Today in History
Today is Sunday, July 24, the 206th day of 2016. There are 160 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 24, 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.
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 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.
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 1980, comedian-actor Peter Sellers died in London at 54.
In 1991, Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer died in Miami at age 87.
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.
In 2014, Air Algerie Flight 5017, an MD-83 carrying 116 people, crashed in northern Mali, killing all on board; it was the third major international aviation disaster in a week.
Ten years ago: The trial of Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants resumed in Baghdad without the former Iraqi leader, who remained hospitalized after going on a hunger strike. Rescuers from the U.S. Coast Guard and Alaska Air National Guard saved 23 crew members from a cargo ship taking on water south of the Aleutian Islands.
Five years ago: Thousands of protesters angry about Spain’s brutal economic woes once again filled Madrid’s downtown Sol square after many had spent weeks marching hundreds of miles from far-flung cities across the country. Cadel (kuh-DEHL’) Evans won the Tour de France, becoming the first Australian champion in cycling’s greatest race.
One year ago: Fulfilling the hopes of millions of Kenyans, Barack Obama returned to his father’s homeland for the first time as U.S. president, a visit long sought by a country that considered him a local son. In a stunning, public attack on his own party leader, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz accused Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying, saying he was no better than his Democratic predecessor, Harry Reid, and couldn’t be trusted. Two teenage fishermen, Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos, went missing off Florida’s Atlantic coast; their capsized boat was found two days later. AT&T became the country’s biggest traditional TV provider with its $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Aniston is 83. Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant is 81. Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 80. Actor Mark Goddard is 80. Actor Dan Hedaya is 76. Actor Chris Sarandon is 74. Comedian Gallagher is 70. Actor Robert Hays is 69. Former Republican national chairman Marc Racicot (RAWS’-koh) is 68. Actor Michael Richards is 67. Actress Lynda Carter is 65. Movie director Gus Van Sant is 64. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is 63. Country singer Pam Tillis is 59. Actor Paul Ben-Victor is 54. Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone is 53. Retired MLB All-Star Barry Bonds is 52. Actor Kadeem Hardison is 51. Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 48. Actress Laura Leighton is 48. Actor John P. Navin Jr. is 48. Actress-singer Jennifer Lopez is 47. Basketball player-turned-actor Rick Fox is 47. Actor Eric Szmanda is 41. Actress Rose Byrne is 37. Country singer Jerrod Niemann is 37. Actress Summer Glau is 35. Actress Elisabeth Moss is 34. Actress Anna Paquin is 34. Actress Megan Park is 30. Actress Mara Wilson is 29. Rock singer Jay McGuiness (The Wanted) is 26. Actress Emily Bett Rickards is 25. TV personality Bindi Irwin is 18.
Thought for Today: “It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.” — Attributed to President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862).