Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 31, the 212th day of 2015. There are 153 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 31, 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver and jewelry sank during a hurricane off the east Florida coast, scattering most of their treasure along the ocean floor. Of some 2,500 crew members, more than 1,000 died.

On this date:

In 1777, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.

In 1875, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, died in Carter County, Tennessee, at age 66.

In 1919, Germany’s Weimar (VY’-mahr) Constitution was adopted by the republic’s National Assembly.

In 1930, the radio character “The Shadow” made his debut as narrator of the “Detective Story Hour” on CBS Radio.

In 1933, the radio series “Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy,” made its debut on CBS radio station WBBM in Chicago.

In 1942, Oxfam International had its beginnings as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was founded in England.

In 1954, Pakistan’s K2 was conquered as two members of an Italian expedition, Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, reached the summit.

In 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 reached the moon, transmitting pictures back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface.

In 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.

In 1973, Delta Air Lines Flight 723, a DC-9, crashed while trying to land at Boston’s Logan International Airport, killing all 89 people on board.

In 1989, a pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a grisly videotape showing the body of American hostage William R. Higgins, a Marine lieutenant-colonel, dangling from a rope.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.

Thought for Today: “The trouble with the public is that there is too much of it.” – Don Marquis, American journalist, poet and dramatist

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 30, the 211th day of 2015. There are 154 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a measure creating Medicare, which began operating the following year.

On this date:

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 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 1932, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.

Thought for Today: “Individualism is rather like innocence; there must be something unconscious about it.” – Louis Kronenberger, American drama critic (1904-1980).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2015. There are 155 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 29, 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh, 37, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.

On this date:

In 1588, the English attacked the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines, resulting in an English victory.

In 1900, Italian King Humbert I was assassinated by an anarchist; he was succeeded by his son, Victor Emmanuel III.

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, July 28, the 209th day of 2015. There are 156 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On July 28, 1945, a U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York’s Empire State Building, killing 14 people. The U.S. Senate ratified the United Nations Charter by a vote of 89-2.

On this date:

In 1540, King Henry VIII’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, was executed, the same day Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

In 1655, French dramatist and novelist Cyrano de Bergerac, the inspiration for a play by Edmond Rostand, died in Paris at age 36.

In 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, a leading figure of the French Revolution, was sent to the guillotine.

In 1821, Peru declared its independence from Spain.

In 1914, World War I began as Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.

In 1915, more than 300 American sailors and Marines arrived in Haiti to restore order following the killing of Haitian President Vibrun Guillaume Sam by rebels, beginning a 19-year U.S. occupation.

In 1932, federal troops forcibly dispersed the so-called “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington to demand payments they weren’t scheduled to receive until 1945. In 1959, in preparation for statehood, Hawaiians voted to send the first Chinese-American, Republican Hiram L. Fong, to the U.S. Senate and the first Japanese-American, Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000 “almost immediately.”

In 1976, an earthquake devastated northern China, killing at least 242,000 people, according to an official estimate.

In 1984, the Los Angeles Summer Olympics opened.

In 1995, a jury in Union, South Carolina, rejected the death penalty for Susan Smith, sentencing her to life in prison for drowning her two young sons (Smith will be eligible for parole in 2024).

Ten years ago: NASA said space shuttle Discovery had escaped any serious damage from a potentially deadly piece of foam that broke off from the fuel tank during liftoff and looked safe to fly home in a week. The Irish Republican Army renounced the use of violence against British rule in Northern Ireland and said it would disarm. Lightning struck a group of Boy Scouts taking shelter from a storm in Sequoia National Park in California, killing an assistant troop leader and a teenage Scout.

Five years ago: U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton put most of Arizona’s toughest-in-the-nation immigration law on hold just hours before it was to take effect. (In September 2012, Bolton ruled that police could enforce the so-called “show me your papers” provision of the law.) Airblue Flight 202, a Pakistani Airbus A321, crashed into the hills overlooking Islamabad, killing all 152 people aboard.

Thought for Today: “Beware of monotony; it’s the mother of all the deadly sins.” – Edith Wharton, American author (1862-1937).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, July 27, the 208th day of 2015. There are 157 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On July 27, 1940, Bugs Bunny made his “official” debut in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon “A Wild Hare.” 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).

On this date:

In 1789, President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.

In 1861, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.

In 1921, Canadian researcher Frederick Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, succeeded in isolating the hormone insulin at the University of Toronto.

In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, July 25, the 206th day of 2015. There are 159 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan drew boos from some spectators at the Newport Folk Festival as he performed with a rock band. (The cause of the negative reaction is in dispute, with some citing Dylan’s use of an electric guitar, others blaming poor audio quality and still others complaining about the shortness of Dylan’s set.)

On this date:

In 1554, Queen Mary I of England married Philip II, future King of Spain.

In 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812, took place in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario, with no clear victor.

In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot (bleh-ree-OH’) became the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel, traveling from Calais (kah-LAY’) to Dover in 37 minutes.

