Today in History

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Posted: Jul 26, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Tuesday, July 26, the 207th day of 2011. There are 158 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became America's first Postmaster-General.

On this date:

In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1847, the western African country of Liberia, founded by freed American slaves, declared its independence.

In 1882, the Richard Wagner opera "Parsifal" premiered in Bayreuth, Germany.

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 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, which established the National Military Establishment (later renamed the Department of Defense).

In 1952, Argentina's first lady, Eva Peron, died in Buenos Aires at age 33.

In 1971, Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy on America's fourth manned mission to the moon. Photographer Diane Arbus died in New York at age 48.

In 1986, kidnappers 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, N.Y., at age 94.

In 1989, Mark Wellman, a 29-year-old paraplegic, reached the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite (yoh-SEHM'-uh-tee) National Park after hauling himself up the granite cliff six inches at a time over nine days.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Ten years ago: China granted parole to two U.S.-based scholars convicted of spying for Taiwan.

Five years ago: 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. A thinner but combative Saddam Hussein returned to his trial for the first time since his hunger strike and hospitalization.

One year ago: A U.N.-backed tribunal sentenced the Khmer Rouge's chief jailer to 35 years for overseeing the deaths of up to 16,000 people in Cambodia. (The court shaved off 16 of the 35 years for time already served.) 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.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Marjorie Lord is 93. Actor James Best is 85. Singer Dobie Gray is 71. Actress-singer Darlene Love is 70. Singer Brenton Wood is 70. Rock star Mick Jagger is 68. Movie director Peter Hyams is 68. Actress Helen Mirren is 66. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Queen) is 62. Actress Susan George is 61. Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is 55. Actor Kevin Spacey is 52. Rock singer Gary Cherone (sher-OWN') is 50. Actress Sandra Bullock is 47. Rock singer Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is 46. Actor Jeremy Piven is 46. Rapper-reggae singer Wayne Wonder is 45. Actor Jason Statham (STAY'-thum) is 44. Actor Cress Williams is 41. TV host Chris Harrison ("The Bachelor") is 40. Actress Kate Beckinsale is 38. Rock musician Dan Konopka (OK Go) is 37. Gospel/Contemporary Christian singer Rebecca St. James is 34. Actress Francia Raisa is 23. Christian rock musician Jamie Sharpe (Rush of Fools) is 22.

Thought for Today: "Elegance is refusal." _ Coco Chanel, French fashion designer (1883-1971).

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, July 26)

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