Today in History


Today in History

Today is Wednesday, July 13, the 195th day of 2016. There are 171 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 13, 1793, French revolutionary writer Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday, who was executed four days later.

On this date:

In 1787, the Congress of the Confederation adopted the Northwest Ordinance, which established a government in the Northwest Territory, an area corresponding to the eastern half of the present-day Midwest.

In 1863, deadly rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City. (The insurrection was put down three days later.)

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.

In 1955, Britain hanged Ruth Ellis, a 28-year-old former model and nightclub hostess convicted of killing her boyfriend, David Blakely (to date, Ellis is the last woman to be executed in the United Kingdom).

In 1960, John F. Kennedy won the Democratic presidential nomination on the first ballot at his party’s convention in Los Angeles.

In 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.)

In 1972, George McGovern received the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Miami Beach.

In 1977, a blackout lasting 25 hours hit the New York City area.

In 1978, Lee Iacocca was fired as president of Ford Motor Co. by chairman Henry Ford II.

In 1985, “Live Aid,” an international rock concert in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, took place to raise money for Africa’s starving people.

In 1990, the romantic fantasy “Ghost,” starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, was released by Paramount Pictures.

In 1999, Angel Maturino Resendiz, suspected of being the “Railroad Killer,” surrendered in El Paso, Texas. (Resendiz was executed in 2006.)

Ten years ago: Israel imposed a naval blockade against Lebanon and blasted the Beirut airport and army air bases; Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets into Israel. Former CIA officer Valerie Plame filed suit against Vice President Dick Cheney, presidential adviser Karl Rove and other White House officials, saying they’d orchestrated a “whispering campaign” to destroy her career. (A federal judge later dismissed the case, and an appeals court refused to revive the lawsuit.) Actor-comedian Red Buttons died in Los Angeles at age 87.

Five years ago: California became the first state in the nation to add lessons about gays and lesbians to social studies classes in public schools under a measure signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Three coordinated bombings in India’s busy financial capital killed 26 people in the worst terror attack in the country since the 2008 Mumbai siege. The United States earned its first trip to the Women’s World Cup final since winning it in 1999 with a 3-1 victory over France. (Japan, which went on to win the Cup, upset Sweden 3-1 in the other semifinal.) The initial version of Snapchat, a mobile messaging app that lets people send photos, videos and messages that disappear in a few seconds, debuted under the name Picaboo in Apple’s iOS App Store.

One year ago: Calling America “a nation of second chances,” President Barack Obama cut the prison sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders. Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old woman from suburban Chicago, was found hanged in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell three days after being arrested during a traffic stop; her death was ruled a suicide, a finding disputed by her family. New York City reached a $5.9 million settlement with the family of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being placed in a white police officer’s chokehold. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

Today’s Birthdays: Game show announcer Johnny Gilbert (TV: “Jeopardy!”) is 92. Actor Patrick Stewart is 76. Actor Robert Forster is 75. Actor Harrison Ford is 74. Singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) is 74. Actor-comedian Cheech Marin is 70. Actress Daphne Maxwell Reid is 68. Actress Didi Conn is 65. Singer Louise Mandrell is 62. Rock musician Mark “The Animal” Mendoza (Twisted Sister) is 60. Actor-director Cameron Crowe is 59. Tennis player Anders Jarryd is 55. Rock musician Gonzalo Martinez De La Cotera (Marcy Playground) is 54. Comedian Tom Kenny is 54. Country singer-songwriter Victoria Shaw is 54. Bluegrass singer Rhonda Vincent is 54. Actor Kenny Johnson is 53. Roots singer/songwriter Paul Thorn is 52. Country singer Neil Thrasher is 51. Actor Ken Jeong is 47. Singer Deborah Cox is 43. Actress Ashley Scott is 39. Rock musician Will Champion (Coldplay) is 38. Actor Fran Kranz is 35. Actress Aya Cash is 34. Actor Colton Haynes is 28. Actor Steven R. McQueen is 28. Soul singer Leon Bridges is 27. Actor Kyle Harrison Breitkopf (BRYT’-kahpf) is 11.

Thought for Today: “If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.” — Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (1813-1855).

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