Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 16, the 197th day of 2015. There are 168 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On July 16, 1945, the United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico. The same day, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis left Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California on a secret mission to deliver atomic bomb components to Tinian Island in the Marianas.

On this date:

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 1912, New York gambler Herman Rosenthal, set to testify before a grand jury about police corruption, was gunned down by members of the Lennox Avenue Gang.

In 1935, the first parking meters were installed in Oklahoma City.

In 1951, the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger was first published by Little, Brown and Co.

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 1970, Three Rivers Stadium, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates, officially opened as the Pirates lost to the Cincinnati Reds 3-2. (The stadium was demolished in 2001.)

In 1979, Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq.

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

In 1981, singer Harry Chapin was killed when his car was struck by a tractor-trailer on New York’s Long Island Expressway.

In 1995, William Barloon and David Daliberti, two Americans imprisoned in Iraq for crossing the border from Kuwait four months earlier, were released.

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

Ten years ago: A suicide bomber blew up a fuel tanker near a Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) mosque in Musayyib, Iraq, killing nearly 100 people. More than a week after the London terror bombings, British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned that an “evil ideology” of Islamic extremism was bent on spreading terror through the West. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the long-awaited sixth book in J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series, officially went on sale.

Five 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.

One year ago: The U.S. and the European Union imposed new economic sanctions on Russia; in his announcement, President Barack Obama said, “What we are expecting is that the Russian leadership will see once again that its actions in Ukraine have consequences.” Texas blues legend Johnny Winter, 70, died in Zurich.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh is 83. Soul singer Denise LaSalle is 81. Soul singer William Bell is 76. International Tennis Hall of Famer Margaret Court is 73. College Football Hall of Famer and football coach Jimmy Johnson is 72. Violinist Pinchas Zukerman is 67. Actor-singer Ruben Blades is 67. Rock composer-musician Stewart Copeland is 63. Playwright Tony Kushner is 59. Dancer Michael Flatley is 57. Actress Phoebe Cates is 52. Actor Paul Hipp (TV: “The Middle”) is 52. Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell is 50. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell is 48. Actor Jonathan Adams is 48. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders is 47. Actress Rain Pryor is 46. Actor Corey Feldman is 44. Rock musician Ed Kowalczyk (Live) is 44. Rock singer Ryan McCombs (Drowning Pool) is 41. Actress Jayma Mays is 36. Actress AnnaLynne McCord is 28. Actor-singer James Maslow is 25. Actor Mark Indelicato is 21. Pop singer-musician Luke Hemmings (5 Seconds to Summer) is 19.

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