Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 30, 1945, the Portland class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, having just delivered components of the atomic bomb to Tinian in the Mariana Islands, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine; only 317 out of nearly 1,200 men survived.
On this date:
In 1619, the first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony.
In 1729, Baltimore, Maryland, was founded.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces tried to take Petersburg, Virginia, by exploding a gunpowder-laden mine shaft beneath Confederate defense lines; the attack failed.
In 1916, German saboteurs blew up a munitions plant on Black Tom, an island near Jersey City, New Jersey, killing about a dozen people.
In 1918, poet Joyce Kilmer, a sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment, was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I. (Kilmer is remembered for his poem “Trees.”)
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure making “In God We Trust” the national motto, replacing “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one).
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a measure creating Medicare, which began operating the following year.
In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed a law reaffirming all of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
In 2003, The last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line in Mexico.
In 2008, ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (RA’-doh-van KA’-ra-jich) was extradited to The Hague to face genocide charges after nearly 13 years on the run. (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 2010, the Afghan Taliban confirmed the death of longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and appointed his successor, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.
In 2016, 16 people died when a hot air balloon caught fire and exploded after hitting high-tension power lines before crashing into a pasture near Lockhart, Texas, about 60 miles northeast of San Antonio.
In 2020, John Lewis was eulogized in Atlanta by three former presidents and others who urged Americans to continue the work of the civil rights icon in fighting injustice during a moment of racial reckoning. Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate and former CEO of a pizza chain who became an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, died in Atlanta of complications from the coronavirus at the age of 74; he was hospitalized less than two weeks after attending Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was photographed not wearing a mask.
Ten years ago: Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, on a visit to Israel, outraged Palestinians by telling Jewish donors that their culture was part of the reason Israel was more economically successful than the Palestinians. At the London Olympics, American teenager Missy Franklin won the women’s 100-meter backstroke before Matt Grevers led a 1-2 finish for the U.S. in the men’s race.
Five years ago: Three days after the U.S. Congress approved sanctions against Russia in response to its meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the United States would have to cut the number of embassy and consulate staff in Russia by 755.
One year ago: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis barred school districts from requiring students to wear masks when the new school year began. Broadway theater operators announced that COVID-19 vaccinations and masks would be required when theaters reopened in the weeks ahead. Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to four more areas in addition to Tokyo following record spikes in infections as the capital hosted the Olympics. The first flight evacuating Afghans who’d worked alongside Americans in Afghanistan brought more than 200 people to new lives in the United States; the flight that landed outside Washington, D.C., carried translators and close family members.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is 88. Blues musician Buddy Guy is 86. Feminist activist Eleanor Smeal is 83. Former U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder is 82. Singer Paul Anka is 81. Jazz musician David Sanborn is 77. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is 75. Actor William Atherton is 75. Actor Jean Reno (zhahn rih-NOH’) is 74. Blues singer-musician Otis Taylor is 74. Actor Frank Stallone is 72. Actor Ken Olin is 68. Actor Delta Burke is 66. Law professor Anita Hill is 66.
Singer-songwriter Kate Bush is 64. Country singer Neal McCoy is 64. Actor Richard Burgi is 64. Movie director Richard Linklater is 62. Actor Laurence Fishburne is 61. Actor Lisa Kudrow is 59. Bluegrass musician Danny Roberts (The Grascals) is 59. Country musician Dwayne O’Brien is 59. Actor Vivica A. Fox is 58. Actor Terry Crews is 54. Actor Simon Baker is 53. Actor Donnie Keshawarz is 53. Movie director Christopher Nolan is 52. Actor Tom Green is 51. Rock musician Brad Hargreaves (Third Eye Blind) is 51. Actor Christine Taylor is 51. Actor-comedian Dean Edwards is 49. Actor Hilary Swank is 48. Olympic gold medal beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor is 45. Actor Jaime Pressly is 45. Alt-country singer-musician Seth Avett (AY’-veht) is 42. Actor April Bowlby is 42. Former soccer player Hope Solo is 41. Actor Yvonne Strahovski is 40. Actor Martin Starr is 40. Actor Gina Rodriguez is 38. Actor Nico Tortorella is 34. Actor Joey King is 23.