Jul 6, 12:00 AM EDT

Today in History

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Today is Monday, July 6, the 187th day of 2015. There are 178 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On July 6, 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order establishing the Medal of Freedom. Nicaragua became the first nation to ratify the United Nations Charter.

On this date:

In 1415, Czech church reformer Jan Hus (yahn hoos), condemned for heresy, was burned at the stake in Konstanz in present-day Germany.

In 1535, Sir Thomas More was executed in England for high treason.

In 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga.

In 1865, the weekly publication "The Nation," the self-described "flagship of the left," made its debut.

In 1917, during World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba (AH'-kah-buh) from the Turks.

In 1933, the first All-Star baseball game was played at Chicago's Comiskey Park; the American League defeated the National League, 4-2.

In 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title as she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2.

In 1964, the movie "A Hard Day's Night," starring The Beatles, had its world premiere in London. The British colony Nyasaland became the independent country of Malawi.

In 1971, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong died in New York at age 69.

In 1988, 167 North Sea oil workers were killed when explosions and fires destroyed a drilling platform. Medical waste and other debris began washing up on New York City-area seashores, forcing the closing of several popular beaches.

In 1994, 14 firefighters were killed while battling a several-days-old blaze on Storm King Mountain in Colorado.

Ten years ago: New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed after refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the leak of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity (Miller was jailed for 85 days before agreeing to testify). London was selected to host the 2012 Olympics. The Group of Eight summit opened in Gleneagles, Scotland. L. Patrick Gray, the acting FBI director during Watergate, died in Atlantic Beach, Florida, at age 88. Author Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain) died in Weston, Connecticut, at age 78.

Five years ago: Queen Elizabeth II addressed the United Nations for the first time since 1957 during her first New York visit in over 30 years; she then laid a wreath at ground zero. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed talk of a rift at a White House meeting. The Obama administration filed suit in Phoenix to block Arizona's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law. (In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out major parts of the law, but upheld the power of police to check the immigration status of those they stop for other reasons.) Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in a residential substance-abuse program after a judge found the actress had violated her probation in a 2007 drug case by failing to attend alcohol education classes. (Lohan ended up serving 14 days behind bars and was released on Aug. 2.)

One year ago: Israel arrested six Jewish suspects in the slaying of a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and burned alive, apparently in retaliation for the killings of three Israeli teenagers. Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) won his second Wimbledon title and denied Roger Federer his record eighth by holding off the Swiss star in five sets, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4.

Today's Birthdays: Former first lady Nancy Reagan is 94. Actor William Schallert is 93. Singer-actress Della Reese is 84. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is 80. Actor Ned Beatty is 78. Singer Gene Chandler is 75. Country singer Jeannie Seely is 75. Actor Burt Ward is 70. Former President George W. Bush is 69. Actor-director Sylvester Stallone is 69. Actor Fred Dryer is 69. Actress Shelley Hack is 68. Actress Nathalie Baye is 67. Actor Geoffrey Rush is 64. Actress Allyce Beasley is 64. Rock musician John Bazz (The Blasters) is 63. Actor Grant Goodeve is 63. Country singer Nanci Griffith is 62. Retired MLB All-Star Willie Randolph is 61. Jazz musician Rick Braun is 60. Actor Casey Sander is 60. Country musician John Jorgenson is 59. Former first daughter Susan Ford Bales is 58. Hockey player and coach Ron Duguay (doo-GAY') is 58. Actress-writer Jennifer Saunders is 57. Rock musician John Keeble (Spandau Ballet) is 56. Actor Brian Posehn is 49. Political reporter/moderator John Dickerson (TV: "Face the Nation") is 47. Actor Brian Van Holt is 46. Rapper Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) is 45. TV host Josh Elliott is 44. Rapper 50 Cent is 40. Actress Tia Mowry is 37. Actress Tamera Mowry is 37. Comedian-actor Kevin Hart is 36. Actress Eva (EH'-vuh) Green is 35. Actor Gregory Smith is 32. Rock musician Chris "Woody" Wood (Bastille) is 30. Rock singer Kate Nash is 28. Actor Jeremy Suarez is 25.

Thought for Today: "Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently." - Rosa Luxemburg, Polish-German revolutionary (1871-1919).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, July 6)

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