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Today in History

July 19, 2021 GMT

Today in History

Today is Friday, July 30, the 211th day of 2021. 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 1619, the first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony.

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 1908, the first round-the-world automobile race, which had begun in New York in February, ended in Paris with the drivers of the American car, a Thomas Flyer, declared the winners over teams from Germany and Italy.

In 1916, German saboteurs blew up a munitions plant on Black Tom, an island near Jersey City, New Jersey, killing about a dozen people.

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In 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.

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 1975, former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in suburban Detroit; although presumed dead, his remains have never been found.

In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed a law reaffirming all of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

In 2001, Robert Mueller (MUHL’-ur), President George W. Bush’s choice to head the FBI, promised the Senate Judiciary Committee that if confirmed, he would move forcefully to fix problems at the agency. (Mueller became FBI director on Sept. 4, 2001, a week before the 9/11 attacks.)

In 2003, President George W. Bush took personal responsibility for the first time for using discredited intelligence in his State of the Union address, but predicted he would be vindicated for going to war against Iraq.

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.

Ten years ago: NATO jets bombed three Libyan state TV satellite transmitters in Tripoli, targeting a propaganda tool in Moammar Gadhafi’s fight against rebels.

Five years ago: Sixteeen 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.

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One year ago: 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. Trump floated the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election, an idea that met immediate resistance from Republicans in Congress. The government reported that the coronavirus pandemic sent the economy plunging by a record-shattering 32.9% annual rate in the second quarter. The NBA season resumed for 22 teams inside a “bubble” at Walt Disney World in Florida, with no fans in attendance and with strict health and safety protocols in effect.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is 87. Blues musician Buddy Guy is 85. Movie director Peter Bogdanovich is 82. Feminist activist Eleanor Smeal is 82. Former U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder is 81. Singer Paul Anka is 80. Jazz musician David Sanborn is 76. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is 74. Actor William Atherton is 74. Actor Jean Reno (zhahn rih-NOH’) is 73. Blues singer-musician Otis Taylor is 73. Actor Frank Stallone is 71. Actor Ken Olin is 67. Actor Delta Burke is 65. Law professor Anita Hill is 65. Singer-songwriter Kate Bush is 63. Country singer Neal McCoy is 63. Actor Richard Burgi is 63. Movie director Richard Linklater is 61. Actor Laurence Fishburne is 60. Actor Lisa Kudrow is 58. Bluegrass musician Danny Roberts (The Grascals) is 58. Country musician Dwayne O’Brien is 58. Actor Vivica A. Fox is 57. Actor Terry Crews is 53. Actor Simon Baker is 52. Actor Donnie Keshawarz is 52. Movie director Christopher Nolan is 51. Actor Tom Green is 50. Rock musician Brad Hargreaves (Third Eye Blind) is 50. Actor Christine Taylor is 50. Actor-comedian Dean Edwards is 48. Actor Hilary Swank is 47. Olympic gold medal beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor is 44. Actor Jaime Pressly is 44. Alt-country singer-musician Seth Avett (AY’-veht) is 41. Actor April Bowlby is 41. Former soccer player Hope Solo is 40. Actor Yvonne Strahovski is 39. Actor Martin Starr is 39. Actor Gina Rodriguez is 37. Actor Nico Tortorella is 33. Actor Joey King is 22.