Today is Friday, July 27, the 209th day of 2012. There are 157 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History
On July 27, 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.)
On this date
In 1789, President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.
In 1861, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.
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 1909, during the first official test of the U.S. Army’s first airplane, Orville Wright flew himself and a passenger, Lt. Frank Lahm, above Fort Myer, Va., for one hour and 12 minutes.
In 1921, Canadian researcher Frederick Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, succeeded in isolating the hormone insulin at the University of Toronto.
In 1942, Benny Goodman and his Orchestra and vocalist Peggy Lee recorded “Why Don’t You Do Right” in New York for Columbia Records.
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 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of urban rioting, the same day black militant H. Rap Brown said in Washington that violence was “as American as cherry pie.”
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, charging he had personally engaged in a course of conduct designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.
In 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted from a department store in Hollywood, Fla., and was later murdered. (His father, John Walsh, became a well-known crime victims’ advocate.) Movie director William Wyler (“Ben-Hur”) died in Los Angeles at age 79.
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.)
Ten years ago
A Ukrainian fighter jet crashed during an air show in Lviv, killing 77 people. John Ruiz retained the WBA heavyweight title in Las Vegas after his opponent, Kirk Johnson, was disqualified for hitting low blows.
Page 2 of 2 - Five 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. Former Qwest Communications chief Joe Nacchio 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. Two Phoenix news helicopters collided and crashed while covering a police chase on live television, killing four people on board.
One year ago
A Russian space official (Vitaly Davydov) said that once the mammoth International Space Station was no longer needed, it would be sent into the Pacific Ocean, probably in 2015. Julio Lugo scored from third base on a blown umpire’s call at the plate, giving the Atlanta Braves a post-midnight 4-3 win in 19 innings over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ervin Santana pitched the first solo no-hitter for the Angels in nearly 27 years, striking out 10 and leading Los Angeles over Cleveland 3-1. Former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu, 42, was found dead of an apparent suicide in the affluent Los Angeles suburb of Rancho Palos Verdes.
TV producer Norman Lear is 90.
Actor Jerry Van Dyke is 81.
Sportscaster Irv Cross is 73.
Actor John Pleshette is 70.
Singer Bobbie Gentry is 68.
Actress-director Betty Thomas is 64.
Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 64.
Singer Maureen McGovern is 63.
Actress Janet Eilber is 61.
Rock musician Tris Imboden (Chicago) is 61.
Actress Roxanne Hart is 58.
Country musician Duncan Cameron is 56.
Comedian-actress-writer Carol Leifer is 56.
Comedian Bill Engvall is 55.
Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 50.
Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 45.
Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 45.
Actor Julian McMahon is 44.
Comedian Maya Rudolph is 40.
Rock musician Abe Cunningham is 39.
Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 38.
MLB player Alex Rodriguez is 37.
Actor Seamus Dever is 36.
Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers is 35.
Actor Blair Redford is 29.
Singer Cheyenne Kimball is 22.
Thought for Today
“We usually know what we can do, but temptation shows us who we are.” — Thomas a Kempis, German theologian (1380-1471).