Today in History
Today is Thursday, July 29, the 210th day of 2021. There are 155 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.
On this date:
In 1856, German composer Robert Schumann died in Endenich at age 46.
In 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh, 37, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.
In 1914, transcontinental telephone service in the U.S. became operational with the first test conversation between New York and San Francisco. Massachusetts’ Cape Cod Canal, offering a shortcut across the base of the peninsula, was officially opened to shipping traffic.
In 1965, The Beatles’ second feature film, “Help!,” had its world premiere in London.
In 1967, an accidental rocket launch on the deck of the supercarrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin resulted in a fire and explosions that killed 134 servicemen. (Among the survivors was future Arizona senator John McCain, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander who narrowly escaped with his life.)
In 1968, Pope Paul the Sixth reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s stance against artificial methods of birth control.
In 1974, singer Cass Elliot died in a London hotel room at age 32.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford became the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland.
In 1980, a state funeral was held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60.
In 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a glittering ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)
In 1986, a federal jury in New York found that the National Football League had committed an antitrust violation against the rival United States Football League. But in a hollow victory for the U-S-F-L, the jury ordered the N-F-L to pay token damages of only three dollars.
In 1999, a former day trader, apparently upset over stock losses, opened fire in two Atlanta brokerage offices, killing nine people and wounding 13 before shooting himself to death; authorities said Mark O. Barton had also killed his wife and two children.
Ten years ago: Norway began burying the dead, a week after an anti-Muslim extremist killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage. Delaware carried out its first execution since 2005, putting to death Robert Jackson III, who was convicted of killing a woman, Elizabeth Girardi, with an ax during a burglary.
Five years ago: Pope Francis visited the former Nazi death factory at Auschwitz and Birkenau in southern Poland, meeting with concentration camp survivors as well as aging saviors who helped Jews escape certain doom. Former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson was given an additional 40 years in prison for trying to hire someone to kill the prosecutor who put him behind bars for killing his third wife.
One year ago: The body of the late Democratic congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis arrived in Atlanta; people lined the streets as the hearse carrying Lewis’ body moved through downtown before a ceremony at the Capitol rotunda, where Lewis was lauded as a warrior and a hero. Both sides declared victory in a political fight over the deployment of federal agents to guard a U.S. courthouse that was targeted during violent protests in Portland, Oregon, after the governor announced that the officers would start to withdraw. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said energy consumption in the United States plummeted to its lowest level in 30 years in the spring as the economy largely shut down. Connie Culp, the recipient of the first partial face transplant in the United States, died at the age of 57, almost a dozen years after the groundbreaking operation.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker is 89. Actor Robert Fuller is 88. Former Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole is 85. Actor David Warner is 80. Actor Roz Kelly is 79. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 75. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 72. Actor Mike Starr is 71. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 68. Style guru Tim Gunn is 68. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 68. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 68. Actor Kevin Chapman is 59. Actor Alexandra Paul is 58. Actor/comedian Dean Haglund is 56. Country singer Martina McBride is 55. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 54. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 53. Actor Tim Omundson is 52. Actor Ato Essandoh is 49. Actor Wil Wheaton is 49. R&B singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 48. Country singer-songwriter James Otto is 48. Actor Stephen Dorff is 48. Actor Josh Radnor is 47. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 44. Actor Rachel Miner is 41. Actor Kaitlyn Black is 38. Actor Matt Prokop is 31. Actor Cait Fairbanks is 28.