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Today in History

July 19, 2021 GMT

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, July 28, the 209th day of 2021. There are 156 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 28, 1976, an earthquake devastated northern China, killing at least 242,000 people, according to an official estimate.

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 1821, Peru declared its independence from Spain.

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

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 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing, which had limited people to one pound of coffee every five weeks since it began in Nov. 1942.

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

In 1984, the Los Angeles Summer Olympics opened.

In 1989, Israeli commandos abducted a pro-Iranian Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) Muslim cleric, Sheik Abdul-Karim Obeid (AHB’-dool kah-REEM’ oh-BAYD’), from his home in south Lebanon. (He was released in January 2004 as part of a prisoner swap.)

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).

In 2015, it was announced that Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Naval intelligence analyst who had spent nearly three decades in prison for spying for Israel, had been granted parole. Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game was upheld by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

In 2017, the Senate voted 51-49 to reject Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s last-ditch effort to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul with a trimmed-down bill. John McCain, who was about to begin treatments for a brain tumor, joined two other GOP senators in voting against the repeal effort.

In 2019, a gunman opened fire at a popular garlic festival in Gilroy, California, killing three people, including a six-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, and wounding 17 others before taking his own life.

Ten years ago: The body of the military chief of the Libyan rebels’ National Transitional Council, Abdel-Fattah Younis, was found dumped outside Benghazi along with those of two top aides. The president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Rev. Howard Creecy Jr., died in a fall in his Atlanta home seven months after taking office; he was 57.

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Five years ago: Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Philadelphia, where she cast herself as a unifier for divided times as well as an experienced leader steeled for a volatile world while aggressively challenging Republican Donald Trump’s ability to lead.

One year ago: President Donald Trump issued a stout defense of the disproved use of a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat COVID-19, hours after social media companies took down videos shared by Trump, his son and others promoting its use; Trump also retweeted several attacks on the credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force. One of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions, the American Federation of Teachers, authorized members to strike if their schools planned to reopen without proper coronavirus safety measures. Mourners braved coronavirus fears and brutal heat to pay respects to the late Rep. John Lewis, the first Black lawmaker to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Major League Baseball suspended the Miami Marlins’ schedule for the rest of the week, after a coronavirus outbreak infected half the team. “Watchmen,” an HBO series cloaked in superhero mythology but grounded in real-world racism, received a leading 26 Emmy nominations.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Darryl Hickman is 90. Musical conductor Riccardo Muti is 80. Former Senator and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Bradley is 78. “Garfield” creator Jim Davis is 76. Singer Jonathan Edwards is 75. Actor Linda Kelsey is 75. TV producer Dick Ebersol is 74. Actor Sally Struthers is 74. Rock musician Simon Kirke (Bad Company) is 72. Rock musician Steve Morse (Deep Purple) is 67. Former CBS anchorman Scott Pelley is 64. Alt-country-rock musician Marc Perlman is 60. Actor Michael Hayden is 58. Actor Lori Loughlin is 57. Jazz musician-producer Delfeayo Marsalis is 56. Former hockey player Garth Snow is 52. Actor Elizabeth Berkley is 49. Singer Afroman is 47. Rock singer Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach) is 45. Actor John David Washington is 37. Actor Jon Michael Hill is 36. Actor Dustin Milligan is 36. Actor Nolan Gerard Funk is 35. Rapper Soulja Boy is 31. Pop/rock singer Cher Lloyd (TV: “The X Factor”) is 28.