Today is Thursday, July 26, the 208th day of 2012. There are 158 days left in the year.
Today's Highlights in History:
On July 26, 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.
On this date:
In 1775, Benjamin Franklin became America's first postmaster general.
In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
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 1912, the Edison Studios production "What Happened to Mary," one of the first, if not very first, movie serials, was released with Mary Fuller in the title role.
In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, which established the National Military Establishment (later renamed the Department of Defense).
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 1962, the pilot episode of "The French Chef" starring Julia Child aired on WGBH-TV in Boston.
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 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
In 1992, singer Mary Wells died in Los Angeles at age 49.
Ten years ago: The Republican-led House voted, 295-132, to create an enormous Homeland Security Department in the biggest government reorganization in decades. Six-year-old Cassandra Williamson vanished from a suburban St. Louis home; her body was found hours later at an abandoned glass factory. (An acquaintance of Cassandra's father, Johnny Johnson, was later convicted of murder, kidnapping and attempted rape, and was sentenced to death.)
Five years ago: The Senate passed, 85-8, a measure intensifying anti-terror efforts in the U.S. Wall Street suffered one of its worst losses of 2007, closing down more than 310 points.
One year ago: The White House threatened to veto emergency House legislation that aimed to avert a threatened national default. Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon announced he would resign amid the political fallout from an 18-year-old woman's allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter with him.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Marjorie Lord is 94. Actor James Best is 86. Actress-singer Darlene Love is 71. Singer Brenton Wood is 71. Rock star Mick Jagger is 69. Movie director Peter Hyams is 69. Actress Helen Mirren is 67. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Queen) is 63. Actress Susan George is 62. Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is 56. Actor Kevin Spacey is 53. Rock singer Gary Cherone (sher-OWN') is 51. Actress Sandra Bullock is 48. Rock singer Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is 47. Actor Jeremy Piven is 47. Rapper-reggae singer Wayne Wonder is 46. Actor Jason Statham (STAY'-thum) is 45. Actor Cress Williams is 42. TV host Chris Harrison ("The Bachelor") is 41. Actress Kate Beckinsale is 39. Rock musician Dan Konopka (OK Go) is 38. Gospel/Contemporary Christian singer Rebecca St. James is 35. Actress Francia Raisa is 24. Christian rock musician Jamie Sharpe (Rush of Fools) is 23.
Thought for Today: "One brave deed makes no hero." — John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet and essayist (1807-1892).
(Above Advance for Use Thursday, July 26)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.