In 1918, the musical revue “The Passing Show of 1918” opened on Broadway, featuring a cast that included Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele, and the song “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.”

In 1934, Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by pro-Nazi Austrians in a failed coup attempt.

In 1943, Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.)

In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

In 1956, the Italian liner Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; at least 51 people were killed.

In 1975, the musical “A Chorus Line” opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre, beginning a run of 6,137 performances.

In 1985, a spokeswoman for Rock Hudson confirmed that the actor, hospitalized in Paris, was suffering from AIDS. (Hudson died in October 1985.)

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein (hoo-SAYN’) signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries’ 46-year-old formal state of war.

In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.

Ten years ago: The AFL-CIO splintered as the Service Employees International Union and the Teamsters announced they were leaving the labor federation.

Thought for Today: “Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.” – Sinclair Lewis, American author

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 24, the 205th day of 2015. There are 160 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, a passenger ship carrying more than 2,500 people, rolled onto its side while docked at the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River; an estimated 844 people died in the disaster.

On this date:

In 1783, Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar (see-MOHN’ boh-LEE’-vahr) was born in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1862, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, and the first to have been born a U.S. citizen, died at age 79 in Kinderhook, New York, the town where he was born in 1782.

In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland.

In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.”

In 1959, during a visit to Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts – two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon – splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

In 1975, an Apollo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific, completing a mission which included the first-ever docking with a Soyuz capsule from the Soviet Union.

In 1980, comedian-actor Peter Sellers died in London at 54.

In 1998, a gunman burst into the U.S. Capitol, killing two police officers before being shot and captured. (The shooter, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., is being held in a federal mental facility.)

In 2002, nine coal miners became trapped in a flooded tunnel of the Quecreek Mine in western Pennsylvania; the story ended happily 77 hours later with the rescue of all nine.

Ten years ago: Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France (he was later stripped of all his titles after admitting to doping). Sir Richard Doll, the British scientist who first established a link between smoking and lung cancer, died in Oxford, England, at age 92.

Thought for Today: “People who jump to conclusions rarely alight on them.” – Philip Guedalla, British writer (1889-1944).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 23, the 204th day of 2015. There are 161 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 23, 1945, French Marshal Henri Petain (ahn-REE’ pay-TAN’), who had headed the pro-Axis Vichy (vee-shee) government during World War II, went on trial, charged with treason. (He was convicted and condemned to death, but the sentence was commuted to life in prison. On this date in 1951, Petain died in prison.)

On this date:

In 1885, Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States, died in Mount McGregor, New York, at age 63.

In 1886, a legend was born as Steve Brodie claimed to have made a daredevil plunge from the Brooklyn Bridge into New York’s East River. (However, there are doubts about whether the dive actually took place.)

In 1914, Austria-Hungary presented a list of demands to Serbia following the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serb assassin; Serbia’s refusal to agree to the entire ultimatum led to the outbreak of World War I.

In 1952, Egyptian military officers led by Gamal Abdel Nasser launched a successful coup against King Farouk I.

In 1967, a week of deadly race-related rioting that claimed 43 lives erupted in Detroit.

In 1977, a jury in Washington D.C. convicted 12 Hanafi (hah-NAH’-fee) Muslims of charges stemming from the hostage siege at three buildings the previous March.

In 1982, actor Vic Morrow and two child actors, 7-year-old Myca Dinh Le and 6-year-old Renee Shin-Yi Chen, were killed when a helicopter crashed on top of them during filming of a Vietnam War scene for “Twilight Zone: The Movie.” (Director John Landis and four associates were later acquitted of manslaughter.)

In 1984, Vanessa Williams became the first Miss America to resign her title, after nude photographs of her taken in 1982 were published in Penthouse magazine.

In 1985, Commodore International Ltd. unveiled its Amiga 1000 personal computer during a press event at New York’s Lincoln Center. Bandleader Kay Kyser, 80, known for his “Kollege of Musical Knowledge,” died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush announced his choice of Judge David Souter of New Hampshire to succeed the retiring Justice William J. Brennan on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1997, the search for Andrew Cunanan, the suspected killer of designer Gianni Versace (JAH’-nee vur-SAH’-chee) and others, ended as police found his body on a houseboat in Miami Beach, an apparent suicide.

In 2011, singer Amy Winehouse, 27, was found dead in her London home from accidental alcohol poisoning.

Thought for Today: “There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference.” – Juan Montalvo, Ecuadorean essayist and political writer (1832-1889).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2015. There are 162 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 22, 1975, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to restore the American citizenship of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. (President Gerald R. Ford signed the measure on August 5.)

On this date:

In 1587, an English colony fated to vanish under mysterious circumstances was established on Roanoke Island off North Carolina.

In 1796, Cleveland, Ohio, was founded by General Moses Cleaveland (correct).

In 1893, Wellesley College professor Katharine Lee Bates visited the summit of Pikes Peak, where she was inspired to write the original version of her poem “America the Beautiful.”

In 1916, a bomb went off during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, killing 10 people.

