Today in History 7/21/20
Published 2:13 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2020
By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, July 21, the 203rd day of 2020. There are 163 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 21, 1925, the so-called “Monkey Trial” ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes found guilty of violating state law for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. (The conviction was later overturned on a technicality.)
On this date:
In 1796, Scottish poet Robert Burns died in Dumfries at age 37.
In 1861, during the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Va., resulting in a Confederate victory.
In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II, capturing it from the Japanese some three weeks later. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago nominated Sen. Harry S. Truman to be vice president.
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.
In 1990, a benefit concert took place in Germany at the site of the fallen Berlin Wall; the concert, which drew some 200,000 people, was headlined by Roger Waters, a founder of Pink Floyd. (The concert ended with the collapse of a mock Berlin Wall made of styrofoam.)
In 1998, astronaut Alan Shepard died in Monterey, Calif., at age 74; actor Robert Young died in Westlake Village, Calif., at age 91.
In 1999, Navy divers found and recovered the bodies of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, in the wreckage of Kennedy’s plane in the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard.
In 2000, Special Counsel John C. Danforth concluded “with 100 percent certainty” that the federal government was innocent of wrongdoing in the siege that killed 80 members of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, in 1993.
In 2009, prosecutors in Cambridge, Mass., dropped a disorderly conduct charge against prominent Black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was arrested by a white officer at his home near Harvard University after a report of a break-in.
In 2011, the 30-year-old space shuttle program ended as Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, Fla., after the 135th shuttle flight.
In 2008, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s top war crimes fugitives, was arrested in a Belgrade suburb by Serbian security forces. (He was sentenced by a U.N. court in 2019 to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.)
Ten years ago: A triumphant President Barack Obama signed into law the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. lending and high finance rules since the 1930s.
Five years ago: The Defense Department said a U.S. airstrike in Syria on July 8, 2015 had killed Muhsin al-Fadhli, a key figure in the Khorasan Group, a dangerous al-Qaida offshoot. Ohio Gov. John Kasich became the 16th notable Republican contestant to enter the U.S. 2016 presidential race. After a nearly decade-long steroids prosecution, Barry Bonds emerged victorious when federal prosecutors dropped what was left of their criminal case against the career home runs leader.
One year ago: Clashes involving Hong Kong’s protest movement escalated violently, with police launching tear gas at protesters who didn’t disband after a march, and subway riders being attacked by masked assailants who appeared to be targeting the pro-democracy demonstrators. Disney’s photorealistic remake of “The Lion King” wiped out opening-weekend box office records for the month of July, while “Avengers: Endgame” crept past Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time. As a sellout crowd cheered him on, Irishman Shane Lowry won the British Open by six shots at Royal Portrush, a course in Northern Ireland that had last hosted the Open in 1951.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Norman Jewison is 94. Actor Leigh Lawson is 77. Singer Yusuf Islam (also known as Cat Stevens) is 72. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 72. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 69. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 67. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 63. Actor Lance Guest is 60. Actor Matt Mulhern is 60. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 57. Rock musician Koen Lieckens (K’s Choice) is 54. Soccer player Brandi Chastain is 52. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 51. Rock-soul singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 50. Actress Alysia Reiner is 50. Country singer Paul Brandt is 48. Christian rock musician Korey Cooper (Skillet) is 48. Actress Ali Landry is 47. Actor-comedian Steve Byrne is 46. Rock musician Tato Melgar (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 43. Actor Justin Bartha is 42. Actor Josh Hartnett is 42. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 42. Actress Sprague Grayden is 42. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 42. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 42. Former MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia is 40. Singer Blake Lewis (“American Idol”) is 39. Latin singer Romeo Santos is 39. Rock musician Will Berman (MGMT) is 38. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 36. Actress Vanessa Lengies is 35. Actress Betty Gilpin is 34. Actor Rory Culkin is 31. Actor Jamie Waylett (“Harry Potter” films) is 31. Figure skater Rachael Flatt is 28.