Today in History: Benjamin Franklin played Post Office

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Today in History
By The Associated Press

Today in History
Today is Sunday, July 26, the 208th day of 2020. There are 158 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 26, 2002, the Republican-led House voted, 295-132, to create an enormous Homeland Security Department in the biggest government reorganization in decades.

On this date:
In 1775, the Continental Congress established a Post Office and appointed Benjamin Franklin its Postmaster-General.

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In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1908, U.S. Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte ordered creation of a force of special agents that was a forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In 1925, five days after the end of the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, prosecutor William Jennings Bryan died at age 65. (Although Bryan had won a conviction against John T. Scopes for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, the verdict was later overturned.)

In 1956, the Italian liner Andrea Doria sank off New England, some 11 hours after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm; at least 51 people died, from both vessels.

In 1971, Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy on America’s fourth successful manned mission to the moon.

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In 1986, Islamic radicals in Lebanon released the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco, an American hostage held for nearly 19 months. American statesman W. Averell Harriman died in Yorktown Heights, New York, at age 94.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In 1992, singer Mary Wells died in Los Angeles at age 49.
In 2013, Ariel Castro, the man who’d imprisoned three women in his Cleveland home, subjecting them to a decade of rapes and beatings, pleaded guilty to 937 counts in a deal to avoid the death penalty. (Castro later committed suicide in prison.)

In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

In 2017, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he would not “accept or allow” transgender people to serve in the U.S. military. (After a legal battle, the Defense Department approved a new policy requiring most individuals to serve in their birth gender.) A thrill ride broke apart at the Ohio State Fair, killing an 18-year-old high school student and injuring seven others.
Ten years ago: A U.N.-backed tribunal sentenced the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer, Kaing Guek Eav (gang guhk eew), to 35 years for overseeing the deaths of up to 16,000 people in Cambodia, with 16 years shaved off for time already served, reducing his sentence to 19 years. A Spanish man who’d undergone the world’s first full face transplant appeared before TV cameras; the 31-year-old, identified only as “Oscar,” thanked his doctors and the family of the donor. Matt Garza pitched the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history, beating the Detroit Tigers 5-0.

Five years ago: Closing out a historic visit to the land of his father’s birth, President Barack Obama told Kenyans that their country was at a crossroads, and he urged them to “choose the path to progress” by continuing to root out corruption, eliminate income inequality and be more inclusive of women and girls. In a rare Sunday session, senior Senate Republicans lined up to rebuke Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz — without mentioning him by name — for harshly criticizing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Chris Froome won his second Tour de France in three years. True crime author Ann Rule, 83, died in Burien, Washington. Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of singer Whitney Houston, died in hospice care six months after she was found face-down in a bathtub in her suburban Atlanta townhome.

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One year ago: The Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico. U.S. regulators approved T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of rival Sprint, despite fears of higher prices and job cuts. U.S. officials said Iran had test-launched a medium-range ballistic missile inside its borders, defying Trump administration demands that it curtail the weapon program.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Robert Colbert is 89. Actress-singer Darlene Love is 79. Singer Brenton Wood is 79. Rock star Mick Jagger is 77. Movie director Peter Hyams is 77. Actress Helen Mirren is 75. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Queen) is 71. Actress Susan George is 70. Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is 64. Actress Nana Visitor is 63. Actor Kevin Spacey is 61. Rock singer Gary Cherone is 59. Actress Sandra Bullock is 56. Actor-comedian Danny Woodburn is 56. Rock singer Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is 55. Actor Jeremy Piven is 55. Rapper-reggae singer Wayne Wonder is 54. Actor Jason Statham (STAY’-thum) is 53. Actor Cress Williams is 50. TV host Chris Harrison is 49. Actress Kate Beckinsale is 47. Actor Gary Owen is 47. Rock musician Dan Konopka (OK Go) is 46. Gospel/Contemporary Christian singer Rebecca St. James is 43. Actress Eve Myles is 42. Actress Juliet Rylance is 41. Actress Monica Raymund is 34. Actress Caitlin Gerard is 32. Actress Francia Raisa is 32. Christian rock musician Jamie Sharpe is 31. Actress Bianca Santos is 30. Actress-singer Taylor Momsen is 27. Actress Elizabeth Gillies is 27.