Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, July 16, the 198th day of 2020. There are 168 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 16, 1945, the United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb in the desert of Alamogordo (ahl-ah-moh-GOHR’-doh), New Mexico; the same day, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis left Mare (mar-AY’) Island Naval Shipyard in California on a secret mission to deliver atomic bomb components to Tinian Island in the Marianas.

On this date:

In 1557, Anne of Cleves, who was briefly the fourth wife of England’s King Henry VIII, died in London at age 41.

In 1790, a site along the Potomac River was designated the permanent seat of the United States government; the area became Washington, D.C.

In 1862, Flag Officer David G. Farragut became the first rear admiral in the United States Navy.

In 1964, as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Barry M. Goldwater declared that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and that “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

In 1969, Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.

In 1973, during the Senate Watergate hearings, former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield publicly revealed the existence of President Richard Nixon’s secret taping system.

In 1980, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Detroit.

In 1994, the first of 21 pieces of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter, to the joy of astronomers awaiting the celestial fireworks.

In 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette (bih-SEHT’), died when their single-engine plane, piloted by Kennedy, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

In 2002, the Irish Republican Army issued an unprecedented apology for the deaths of “noncombatants” over 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.

In 2004, Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement by a federal judge in New York for lying about a stock sale.

In 2008, Florida resident Casey Anthony, whose 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, had been missing a month, was arrested on charges of child neglect, making false official statements and obstructing a criminal investigation. (Casey Anthony was later acquitted at trial of murdering Caylee, whose skeletal remains were found in December 2008; she was convicted of lying to police.)

Ten years ago: Retired intelligence analyst Kendall Myers, the 73-year-old great grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for quietly spying for Cuba for nearly a third of a century from inside the State Department; his wife, Gwendolyn, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years. American sprinters who’d been stripped of their 2000 Olympics relay medals because teammate Marion Jones was doping won an appeal to have them restored.

Five years ago: A gunman unleashed a barrage of fire at a recruiting center and another U.S. military site a few miles apart in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four Marines and a sailor before he was shot to death by police; authorities identified the gunman as Kuwaiti-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez of Tennessee. A jury in Centennial, Colorado, convicted James Holmes of 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges in the 2012 Aurora movie theater rampage that left 12 people dead.

One year ago: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who had unexpectedly emerged as the court’s leading liberal, died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the age of 99 after suffering a stroke. The House voted to condemn what it called “racist comments” by President Donald Trump aimed at four congresswomen of color, despite Trump’s insistence that he didn’t have “a racist bone in my body.” After years of silence on the case, federal prosecutors said they would not be bringing charges against a white New York City police officer in the 2014 chokehold death of a Black man, Eric Garner. A federal judge ordered singer R. Kelly to be held without bond, after a prosecutor warned that the singer accused of having sex with minors would pose an extreme danger to young girls if he were to be set free. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” picked up a record-setting 32 Emmy nominations for its eighth and final season. South African musician Johnny Clegg, who had performed in defiance of apartheid, died at the age of 66.

Today’s Birthdays: Former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh is 88. Soul singer William Bell is 81. International Tennis Hall of Famer Margaret Court is 78. College Football Hall of Famer and football coach Jimmy Johnson is 77. Violinist Pinchas Zukerman is 72. Actor-singer Ruben Blades is 72. Rock composer-musician Stewart Copeland is 68. Playwright Tony Kushner is 64. Actress Faye Grant is 63. Dancer Michael Flatley is 62. Actress Phoebe Cates is 57. Actor Paul Hipp is 57. Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell is 55. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell is 53. Actor Jonathan Adams is 53. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders is 52. Actress Rain Pryor is 51. Actor Corey Feldman is 49. Rock musician Ed Kowalczyk (koh-WAHL’-chek) (Live) is 49. Rock singer Ryan McCombs (Drowning Pool) is 46. Actress Jayma Mays is 41. Actress AnnaLynne McCord is 33. Actor-singer James Maslow is 30. Actor Mark Indelicato is 26. Pop singer-musician Luke Hemmings (5 Seconds to Summer) is 24.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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