In 1934, bank robber John Dillinger was shot to death by federal agents outside Chicago’s Biograph Theater, where he had just seen the Clark Gable movie “Manhattan Melodrama.”

In 1946, Jewish extremists blew up a wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 90 people.

In 1950, former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King died in Kingsmere, Quebec, at age 75.

In 1957, Walter “Fred” Morrison applied for a patent for a “flying toy” which became known as the Frisbee.

In 1963, Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in the first round of their rematch in Las Vegas to retain the world heavyweight title.

In 1983, Samantha Smith and her parents returned home to Manchester, Maine, after completing a whirlwind tour of the Soviet Union.

In 1995, Susan Smith was convicted by a jury in Union, South Carolina, of first-degree murder for drowning her two sons. (She was later sentenced to life in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until 2024.)

– – –

Thought for Today: “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” – John W. Gardner, American government official (1912-2002).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2015. There are 163 days left in the year.

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 1773, Pope Clement XIV issued an order suppressing the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. (The Society was restored by Pope Pius VII in 1814.)

In 1861, during the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a Confederate victory.

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration.

In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II, capturing it from the Japanese some three weeks later. The Democratic national convention in Chicago nominated Sen. Harry S. Truman to be vice president.

In 1949, the U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

In 1955, during a summit in Geneva, President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented his “open skies” proposal under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union would trade information on each other’s military facilities and allow aerial reconnaisance. (The Soviets rejected the proposal.)

Thought for Today: “We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.” – Abigail Adams, American first lady (1744-1818).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, July 20, the 201st day of 2015. There are 164 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon after reaching the surface in their Apollo 11 lunar module.

On this date:

In 1861, the Congress of the Confederate States convened in Richmond, Virginia.

In 1871, British Columbia entered Confederation as a Canadian province.

In 1917, the World War I draft lottery went into operation.

In 1923, Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa was assassinated by gunmen in Parral.

In 1944, an attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb failed as the explosion only wounded the Nazi leader. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a fourth term of office at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

In 1954, the Geneva Accords divided Vietnam into northern and southern entities.

In 1965, the Bob Dylan single “Like a Rolling Stone” was released by Columbia Records.

In 1968, the first International Special Olympics Summer Games, organized by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, were held at Soldier Field in Chicago.

In 1976, America’s Viking 1 robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars.

In 1989, Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi (soo chee) was placed under house arrest by the military government of Myanmar.

In 1990, Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, one of the court’s most liberal voices, announced he was stepping down.

In 2012, a gunman opened fire inside a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 people. (Defendant James Eagen Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder.)

Ten years ago: A day after being tapped by President George W. Bush, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts paid courtesy calls on senators while a conservative group purchased TV ad time in support of his nomination and abortion rights groups staged protests. Actor James Doohan, who played Scotty the engineer in the original “Star Trek” TV series and several movies, died in Redmond, Washington, at age 85. The competition show “So You Think You Can Dance” premiered on Fox.

Thought for Today: “We may well go to the moon, but that’s not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us.” – Charles de Gaulle, French statesman (1890-1970).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, July 18, the 199th day of 2015. There are 166 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 18, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed a Presidential Succession Act which placed the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.

On this date:

In A.D. 64, the Great Fire of Rome began, consuming most of the city for about a week. (Some blamed the fire on Emperor Nero, who in turn blamed Christians.)

In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45.

In 1872, Britain enacted voting by secret ballot.

In 1925, Adolf Hitler published the first volume of his autobiographical screed, “Mein Kampf (My Struggle).”

In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St. Lawrence Seaway.

In 1944, Hideki Tojo was removed as Japanese premier and war minister because of setbacks suffered by his country in World War II. American forces in France captured the Normandy town of St. Lo.

In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin, British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and French Premier Edgar Faure met for a summit in Geneva.

In 1969, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., left a party on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard with Mary Jo Kopechne (koh-PEHK’-nee), 28; some time later, Kennedy’s car went off a bridge into the water. (Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopechne drowned.)

In 1976, at the Montreal Olympics, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci received the first-ever perfect score of 10 with her routine on uneven parallel bars. (Comaneci would go on to receive six more 10s at Montreal.)

In 1984, gunman James Huberty opened fire at a McDonald’s fast food restaurant in San Ysidro (ee-SEE’-droh), California, killing 21 people before being shot dead by police. Walter F. Mondale won the Democratic presidential nomination in San Francisco.

In 1989, actress Rebecca Schaeffer, 21, was shot to death at her Los Angeles home by obsessed fan Robert Bardo, who was later sentenced to life in prison.

In 1990, Dr. Karl Menninger, the dominant figure in American psychiatry for six decades, died in Topeka, Kansas, four days short of his 97th birthday.

Ten years ago: Hurricane Emily roared across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, ripping roofs off luxury hotels, stranding thousands of tourists and leaving hundreds of local residents homeless. An unrepentant Eric Rudolph was sentenced in Birmingham, Alabama, to life in prison for an abortion clinic bombing that killed an off-duty police officer and maimed a nurse. Retired Gen. William Westmoreland died in Charleston, South Carolina, at age 91. Veteran newsman Paul Duke died in Washington D.C. at age 78.

