Today in History
Today is Sunday, July 19, the 201st day of 2020. There are 165 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 19, 1993, President Bill Clinton announced a policy allowing homosexuals to serve in the military under a compromise dubbed “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue.”
On this date:
In 1812, during the War of 1812, the First Battle of Sackets Harbor in Lake Ontario resulted in an American victory as U.S. naval forces repelled a British attack.
In 1943, Allied air forces raided Rome during World War II, the same day Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met in Feltre in northern Italy.
In 1944, the Democratic national convention convened in Chicago with the nomination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered a certainty.
In 1961, TWA became the first airline to begin showing regularly scheduled in-flight movies as it presented “By Love Possessed” to first-class passengers on a flight from New York to Los Angeles.
In 1969, Apollo 11 and its astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins, went into orbit around the moon.
In 1980, the Moscow Summer Olympics began, minus dozens of nations that were boycotting the games because of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.
In 1985, Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire was chosen to be the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the space shuttle. (McAuliffe and six other crew members died when the Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff in January 1986.)
In 1989, 111 people were killed when United Air Lines Flight 232, a DC-10 which suffered the uncontained failure of its tail engine and the loss of hydraulic systems, crashed while making an emergency landing at Sioux City, Iowa; 185 other people survived.
In 1990, baseball’s all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, was sentenced in Cincinnati to five months in prison for tax evasion.
In 2006, prosecutors reported that Chicago police beat, kicked, shocked or otherwise tortured scores of Black suspects from the 1970s to the early 1990s to try to extract confessions from them.
In 2014, a New York City police officer (Daniel Pantaleo) involved in the arrest of Eric Garner, who died in custody two days earlier after being placed in an apparent chokehold, was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty. (Pantaleo was fired in August 2019.) Actor James Garner, 86, died in Los Angeles.
In 2016, Republicans meeting in Cleveland nominated Donald Trump as their presidential standard-bearer; in brief videotaped remarks, Trump thanked the delegates, saying: “This is a movement, but we have to go all the way.”
Ten years ago: The Agriculture Department pressured Shirley Sherrod, an administrator in Georgia, to resign after a conservative website posted video it claimed showed her making racist remarks. (After reviewing the entire video, the White House ended up apologizing to Sherrod.) A train slammed into another at a station north of Calcutta, India, killing at least 63 people. Australian David Warren, who’d invented the “black box” flight data recorder, died in Melbourne at age 85.
Five years ago: Saying they felt a “deep sense of ethical responsibility for a past tragedy,” executives from Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corp. offered an unprecedented apology to a 94-year-old former U.S. prisoner of war for using American POWs as forced labor during World War II; James Murphy of Santa Maria, California, accepted the apology during a solemn ceremony hosted by the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who was known for menacing roles in “Blade Runner” and other films, died at his home in the Netherlands at the age of 75. Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker and briefly detained a second in the Strait of Hormuz, increasing tensions in the strategic waterway.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Helen Gallagher is 94. Country singer Sue Thompson is 94. Singer Vikki Carr is 80. Blues singer-musician Little Freddie King is 80. Country singer-musician Commander Cody is 76. Actor George Dzundza is 75. Rock singer-musician Alan Gorrie (Average White Band) is 74. International Tennis Hall of Famer Ilie Nastase is 74. Rock musician Brian May is 73. Rock musician Bernie Leadon is 73. Actress Beverly Archer is 72. Movie director Abel Ferrara is 69. Actor Peter Barton is 64. Rock musician Kevin Haskins (Love and Rockets; Bauhaus) is 60. Movie director Atom Egoyan is 60. Actor Campbell Scott is 59. Actor Anthony Edwards is 58. Country singer Kelly Shiver is 57. Actress Clea Lewis is 55. Percusssionist Evelyn Glennie is 55. Country musician Jeremy Patterson is 50. Classical singer Urs Buhler (Il Divo) is 49. Actor Andrew Kavovit is 49. Rock musician Jason McGerr (Death Cab for Cutie) is 46. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch is 44. Actress Erin Cummings is 43. TV chef Marcela Valladolid is 42. Actor Chris Sullivan (“This is Us”) is 40. Actor Jared Padalecki is 38. Actor Trai Byers is 37. Actress Kaitlin Doubleday (“Nashville”) is 36. Actor/comedian Dustin Ybarra is 34. Actor Steven Anthony Lawrence is 30.