Today in History

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Posted: Jul 21, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Thursday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2011. There are 163 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 21, 1861, during the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Va., resulting in a Confederate victory.

On this date:

In 1899, author Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Ill.; poet Hart Crane was born in Garrettsville, Ohio.

In 1911, Canadian communications theorist Marshall McLuhan, who coined such expressions as "The medium is the message," was born in Edmonton.

In 1925, the so-called "Monkey Trial" ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution. (The conviction was later overturned on a technicality.)

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration (later the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).

In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II.

In 1949, the U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

In 1959, the NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship, was christened by first lady Mamie Eisenhower at Camden, N.J.

In 1961, Capt. Virgil "Gus" Grissom became the second American to rocket into a sub-orbital pattern around the Earth, flying aboard the Liberty Bell 7.

In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin blasted off from the moon aboard the ascent stage of the lunar module for docking with the command module.

In 1980, draft registration began in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.

Ten years ago: Street battles raged for a second day in Genoa, Italy, site of a Group of Eight meeting, despite pleas for calm from protest leaders and global summit leaders alike.

Five years ago: Israel massed tanks and troops on its northern border, called up reserves and warned civilians to flee Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon as it prepared for a ground invasion. Mako, the Japan-born actor who used his Oscar nomination for the 1966 film "The Sand Pebbles" to push for better roles for Asian American actors, died in Somis, Calif., at age 72.

One year ago: A triumphant President Barack Obama signed into law the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. lending and high finance rules since the 1930s.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Kay Starr is 89. Movie director Norman Jewison is 85. Former Attorney General Janet Reno is 73. Actress Patricia Elliott is 69. Actor David Downing is 68. Actor Edward Herrmann is 68. Actor Leigh Lawson is 66. Actor Wendell Burton is 64. Actor Art Hindle is 63. Singer Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is 63. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 63. Comedian-actor Robin Williams is 60. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 60. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 58. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 54. Actor Lance Guest is 51. Actor Matt Mulhern is 51. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 48. Rock musician Koen Lieckens (K's Choice) is 45. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 42. Country singer Paul Brandt is 39. Actress Ali Landry is 38. Actor Justin Bartha is 33. Actor Josh Hartnett is 33. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 33. Actress Sprague Grayden is 33. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 33. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 33. MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia is 31. Singer Blake Lewis ("American Idol") is 30. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 27. Actress Vanessa Lengies is 26. Actor Jamie Waylett ("Harry Potter" films) is 22.

Thought for Today: "We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them." _ Abigail Adams, American first lady (1744-1818).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, July 21)

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