Five years ago: Pakistan and Afghanistan sealed a landmark trade deal in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,

Thought for Today: “Kindnesses are easily forgotten; but injuries! what worthy man does not keep those in mind?” – William Makepeace Thackeray, English author

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 17, the 198th day of 2015. There are 167 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 17, 1945, following Nazi Germany’s surrender, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II.

On this date:

In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

In 1917, during World War I, the British royal family adopted the name “Windsor,” replacing the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

In 1918, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

In 1935, the entertainment trade publication Variety ran its legendary headline, “Sticks Nix Hick Pix” (which might be translated as, “Rural audiences reject rural-themed movies”).

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as right-wing army generals launched a coup attempt against the Second Spanish Republic.

In 1944, during World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California.

In 1955, Disneyland had its opening day in Anaheim, California.

In 1965, the Righteous Brothers single “Unchained Melody” by Alex North and Hy Zaret was released on the Phillies label.

In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.

In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.

In 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York, shortly after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.

In 1998, Nicholas II, last of the Romanov czars, was formally buried in Russia 80 years after he and his family were slain by the Bolsheviks.

Ten years ago: The Iraqi Special Tribunal filed its first criminal case against Saddam Hussein for a 1982 massacre of Shiites. Tiger Woods closed with a 2-under 70 to win the British Open for his tenth career major. Sir Edward Heath, former British prime minister, died in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England, at age 89. Actress Geraldine Fitzgerald died in New York City at age 91.

Five years ago: Federal authorities in Puerto Rico arrested alleged drug kingpin Jose Figueroa Agosto after a decade-long chase through the Caribbean. Thousands of gays and lesbians from around Europe marched through Poland’s capital, Warsaw, to demand equal rights and more tolerance in the heavily Roman Catholic nation.

One year ago: Eric Garner, an unarmed black man accused of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, died shortly after being wrestled to the ground by New York City police officers; a videotape of the takedown showed Garner repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.” All 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine; both Ukraine’s government and pro-Russian separatists have denied responsibility for downing the aircraft. Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its 39-year history, outlining plans to cut 18,000 jobs. Legendary Broadway peformer Elaine Stritch, 89, died in Birmingham, Michigan.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Donald Sutherland is 83. Actress-singer Diahann Carroll is 80. Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor is 75. Rock musician Spencer Davis is 76. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is 68. Rock musician Terry “Geezer” Butler is 66. Actress Lucie Arnaz is 64. Actor David Hasselhoff is 63. Rock musician Fran Smith Jr. (The Hooters) is 63. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN’-geh-lah MEHR’-kuhl) is 61. Television producer Mark Burnett is 55. Actress Nancy Giles is 55. Singer Regina Belle is 52. Rock musician Kim Shattuck is 52. Country singer Craig Morgan is 51. Rock musician Lou Barlow is 49. Contemporary Christian singer Susan Ashton is 48. Actor Andre Royo is 47. Actress Bitty Schram is 47. Actor Jason Clarke is 46. Singer JC (PM Dawn) is 44. Rapper Sole’ is 42. Country singer Luke Bryan is 39. Actor Eric Winter is 39. Hockey player Marc Savard is 38. Actor Mike Vogel is 36. Actor Tom Cullen is 30. Actor Brando Eaton is 29. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeremih (jehr-uh-MY’) is 28. Actress Summer Bishil (BIHSH’-ihl) is 27.

Thought for Today: “Modo et modo non habebant modum.” (By and by never comes.) – St. Augustine (A.D. 354-A.D. 430).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 16, the 197th day of 2015. There are 168 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On July 16, 1945, the United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico. The same day, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis left Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California on a secret mission to deliver atomic bomb components to Tinian Island in the Marianas.

On this date:

In 1790, a site along the Potomac River was designated the permanent seat of the United States government; the area became Washington D.C.

In 1862, Flag Officer David G. Farragut became the first rear admiral in the United States Navy.

In 1912, New York gambler Herman Rosenthal, set to testify before a grand jury about police corruption, was gunned down by members of the Lennox Avenue Gang.

In 1935, the first parking meters were installed in Oklahoma City.

In 1951, the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger was first published by Little, Brown and Co.

In 1964, as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Barry M. Goldwater declared that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and that “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

In 1970, Three Rivers Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates, officially opened as the Pirates lost to the Cincinnati Reds 3-2. (The stadium was demolished in 2001.)

In 1979, Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq.

In 1980, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Detroit.

In 1981, singer Harry Chapin was killed when his car was struck by a tractor-trailer on New York’s Long Island Expressway.

In 1995, William Barloon and David Daliberti, two Americans imprisoned in Iraq for crossing the border from Kuwait four months earlier, were released.

