Today in History
Today is Wednesday, July 21, the 202nd day of 2021. There are 163 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 21, 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II, capturing it from the Japanese some three weeks later.
On this date:
In 1861, during the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a Confederate victory.
In 1925, the so-called “Monkey Trial” ended in Dayton, Tennessee, 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.)
In 1954, the Geneva Conference concluded with accords dividing Vietnam into northern and southern entities.
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 1972, the Irish Republican Army carried out 22 bombings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing nine people and injuring 130 in what became known as “Bloody Friday.”
In 1980, draft registration began in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.
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, Massachusetts, 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, Florida, 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.)
In 2015, after a nearly decade-long steroids prosecution, former baseball star Barry Bonds emerged victorious when federal prosecutors dropped what was left of their criminal case against the career home runs leader.
Ten years ago: The 30-year-old space shuttle program ended as Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after the 135th shuttle flight. Eurozone leaders agreed to a sweeping deal that would grant Greece a massive new bailout and radically reshape the currency union’s rescue fund.
Five years ago: Donald Trump accepted the GOP presidential nomination with a speech in which he pledged to cheering Republicans and still-skeptical voters that as president, he would restore the safety they feared they were losing, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from what he said was Hillary Clinton’s record of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.” The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its objections to a North Carolina law that limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.
One year ago: Minnesota lawmakers approved a police accountability package including a ban on neck restraints like the one used on George Floyd before his death in Minneapolis. (Gov. Tim Walz signed the bill two days later.) After months of resisting wearing a mask in public, President Donald Trump told reporters that he was “getting used to” wearing one; as Trump returned from a three-month hiatus from daily virus briefings, he warned that the coronavirus would get worse in the United States before it got better. The Republican speaker of the Ohio House, Larry Householder, and four associates were arrested in a $60 million federal bribery case connected to a taxpayer-funded bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants. (Householder, who has proclaimed his innocence, was expelled from the Ohio House by fellow lawmakers in June 2021.) Jazz singer and actor Annie Ross died at her New York home, four days before her 90th birthday.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Norman Jewison is 95. Actor Leigh Lawson is 78. Singer Yusuf Islam (also known as Cat Stevens) is 73. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 73. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 70. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 68. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 64. Actor Lance Guest is 61. Actor Matt Mulhern is 61. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 58. Soccer player Brandi Chastain is 53. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 52. Rock-soul singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 51. Actor Alysia Reiner is 51. Country singer Paul Brandt is 49. Christian rock musician Korey Cooper (Skillet) is 49. Actor Ali Landry is 48. Actor-comedian Steve Byrne is 47. Rock musician Tato Melgar (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 44. Actor Justin Bartha is 43. Actor Josh Hartnett is 43. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 43. Actor Sprague Grayden is 43. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 43. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 43. Former MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia is 41. Singer Blake Lewis (“American Idol”) is 40. Latin singer Romeo Santos is 40. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 37. Actor Vanessa Lengies is 36. Actor Betty Gilpin is 35. Actor Rory Culkin is 32. Actor Jamie Waylett (“Harry Potter” films) is 32. Figure skater Rachael Flatt is 29.