Today in history


By The Associated Press



Today is Tuesday, July 26, the 208th day of 2016. There are 158 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 26, 1775, the Continental Congress established a Post Office and appointed Benjamin Franklin its Postmaster-General.

On this date:

In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1882, the Richard Wagner opera “Parsifal” premiered in Bayreuth, Germany.

In 1908, U.S. Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte ordered creation of a force of special agents that was a forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 1925, five days after the end of the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, prosecutor William Jennings Bryan died at age 65. (Although Bryan had won a conviction against John T. Scopes for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, the verdict was later overturned.)

In 1945, the Potsdam Declaration warned Imperial Japan to unconditionally surrender, or face “prompt and utter destruction.” The same day, Winston Churchill resigned as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated by the Labour Party; Clement Attlee succeeded him.

In 1952, Argentina’s first lady, Eva Peron, died in Buenos Aires at age 33. King Farouk I of Egypt abdicated in the wake of a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser.

In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.

In 1965, the Maldives became independent of Britain.

In 1971, Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy on America’s fourth successful manned mission to the moon.

In 1986, Islamic radicals in Lebanon released the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco, an American hostage held for nearly 19 months. American statesman W. Averell Harriman died in Yorktown Heights, New York, at age 94.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In 1996, swimmer Amy Van Dyken became the first American woman to win four gold medals at a single Olympics as she captured the 50-meter freestyle in Atlanta.

Ten years ago: In a dramatic turnaround from her first murder trial, Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a Houston jury in the bathtub drownings of her five children; she was committed to a state mental hospital. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appealed to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress to press the war in Iraq with money and troops. In Baghdad, a thinner but combative Saddam Hussein returned to his trial for the first time since his hunger strike and hospitalization.

Five years ago: The White House threatened to veto emergency House legislation that aimed to avert a threatened national default. Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon announced he would resign amid the political fallout from an 18-year-old woman’s allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter with him, charges that Wu denied.

One year ago: Closing out a historic visit to the land of his father’s birth, President Barack Obama told Kenyans that their country was at a crossroads, and he urged them to “choose the path to progress” by continuing to root out corruption, eliminate income inequality and be more inclusive of women and girls. In a rare Sunday session, senior Senate Republicans lined up to rebuke Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz — without mentioning him by name — for harshly criticizing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Chris Froome won his second Tour de France in three years. True crime author Ann Rule, 83, died in Burien, Washington. Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of singer Whitney Houston, died in hospice care six months after she was found face-down in a bathtub in her suburban Atlanta townhome.

Today’s Birthdays: Jackson Five patriarch Joe Jackson is 88. Actor Robert Colbert is 85. Actress-singer Darlene Love is 75. Singer Brenton Wood is 75. Rock star Mick Jagger is 73. Movie director Peter Hyams is 73. Actress Helen Mirren is 71. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Queen) is 67. Actress Susan George is 66. Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is 60. Actor Kevin Spacey is 57. Rock singer Gary Cherone (sher-OWN’) is 55. Actress Sandra Bullock is 52. Actor-comedian Danny Woodburn is 52. Rock singer Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is 51. Actor Jeremy Piven is 51. Rapper-reggae singer Wayne Wonder is 50. Actor Jason Statham (STAY’-thum) is 49. Actor Cress Williams is 46. TV host Chris Harrison is 45. Actress Kate Beckinsale is 43. Actor Gary Owen is 43. Rock musician Dan Konopka (OK Go) is 42. Gospel/Contemporary Christian singer Rebecca St. James is 39. Actress Monica Raymund is 30. Actress Caitlin Gerard is 28. Actress Francia Raisa is 28. Christian rock musician Jamie Sharpe (Rush of Fools) is 27. Actress Bianca Santos is 26. Actress-singer Taylor Momsen is 23. Actress Elizabeth Gillies (TV: “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll”) is 23.

Thought for Today: “One brave deed makes no hero.” — John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet and essayist (1807-1892).

By The Associated Press

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