In 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when their single-engine plane, piloted by Kennedy, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Ten years ago: A suicide bomber blew up a fuel tanker near a Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) mosque in Musayyib, Iraq, killing nearly 100 people. More than a week after the London terror bombings, British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that an “evil ideology” of Islamic extremism was bent on spreading terror through the West. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the long-awaited sixth book in J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series, officially went on sale.

Five years ago: Retired intelligence analyst Kendall Myers, the 73-year-old great grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for quietly spying for Cuba for nearly a third of a century from inside the State Department; his wife, Gwendolyn, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years. American sprinters who’d been stripped of their 2000 Olympics relay medals because teammate Marion Jones was doping won an appeal to have them restored.

One year ago: The U.S. and the European Union imposed new economic sanctions on Russia; in his announcement, President Barack Obama said, “What we are expecting is that the Russian leadership will see once again that its actions in Ukraine have consequences.” Texas blues legend Johnny Winter, 70, died in Zurich.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh is 83. Soul singer Denise LaSalle is 81. Soul singer William Bell is 76. International Tennis Hall of Famer Margaret Court is 73. College Football Hall of Famer and football coach Jimmy Johnson is 72. Violinist Pinchas Zukerman is 67. Actor-singer Ruben Blades is 67.

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, July 15, the 196th day of 2015. There are 169 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon delivered a televised address in which he announced that he had accepted an invitation to visit the People’s Republic of China.

On this date:

In 1799, French soldiers in Egypt discovered the Rosetta Stone, which proved instrumental in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

In 1834, the Spanish Inquisition was abolished more than 3 1/2 centuries after its creation.

In 1870, Georgia became the last Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union. Manitoba entered confederation as the fifth Canadian province. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover announced he was slashing his own salary by 20 percent, from $75,000 to $60,000 a year; he also cut Cabinet members’ salaries by 15 percent, from $15,000 to $12,750 a year.

In 1948, President Harry S. Truman was nominated for another term of office by the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia.

In 1954, a prototype of the Boeing 707, the model 367-80, made its maiden flight from Renton Field south of Seattle.

In 1964, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona was nominated for president by the Republican national convention in San Francisco.

In 1975, three American astronauts blasted off aboard an Apollo spaceship hours after two Soviet cosmonauts were launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft for a mission that included a linkup of the two ships in orbit.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter delivered his “malaise” speech in which he lamented what he called a “crisis of confidence” in America.

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, July 14, the 195th day of 2015. There are 170 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 14, 1865, the Matterhorn, straddling Italy and Switzerland, was summited as a seven-member rope party led by British climber Edward Whymper reached the peak. (Four members of the party fell to their deaths during their descent; Whymper and two guides survived.)

On this date:

In 1789, in an event symbolizing the start of the French Revolution, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison and released the seven prisoners inside. In 1881, outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., alias “Billy the Kid,” was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner in present-day New Mexico. In 1913, Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., the 38th president of the United States, was born Leslie Lynch King Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1921, Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted in Dedham, Massachusetts, of murdering a shoe company paymaster and his guard. (Sacco and Vanzetti were executed six years later.)

In 1933, all German political parties, except the Nazi Party, were outlawed. Cartoon character Popeye the Sailor made his movie debut in the Fleischer Studios animated short, “Popeye the Sailor.”

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, July 13, the 194th day of 2015. There are 171 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 13, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to be U.S. Solicitor General; Marshall became the first black jurist appointed to the post. (Two years later, Johnson nominated Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

On this date:

In 1793, French revolutionary writer Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday, who was executed four days later. In 1863, deadly rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City. (The insurrection was put down three days later.) In 1923, a sign consisting of 50-foot-tall letters spelling out “HOLLYWOODLAND” was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills to promote a subdivision (the last four letters were removed in 1949).

In 1939, Frank Sinatra made his first commercial recording, “From the Bottom of My Heart” and “Melancholy Mood,” with Harry James and his Orchestra for the Brunswick label.

Thought for Today: “Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen.” – Carl Sandburg, American writer

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, July 11, the 192nd day of 2015. There are 173 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 11, 1955, the U.S. Air Force Academy swore in its first class of cadets at its temporary quarters at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado.

On this date:

In 1767, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts.

In 1798, the U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-established by a congressional act that also created the U.S. Marine Band.

In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.

In 1864, Confederate forces led by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early began an abortive invasion of Washington D.C., turning back the next day.

In 1915, the Chicago Sunday Tribune ran an article titled, “Blues Is Jazz and Jazz Is Blues.” (It’s believed to be one of the earliest, if not the earliest, uses of the word “jazz” as a musical term by a newspaper.)

In 1922, the Hollywood Bowl officially opened with a program called “Symphonies Under the Stars” with Alfred Hertz conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In 1937, American composer and pianist George Gershwin died at a Los Angeles hospital of a brain tumor; he was 38.

In 1952, the Republican National Convention, meeting in Chicago, nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Richard M. Nixon for vice president.

In 1960, the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee was first published by J.B. Lippincott and Co.

In 1979, the abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.

