Today in History
Today is Tuesday, July 24, the 205th day of 2018. There are 160 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 24, 1959, during a visit to Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
On this date:
In 1862, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, and the first to have been born a U.S. citizen, died at age 79 in Kinderhook, New York, the town where he was born in 1782.
In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.
In 1915, the SS Eastland, a passenger ship carrying more than 2,500 people, rolled onto its side while docked at the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River; an estimated 844 people died in the disaster.
In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.”
In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts — two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon — splashed down safely in the Pacific.
In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.
In 1983, a two-run homer by George Brett of the Kansas City Royals was disallowed after New York Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out there was too much pine tar on Brett’s bat. However, American League president Lee MacPhail reinstated the home run. (The game was completed Aug. 18, 1983 with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.)
In 1987, Hulda Crooks, a 91-year-old mountaineer from California, became the oldest woman to conquer Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak.
In 1998, a gunman burst into the U.S. Capitol, killing two police officers before being shot and captured. (The shooter, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., is being held in a federal mental facility.)
In 2002, nine coal miners became trapped in a flooded tunnel of the Quecreek (KYOO’-kreek) Mine in western Pennsylvania; the story ended happily 77 hours later with the rescue of all nine.
In 2005, Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France. (Those wins were stripped away after Armstrong’s 2013 confession to using steroids and other banned performance-enhancing drugs and methods.)
Ten years ago: Ford Motor Co. posted the worst quarterly performance in its history, losing $8.67 billion. Cheered by an enormous crowd in Berlin, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama summoned Europeans and Americans together to “defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it” as surely as they had conquered communism a generation ago. Zvonko Busic, who’d served 32 years in a U.S. prison for hijacking a TWA jetliner and planting a bomb that killed a policeman, was paroled and returned home to Croatia.
Five years ago: The House narrowly rejected, 217-205, a challenge to the National Security Agency’s secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans’ phone records. A high-speed train crash outside Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain killed 79 people. Pope Francis made an emotional plea in Aparecida, Brazil, for Roman Catholics to shun materialism in the first public Mass of his initial international trip as pontiff. It was announced by Kensington Palace that the newborn son of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, would be named George Alexander Louis. Virginia Johnson, half of the renowned Masters and Johnson team of sex researchers, died in St. Louis at age 88.
One year ago: In a speech to a national Boy Scout gathering in West Virginia, President Donald Trump railed against his enemies and promoted his political agenda, bringing an angry reaction from some parents and former Scouts from both parties. A Taliban suicide bomber killed 24 people in an early morning assault in a neighborhood of the Afghan capital where prominent politicians live. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner answered questions from Senate investigators for four hours about contacts with Russians during and after Trump’s campaign for the White House; he said he “did not collude with Russia” and that all of his actions “were proper.”
Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Aniston is 85. Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant is 83. Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 82. Actor Mark Goddard is 82. Actor Dan Hedaya is 78. Actor Chris Sarandon is 76. Comedian Gallagher is 72. Actor Robert Hays is 71. Former Republican national chairman Marc Racicot (RAWS’-koh) is 70. Actor Michael Richards is 69. Actress Lynda Carter is 67. Movie director Gus Van Sant is 66. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is 65. Country singer Pam Tillis is 61. Actor Paul Ben-Victor is 56. Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone is 55. Retired MLB All-Star Barry Bonds is 54. Actor Kadeem Hardison is 53. Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 50. Actress Laura Leighton is 50. Actor John P. Navin Jr. is 50. Actress-singer Jennifer Lopez is 49. Basketball player-turned-actor Rick Fox is 49. Director Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”) is 47. Actress Jamie Denbo (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 45. Actor Eric Szmanda is 43. Actress Rose Byrne is 39. Country singer Jerrod Niemann is 39. Actress Summer Glau is 37. Actress Elisabeth Moss is 36. Actress Anna Paquin is 36. Actress Sarah Greene is 34. Actress Megan Park is 32. Actress Mara Wilson is 31. Rock singer Jay McGuiness (The Wanted) is 28. Actress Emily Bett Rickards is 27. Actor Lucas Adams is 25. TV personality Bindi Irwin is 20.
Thought for Today: “Everything has two sides — the outside that is ridiculous, and the inside that is solemn.” — Olive Schreiner, South African author and feminist (1855-1920).