Today is Thursday, July 27, the 208th day of 2017. There are 157 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 27, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of urban rioting, the same day black militant H. Rap Brown told a press conference in Washington that violence was “as American as cherry pie. Americans taught the black people to be violent. We will use that violence to rid ourselves of oppression if necessary.”
On this date:
In 1789, President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.
In 1866, Cyrus W. Field finished laying out the first successful underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe (a previous cable in 1858 burned out after only a few weeks’ use).
In 1880, British and Indian troops suffered a major defeat to Afghan forces during the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
In 1921, Canadian researcher Frederick Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, succeeded in isolating the hormone insulin at the University of Toronto.
In 1942, during World War II, the First Battle of El Alamein in Egypt ended in a draw as Allied forces stalled the progress of Axis invaders. (The Allies went on to win a clear victory over the Axis in the Second Battle of El Alamein later that year.)
In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.
In 1960, Vice President Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president on the first ballot at the Republican national convention in Chicago.
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon.
In 1980, on day 267 of the Iranian hostage crisis, the deposed Shah of Iran died at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt, at age 60.
In 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington by President Bill Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam.
In 1996, terror struck the Atlanta Olympics as a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, directly killing one person and injuring 111. (Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing, exonerating security guard Richard Jewell, who had been wrongly suspected.)
In 2003, comedian Bob Hope died in Toluca Lake, California, at age 100.
Ten years ago: The House sent President George W. Bush legislation to intensify anti-terror efforts in the U.S., carrying out major recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission (Bush signed the measure into law). Former Qwest Communications chief Joe Nacchio (NAH’-chee-oh) was sentenced to six years in prison for illegally selling $52 million in stock while not telling investors that his telecommunications company faced serious financial risks. (Nacchio was released in September 2013 after serving 4 1/2 years.) Two Phoenix news helicopters collided and crashed while covering a police chase on live television, killing all four people on board.
Five years ago: Britain opened its Olympic Games in a celebration of Old England and new, even cheekily featuring a stunt double for Queen Elizabeth II parachuting with James Bond into Olympic Stadium. The International AIDS Conference closed in Washington, D.C. Tony Martin, 98, the romantic singer who appeared in movie musicals from the 1930s to the 1950s, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: President Barack Obama, addressing cheering delegates at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, implored Americans to elect Hillary Clinton to the White House, casting her as a candidate who believed in the optimism that drove the nation’s democracy and warning against the “deeply pessimistic vision” of Republican Donald Trump. More than a year after Freddie Gray, a black man, suffered a broken neck in a Baltimore police van, the effort to hold six officers criminally responsible for his death collapsed when the city abruptly dropped all charges in the case.
Today’s Birthdays: TV producer Norman Lear is 95. Actor Jerry Van Dyke is 86. Sportscaster Irv Cross is 78. Actor John Pleshette is 75. Actress-director Betty Thomas is 70. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 69. Singer Maureen McGovern is 68. Actress Janet Eilber is 66. Rock musician Tris Imboden (Chicago) is 66. Actress Roxanne Hart is 63. Country musician Duncan Cameron is 61. Comedian-actress-writer Carol Leifer is 61. Comedian Bill Engvall is 60. Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 55. Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 50. Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 50. Actor Julian McMahon is 49. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (NIH’-koh-lye KAH’-stur WAHL’-dah) is 47. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 45. Rock musician Abe Cunningham is 44. Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 43. MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez is 42. Actor Seamus Dever is 41. Actor Jonathan Rhys (rees) Meyers is 40. Actor Blair Redford is 34. Actress Taylor Schilling is 33. Singer Cheyenne Kimball is 27. Golfer Jordan Spieth is 24. Actress Alyvia Alyn Lind is 10.
Thought for Today: “Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.” — Will Rogers, American humorist (1879-1935).