In 1989, actor and director Laurence Olivier died in Steyning, West Sussex, England, at age 82.

In 1995, the U.N.-designated “safe haven” of Srebrenica (SREH’-breh-neet-sah) in Bosnia-Herzegovina fell to Bosnian Serb forces, who then carried out the killings of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys. The United States normalized relations with Vietnam.

Ten years ago: A top al-Qaida lieutenant and three other terror suspects escaped from a U.S. military jail in Afghanistan. (The identity of Omar al-Farouq wasn’t acknowledged by the U.S. until November 2005; he was shot and killed by British forces in Basra, Iraq, in October 2006.) Five years ago: Over the din of vuvuzela horns in Johannesburg, South Africa, Spain won soccer’s World Cup.

Thought for Today: “Life is a lot like jazz – it’s best when you improvise.” – George Gershwin (1898-1937).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 10, the 191st day of 2015. There are 174 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 10, 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as the Luftwaffe started attacking southern England. (The Royal Air Force was ultimately victorious.)

On this date:

In 1509, theologian John Calvin, a key figure of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Noyon, Picardy, France.

In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state.

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 1929, American paper currency was reduced in size as the government began issuing bills that were approximately 25 percent smaller.

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 1962, AT&T’s Telstar 1 communications satellite, capable of relaying television signals and telephone calls, was launched by NASA from Cape Canaveral.

In 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent after three centuries of British colonial rule. John Paul Getty III, the teenage grandson of the oil tycoon, was abducted in Rome by kidnappers who cut off his ear when his family was slow to meet their ransom demands; young Getty was released in December 1973 for nearly $3 million.

In 1985, the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk with explosives in Auckland, New Zealand, by French intelligence agents; one activist was killed. Bowing to pressure from irate customers, the Coca-Cola Co. said it would resume selling old-formula Coke, while continuing to sell New Coke.

In 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.

In 1999, the United States women’s soccer team won the World Cup, beating China 5-4 on penalty kicks after 120 minutes of scoreless play at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Ten years ago: 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. Nineteen-month-old Suzie Marie Pena (PAYN’-yah) was struck and killed by a SWAT team bullet during a shootout between Los Angeles police and her father, who was using the toddler as a shield; Jose Raul Pena also died.

Thought for Today: “The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action in mind.” – Frank Herbert, American author (1920-1986).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 9, the 190th day of 2015. There are 175 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 9, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to Gen. George Washington’s troops in New York.

On this date:

In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII had his 6-month-old marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, annulled.

In 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.

In 1850, the 12th president of the United States, Zachary Taylor, died after serving only 16 months of his term. (He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.)

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous “cross of gold” speech at the Democratic national convention in Chicago.

In 1918, 101 people were killed in a train collision in Nashville, Tennessee. The Distinguished Service Cross was established by an Act of Congress.

In 1938, Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, 68, died in Port Chester, New York.

In 1945, architect Frank Lloyd Wright unveiled his design for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, a spiral structure on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that was completed in 1959.

In 1951, President Harry S. Truman asked Congress to formally end the state of war between the United States and Germany. (An official end to the state of war was declared in October 1951.)

In 1965, the Sonny & Cher single “I Got You Babe” was released by ATCO Records.

In 1974, former U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren died in Washington at age 83.

In 1986, the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography released the final draft of its report, which linked hard-core porn to sex crimes.

In 1995, Jerry Garcia performed for the final time as frontman of the Grateful Dead during a concert at Chicago’s Soldier Field (Garcia died a month later).

Ten years ago: A purported Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan said the group had beheaded a missing American commando, but he offered no proof and the U.S. military said it was still searching for the Navy SEAL. (The body of the commando was found the next day; officials said it appeared he died as a result of fighting, and was never abducted.) Hurricane Dennis dealt a glancing blow to the Florida Keys.

Thought for Today: “If writers were good business men, they’d have too much sense to be writers.” – Irvin S. Cobb, American humorist

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, July 8, the 189th day of 2015. There are 176 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 8, 1776, Col. John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia.

On this date:

In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.

In 1853, an expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomatic and trade relations with the Japanese.

In 1889, The Wall Street Journal was first published.

In 1907, Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first “Follies,” on the roof of the New York Theater.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles (vehr-SY’) Peace Conference in France.

In 1947, demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea. (Truman ended up sacking MacArthur for insubordination nine months later.)

In 1965, Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 21, a Douglas DC-6B, crashed in British Columbia after the tail separated from the fuselage; all 52 people on board were killed in what authorities said was the result of an apparent bombing. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford announced he would seek a second term of office.

In 1989, Carlos Saul Menem was inaugurated as president of Argentina in the country’s first transfer of power from one democratically elected civilian leader to another in six decades.

In 1994, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.

In 2000, Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6 (3) for her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first black female champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58.

Ten years ago: Group of Eight leaders meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, unveiled a $50 billion package to help lift Africa from poverty and pledged new joint efforts against terrorism in response to the deadly London bombings the day before. Hurricane Dennis pounded Cuba, resulting in 16 deaths.

