold medal in women’s all-around gymnastics at the Tokyo Games; she was the fifth straight American woman to claim the Olympic title in the event. (Biles withdrew from the event, which she was favored to win, to focus on her mental well-being.) President Joe Biden announced sweeping new pandemic requirements aimed at boosting vaccination rates for millions of federal workers and contractors. Former Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat who was a powerful voice for the military during his career as Michigan’s longest-serving U.S. senator, died at 87. The Detroit Pistons selected Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker is 90. Actor Robert Fuller is 89. Former Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole is 86. Actor Roz Kelly is 80. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 76. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 73. Actor Mike Starr is 72. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 69. Style guru Tim Gunn is 69. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 69. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 69. Actor Kevin Chapman is 60. Actor Alexandra Paul is 59. Actor/comedian Dean Haglund is 57.
Country singer Martina McBride is 56. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 55. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 54. Actor Tim Omundson is 53. Actor Ato Essandoh is 50. Actor Wil Wheaton is 50. R&B singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 49. Country singer-songwriter James Otto is 49. Actor Stephen Dorff is 49. Actor Josh Radnor is 48. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 45. Actor Rachel Miner is 42. Actor Kaitlyn Black is 39. Actor Matt Prokop is 32. Actor Cait Fairbanks is 29.