Today in History
Today is Thursday, July 26, the 207th day of 2018. 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.
In 1847, the western African country of Liberia, founded by freed American slaves, declared its independence.
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 1945, the Potsdam Declaration warned Imperial Japan to unconditionally surrender, or face “prompt and utter destruction.” Winston Churchill resigned as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated by the Labour Party; Clement Attlee succeeded him.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, which reorganized America’s armed forces as the National Military Establishment and created the Central Intelligence Agency.
In 1952, Argentina’s first lady, Eva Peron, died in Buenos Aires at age 33. King Farouk I of Egypt abdicated in the wake of a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser.
In 1953, Fidel Castro began his revolt against Fulgencio Batista (fool-HEN’-see-oh bah-TEES’-tah) with an unsuccessful attack on an army barracks in eastern Cuba. (Castro ousted Batista in 1959.)
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 2006, in a dramatic turnaround from her first murder trial, Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a Houston jury in the bathtub drownings of her five children; she was committed to a state mental hospital. (Yates had initially been found guilty of murder, but had her conviction overturned.)
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.
Ten years ago: At least 22 small bombs exploded in Ahmadabad (AH’-muh-duh-bahd) in the Indian state of Gujarat, killing 58 people.
Five years ago: 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.) A gunman went on a rampage at a Hialeah, Florida, apartment complex, killing six people before being shot dead by police. Billionaire Texas oilman George P. Mitchell, considered the father of fracking, died at his home in Galveston; he was 94. JJ Cale, 74, whose best songs like “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” were towering hits for other artists, died in La Jolla, California.
One year ago: President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he will not “accept or allow” transgender people to serve in the U.S. military. (The pronouncement was blocked by legal challenges, and the Pentagon began allowing transgender recruits to seek enlistment on January 1.) A thrill ride broke apart at the Ohio State Fair, killing an 18-year-old high school student and injuring seven others. Child killer Ronald Phillips was put to death in Ohio’s first execution in 3½ years; they’d been put on hold amid an uproar over the reliability of the lethal injection drugs used by the state. Actress June Foray, the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and hundreds of other cartoon characters, died in a Los Angeles hospital at the age of 99.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Robert Colbert is 87. Songwriter-music producer-label executive Fred Foster (co-writer of “Me and Bobby McGee”) is 87. Actress-singer Darlene Love is 77. Singer Brenton Wood is 77. Rock star Mick Jagger is 75. Movie director Peter Hyams is 75. Actress Helen Mirren is 73. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Queen) is 69. Actress Susan George is 68. Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is 62. Actor Kevin Spacey is 59. Rock singer Gary Cherone is 57. Actress Sandra Bullock is 54. Actor-comedian Danny Woodburn is 54. Rock singer Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is 53. Actor Jeremy Piven is 53. Rapper-reggae singer Wayne Wonder is 52. Actor Jason Statham is 51. Actor Cress Williams is 48. TV host Chris Harrison is 47. Actress Kate Beckinsale is 45. Actor Gary Owen is 45. Rock musician Dan Konopka (OK Go) is 44. Gospel/Contemporary Christian singer Rebecca St. James is 41. Actress Eve Myles is 40. Actress Juliet Rylance is 39. Actress Monica Raymund is 32. Actress Caitlin Gerard is 30. Actress Francia Raisa is 30. Christian rock musician Jamie Sharpe (Rush of Fools) is 29. Actress Bianca Santos is 28. Actress-singer Taylor Momsen is 25. Actress Elizabeth Gillies is 25.
Thought for Today: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw (born this date in 1856, died 1950).