Five years ago: The largest spy swap between the U.S. and Russia since the Cold War unfolded as 10 people accused of spying in suburban America pleaded guilty to conspiracy and were ordered deported to Russia in exchange for the release of four prisoners accused of spying for the West. Violent protests erupted in Oakland, California, after a Los Angeles jury convicted a white former transit officer, Johannes Mehserle (yoh-HAH’-nes MEZ’-ur-lee), of involuntary manslaughter (instead of murder) in the videotaped fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Oscar Grant. During an ESPN prime-time special, basketball free agent LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. A world record tennis crowd in Brussels watched Kim Clijsters beat Wimbledon champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2 in an exhibition umpired by Martina Navratilova.

Thought for Today: “History must stay open, it is all humanity.” – William Carlos Williams, American author and poet

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, July 7, the 188th day of 2015. There are 177 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 7, 1865, four people were hanged in Washington D.C. for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln: Lewis Powell (aka Lewis Payne), David Herold, George Atzerodt and Mary Surratt, the first woman to be executed by the U.S. federal government.

On this date:

In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey (mahn-tuh-RAY’) after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.

In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

In 1919, the first Transcontinental Motor Convoy, in which a U.S. Army convoy of motorized vehicles crossed the United States, departed Washington D.C. (The trip ended in San Francisco on September 6, 1919.)

In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War erupted into full-scale conflict as Imperial Japanese forces attacked the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing.

In 1948, six female U.S. Navy reservists became the first women to be sworn in to the regular Navy.

In 1954, Elvis Presley made his radio debut as Memphis, Tennessee, station WHBQ played his first recording for Sun Records, “That’s All Right.”

In 1969, Canada’s House of Commons gave final approval to the Official Languages Act, making French equal to English throughout the national government.

In 1975, the daytime drama “Ryan’s Hope” premiered on ABC-TV.

– – –

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Monday, July 6, the 187th day of 2015. There are 178 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On July 6, 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order establishing the Medal of Freedom. Nicaragua became the first nation to ratify the United Nations Charter.

On this date:

In 1415, Czech church reformer Jan Hus (yahn hoos), condemned for heresy, was burned at the stake in Konstanz in present-day Germany.

In 1535, Sir Thomas More was executed in England for high treason.

In 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga.

In 1865, the weekly publication “The Nation,” the self-described “flagship of the left,” made its debut.

In 1917, during World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba (AH’-kah-buh) from the Turks.

In 1933, the first All-Star baseball game was played at Chicago’s Comiskey Park; the American League defeated the National League, 4-2.

In 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title as she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2. In 1964, the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” starring The Beatles, had its world premiere in London. The British colony Nyasaland became the independent country of Malawi.

In 1971, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong died in New York at age 69.

In 1988, 167 North Sea oil workers were killed when explosions and fires destroyed a drilling platform.

Thought for Today: “Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.” – Rosa Luxemburg, Polish-German revolutionary (1871-1919).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, July 4, the 185th day of 2015. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

On this date:

In 1802, the United States Military Academy officially opened at West Point, New York.

In 1815, the cornerstone was laid for a monument in Baltimore honoring George Washington (the monument was completed in 1829).

In 1831, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, died in New York City at age 73.

In 1845, Henry David Thoreau began his two-year experiment in simpler living at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts.

In 1872, the 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, was born in Plymouth, Vermont.

In 1912, the 48-star American flag, recognizing New Mexico statehood, was adopted. A train wreck near Corning, New York, claimed 39 lives.

In 1939, Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees delivered his famous farewell speech in which he called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

In 1959, America’s 49-star flag, recognizing Alaskan statehood, was officially unfurled.

In 1960, America’s 50-star flag, recognizing Hawaiian statehood, was officially unfurled.

In 1976, Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing almost all of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by pro-Palestinian hijackers.

In 1982, the space shuttle Columbia concluded its fourth and final test flight with a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne married his manager, Sharon Arden, in Maui, Hawaii.

In 1995, the space shuttle Atlantis and the Russian space station Mir parted after spending five days in orbit docked together.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, during an Independence Day visit to Morgantown, West Virginia, urged resolve in the war in Iraq and said that “the proper response is not retreat. It is courage.” Hall of Fame football coach Hank Stram died in Covington, Louisiana, at age 82.

Five years ago: Gen. David Petraeus formally assumed command of the 130,000-strong international force in Afghanistan, declaring “we are in this to win.” Interim Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski held off a last-minute election surge from Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the identical twin brother of the late president, Lech Kaczynski, who’d died in an April plane crash. Dr. Robert Butler, 83, a Pulitzer Prize-winning expert on aging who coined the phrase “ageism,” died in New York. Rafael Nadal swept Tomas Berdych in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4, to win his second Wimbledon title and eighth Grand Slam championship.

One year ago: Germany summoned the U.S. ambassador in Berlin after the arrest of a man reported to have spied for the United States, heightening friction between the two countries over alleged U.S. eavesdropping in Germany.

