Today is Wednesday, July 11, the 193rd day of 2012. There are 173 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History
On July 11, 1937, American composer and pianist George Gershwin, whose works included “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Concerto in F,” “An American in Paris,” and “Porgy and Bess,” died at a Los Angeles hospital of a brain tumor; he was 38.
On this date
In 1767, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, was born in Braintree, Mass.
In 1798, the U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-established by a congressional act that also created the U.S. Marine Band.
In 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehawken, N.J.
In 1859, Big Ben, the great bell inside the famous London clock tower, chimed for the first time.
In 1922, the Hollywood Bowl officially opened with a program called “Symphonies Under the Stars” with Alfred Hertz conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first incumbent chief executive to travel through the Panama Canal.
In 1952, the Republican national convention, meeting in Chicago, nominated Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Richard M. Nixon for vice president.
In 1960, the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee was first published by J.B. Lippincott and Co.
In 1962, American diver Fred Baldasare completed an underwater crossing of the English Channel using scuba gear, arriving in Sandwich Bay 18 hours after leaving Calais.
In 1972, the World Chess Championship opened as grandmasters Bobby Fischer of the United States and defending champion Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union began play in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Fischer won after 21 games.)
In 1979, the abandoned U.S. space station Skylab made a spectacular return to Earth, burning up in the atmosphere and showering debris over the Indian Ocean and Australia.
In 1989, actor and director Laurence Olivier died in Steyning, West Sussex, England, at age 82.
Ten years ago
Lawmakers balked at moving the Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency into a new Homeland Security Department despite pleas from senior Cabinet officials to stick to President George W. Bush’s blueprint. (Both agencies did end up being included in the new department.)
Five years ago
Lady Bird Johnson, the former first lady who’d championed conservation and worked tenaciously for the political career of her husband, President Lyndon Johnson, died in Austin, Texas, at age 94. Pakistani army commandos captured the Red Mosque from militants following a 35-hour battle.
One year ago
Page 2 of 2 - Rupert Murdoch’s media empire was besieged by accusations that two more of his British newspapers engaged in hacking, deception and privacy violations. Eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky went missing while walking home from religious day camp in Brooklyn, N.Y. (his dismembered remains were discovered two days later; a suspect, Levin Aron, has been charged with kidnapping and murder). So Yeon Ryu won the U.S. Women’s Open, defeating fellow South Korean Hee Kyung Seo by three shots in a three-hole playoff.
Actor Tab Hunter is 81.
Actress Susan Seaforth Hayes is 69.
Singer Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 65.
Ventriloquist-actor Jay Johnson is 63.
Actor Bruce McGill is 62.
Singer Bonnie Pointer is 62.
Actor Stephen Lang is 60.
Actress Mindy Sterling is 59.
Actress Sela Ward is 56.
Reggae singer Michael Rose (Black Uhuru) is 55.
Singer Peter Murphy is 55.
Actor Mark Lester is 54.
Jazz musician Kirk Whalum is 54.
Singer Suzanne Vega is 53.
Rock guitarist Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) is 53.
Actress Lisa Rinna is 49.
Rock musician Scott Shriner (Weezer) is 47.
Actress Debbe Dunning is 46.
Actor Gred Grunberg is 46.
Wildlife expert Jeff Corwin is 45.
Actor Justin Chambers is 42.
Actress Leisha Hailey is 41.
Actor Michael Rosenbaum is 40.
Pop-rock singer Andrew Bird is 39.
Country singer Scotty Emerick is 39.
Rapper Lil’ Kim is 37.
Rock singer Ben Gibbard is 36.
Rapper Lil’ Zane is 30.
Pop-jazz singer-musician Peter Cincotti is 29.
Actor David Henrie is 23.
Actor Connor Paolo is 22.
Thought for Today
“Those people who think only of themselves, are hopelessly uneducated. They are not educated, no matter how instructed they may be.” — Nicholas Murray Butler, American educator (1862-1947).