Today in History

·4-min read

Today in History

Today is Friday, July 16, the 197th day of 2021. There are 168 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 16, 1790, a site along the Potomac River was designated the permanent seat of the United States government; the area became Washington, D.C.

On this date:

In 1909, the Audi auto company was founded in Zwickau, Germany, by August Horch.

In 1945, the United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb in the desert of Alamogordo (ahl-ah-moh-GOHR’-doh), New Mexico; the same day, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis left Mare (mar-AY’) Island Naval Shipyard in California on a secret mission to deliver atomic bomb components to Tinian Island in the Marianas.

In 1951, the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger was first published by Little, Brown and Co.

In 1964, as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Barry M. Goldwater declared that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” and that “moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

In 1969, Apollo 11 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.

In 1980, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Detroit.

In 1994, the first of 21 pieces of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter, to the joy of astronomers awaiting the celestial fireworks.

In 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette (bih-SEHT’), died when their single-engine plane, piloted by Kennedy, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

In 2002, the Irish Republican Army issued an unprecedented apology for the deaths of “noncombatants” over 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland.

In 2004, Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement by a federal judge in New York for lying about a stock sale.

In 2008, Florida resident Casey Anthony, whose 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, had been missing a month, was arrested on charges of child neglect, making false official statements and obstructing a criminal investigation. (Casey Anthony was later acquitted at trial of murdering Caylee, whose skeletal remains were found in December 2008; she was convicted of lying to police.)

In 2015, a jury in Centennial, Colorado, convicted James Holmes of 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges in the 2012 Aurora movie theater rampage that left 12 people dead. A gunman unleashed a barrage of fire at a recruiting center and another U.S. military site a few miles apart in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four Marines and a sailor before he was shot to death by police; authorities identified the gunman as Kuwaiti-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez of Tennessee.

Ten years ago: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez left his country for Cuba to begin chemotherapy, vowing to win his fight against cancer and calling for his political allies to stay united in his absence. (Chavez, who would undergo additional cancer surgery and treatment in Cuba, died in March 2013.)

Five years ago: Republican presidential nominee-apparent Donald Trump formally introduced his running mate, Mike Pence, during an event in New York, hailing the Indiana governor as his “first choice” and his “partner in the campaign” a day after announcing the selection on Twitter. Basketball Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond, 74, died in San Francisco.

One year ago: The coronavirus surged in hot spots around the country; Florida reported nearly 14,000 new cases. Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp sued the city of Atlanta over the city’s COVID-19 restrictions, including the requirement to wear masks in public; Kemp said local governments couldn’t impose measures that were more or less restrictive than statewide executive orders, which didn’t require masks. (Kemp dropped the lawsuit in August.) Target, CVS Health and Publix Super Markets joined the growing list of major retailers requiring customers to wear masks. Oakland’s City Council authorized $32.7 million in payments to settle lawsuits over a 2016 fire that killed 36 people at an illegally converted warehouse during an electronic music party.

Today’s Birthdays: Soul singer William Bell is 82. International Tennis Hall of Famer Margaret Court is 79. College Football Hall of Famer and football coach Jimmy Johnson is 78. Violinist Pinchas Zukerman is 73. Actor-singer Ruben Blades is 73. Rock composer-musician Stewart Copeland is 69. Playwright Tony Kushner is 65. Actor Faye Grant is 64. Dancer Michael Flatley is 63. Actor Phoebe Cates is 58. Actor Paul Hipp is 58. Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell is 56. Actor-comedian Will Ferrell is 54. Actor Jonathan Adams is 54. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders is 53. Actor Rain Pryor is 52. Actor Corey Feldman is 50. Rock musician Ed Kowalczyk (koh-WAHL’-chek) (Live) is 50. Rock singer Ryan McCombs (Drowning Pool) is 47. Actor Jayma Mays is 42. Actor AnnaLynne McCord is 34. Actor-singer James Maslow is 31. Actor Mark Indelicato is 27. Pop singer-musician Luke Hemmings (5 Seconds to Summer) is 25.

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