Thought for Today: “All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.” – Adlai E. Stevenson, American diplomat and politician (1900-1965).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 3, the 184th day of 2015. There are 181 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 3, 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.

On this date:

In 1608, the city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union.

In 1913, during a 50th anniversary reunion at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Civil War veterans re-enacted Pickett’s Charge, which ended with embraces and handshakes between the former enemies.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg by dedicating the Eternal Light Peace Memorial.

In 1944, during World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk from the Germans.

In 1950, the first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place.

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2015. There are 182 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

On this date:

In 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed into law the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In 1915, a time bomb planted in a reception room of the U.S. Senate exploded shortly before midnight, causing considerable damage but hurting no one. Former Mexican President Porfirio Diaz died in exile in Paris.

In 1926, the United States Army Air Corps was created.

In 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight along the equator.

In 1943, Bing Crosby and the Ken Darby Singers recorded “Sunday, Monday or Always” for Decca Records.

In 1955, “The Lawrence Welk Show” premiered on ABC-TV under its original title, “The Dodge Dancing Party.”

In 1961, author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.

In 1979, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin was released to the public.

In 1982, Larry Walters of San Pedro, California, used a lawn chair equipped with 45 helium-filled weather balloons to rise to an altitude of 16,000 feet; he landed eight miles away in Long Beach.

In 1990, more than 1,400 Muslim pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel near Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Ten years ago: Shasta Groene (GROH’-nee), an 8-year-old girl kidnapped six weeks earlier, was rescued at a restaurant in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; the man with her, Joseph Edward Duncan III, was arrested and accused of kidnapping Shasta as well as killing members of her family. (Duncan later received three death sentences and multiple life sentences.) Egypt’s top envoy to post-Saddam Hussein Iraq (Ihab al-Sherif) was kidnapped in Baghdad (al-Qaida later announced it had killed him). The marathon Live 8 concert rocked the globe and the Internet, focusing attention on African poverty. Venus Williams beat top-ranked Lindsay Davenport at Wimbledon 4-6, 7-6 (4), 9-7 for her fifth major title and her first in nearly four years. Hollywood screenwriter Ernest Lehman (LEE’-muhn) died in Los Angeles at age 89.

Five years ago: Gen. David Petraeus arrived in Afghanistan to assume command of U.S. and NATO forces after his predecessor, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was fired for intemperate remarks he’d made about Obama administration figures in Rolling Stone magazine. The United States defeated Japan 7-2 to win its seventh consecutive world softball championships. British novelist Beryl Bainbridge, 77, died in London.

One year ago: Palestinians accused Israeli extremists of abducting and killing an Arab teenager and burning his body, sparking hours of clashes in east Jerusalem and drawing charges that the youth was murdered to avenge the killings of three kidnapped Israeli teens. Louis Zamperini, 97, an Olympic runner who survived a bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean, weeks adrift and then years as a Japanese prisoner of war and became the subject of a celebrated book and movie, died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 86. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 85. Actor Robert Ito is 84. Actress Polly Holliday is 78. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 78. Former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu is 76. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is 73. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 68. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, is 68.

Thought for Today: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961).

Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, July 1, the 182nd day of 2015. There are 183 days left in the year. This is Canada Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 1, 1940, the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state opened to traffic despite concerns over its tendency to “bounce” in windy conditions, inspiring the nickname “Galloping Gertie” (four months later, the suspension bridge’s main section collapsed into Puget Sound).

On this date:

In 1535, Sir Thomas More went on trial in England, charged with high treason for rejecting the Oath of Supremacy. (More was convicted, and executed.)

In 1863, the pivotal, three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, resulting in a Union victory, began in Pennsylvania.

In 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain as the British North America Act took effect.

In 1912, aviator Harriet Quimby, 37, was killed along with her passenger, William Willard, when they were thrown out of Quimby’s monoplane at the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet.

In 1934, Hollywood began enforcing its Production Code subjecting motion pictures to censorship review.

In 1946, the United States exploded a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

In 1965, “The Great Race,” Blake Edwards’ big-budget homage to oldtime slapstick comedy starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, was released by Warner Bros.

In 1974, the president of Argentina, Juan Peron, died; he was succeeded by his wife, Isabel Martinez de Peron.

In 1980, “O Canada” was proclaimed the national anthem of Canada.

In 1995, rock-and-roll disc jockey Wolfman Jack died in Belvidere, North Carolina, at age 57.

In 2000, Vermont’s civil unions law, which granted gay couples most of the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage, went into effect. The Confederate flag was removed from atop South Carolina’s Statehouse (in a compromise, another Confederate flag was raised on the Statehouse grounds in front of a soldier’s monument). Actor Walter Matthau died in Santa Monica, California, at age 79.

In 2004, actor Marlon Brando died in Los Angeles at age 80.

Ten years ago: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor unexpectedly announced her retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court (she was succeeded by Samuel Alito). Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Vandross died in Edison, New Jersey, at age 54.