Today in History

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 20, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Wednesday, July 20, the 201st day of 2011. There are 164 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon after landing their lunar module.

On this date:

In 1861, the Congress of the Confederate States convened in Richmond, Va.

In 1871, British Columbia entered Confederation as a Canadian province.

In 1917, the draft lottery in World War I went into operation.

In 1944, an attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb failed as the explosion at Hitler's Rastenburg headquarters only wounded the Nazi leader. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

In 1951, Jordan's King Abdullah I was assassinated in Jerusalem by a Palestinian gunman who was shot dead on the spot by security.

In 1954, the Geneva Accords divided Vietnam into northern and southern entities.

In 1960, a pair of Polaris missiles were fired from the submerged USS George Washington off Cape Canaveral, Fla., at a target more than 1,100 miles away.

In 1976, America's Viking 1 robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars.

In 1988, Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis received the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in Atlanta.

In 1990, Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, one of the court's most liberal voices, announced he was stepping down.

Ten years ago: The G-8 economic summit opened in Genoa, Italy, with raging street battles between police and demonstrators; one protester was shot dead by officers. Ira Einhorn, who was convicted in absentia of killing his girlfriend, Holly Maddux, was flown from France and handed over to Philadelphia police after 20 years on the run. (Einhorn was convicted in a retrial and sentenced to life in prison.)

Five years ago: President George W. Bush, addressing the NAACP, said he knew racism existed in America and that many black voters distrusted his Republican Party; Bush promised to improve the GOP's rocky relations with blacks. The Senate voted 98-0 to renew the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act for another quarter-century.

One year ago: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted almost totally along party lines, 13-6, to approve Elena Kagan to be the Supreme Court's fourth female justice. Actress Lindsay Lohan began a 14-day jail sentence _ reduced from 90 due to overcrowding _ for violating probation in 2007 drug case.

Today's Birthdays: Actress-singer Sally Ann Howes is 81. Rockabilly singer Sleepy LaBeef is 76. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., is 75. Actress Diana Rigg is 73. Rock musician John Lodge (The Moody Blues) is 68. Country singer T.G. Sheppard is 67. Singer Kim Carnes is 66. Rock musician Carlos Santana is 64. Rock musician Paul Cook (The Sex Pistols, Man Raze) is 55. Actress Donna Dixon is 54. Rock musician Mick McNeil (Simple Minds) is 53. Country singer Radney Foster is 52. Actor Frank Whaley is 48. Rock singer Chris Cornell is 47. Rock musician Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) is 45. Actor Reed Diamond is 44. Actor Josh Holloway is 42. Singer Vitamin C is 42. Actor Omar Epps is 38. Actor Simon Rex is 37. Actress Judy Greer is 36. Actor Charlie Korsmo is 33. Singer Elliott Yamin (yah-MEEN') (American Idol) is 33. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen is 31. Rock musician Mike Kennerty (The All-American Rejects) is 31. Actor Percy Daggs III is 29. Actor John Francis Daley is 26. Country singer-ballroom dancer Julianne Hough is 23. Actress Billi Bruno is 15.

Thought for Today: "We may well go to the moon, but that's not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us." _ Charles de Gaulle, French statesman (1890-1970).

(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, July 20)

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.