Today in history

Today is Sunday, July 30, the 211th day of 2017. There are 154 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 30, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill creating a women’s auxiliary agency in the Navy known as “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service” — WAVES for short.

On this date:

In 1619, the first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces tried to take Petersburg, Va., by exploding a gunpowder-laden mine shaft beneath Confederate defense lines; the attack failed.

In 1918, poet Joyce Kilmer, a sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment, was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I. (Kilmer is remembered for his poem “Trees.”)

In 1932, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.

In 1945, the Portland class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, having just delivered components of the atomic bomb to Tinian in the Mariana Islands, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine; only 317 out of nearly 1,200 men survived.

In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure making “In God We Trust” the national motto, replacing “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one).

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a measure creating Medicare, which began operating the following year.

In 1975, former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in suburban Detroit; although presumed dead, his remains have never been found.

In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed a law reaffirming all of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, meeting at Camp David, forged a unified stand on Iraq, aiming to head off talk of a splintering partnership in the face of an unpopular war.

Five years ago: Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, on a visit to Israel, outraged Palestinians by telling Jewish donors that their culture was part of the reason Israel was more economically successful than the Palestinians.

One year ago: Sixteen people died when a hot air balloon caught fire and exploded after hitting high-tension power lines before crashing into a pasture near Lockhart, about 60 miles northeast of San Antonio. Luke Aikins, a 42-year-old skydiver with more than 18,000 jumps, made history when he became the first person to make a planned leap without a parachute or wingsuit, landing in a net at the Big Sky movie ranch on the outskirts of Simi Valley, Calif. Actress-singer Gloria DeHaven, 91, died in Las Vegas.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Edd “Kookie” Byrnes is 84. Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is 83. Blues musician Buddy Guy is 81. Movie director Peter Bogdanovich is 78. Feminist activist Eleanor Smeal is 78. Former U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder is 77. Singer Paul Anka is 76. Jazz musician David Sanborn is 72. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is 70. Actress Delta Burke is 61. Law professor Anita Hill is 61. Singer-songwriter Kate Bush is 59. Actor Laurence Fishburne is 56. Actress Lisa Kudrow is 54. Bluegrass musician Danny Roberts (The Grascals) is 54. Country musician Dwayne O’Brien is 54. Actress Vivica A. Fox is 53. Actor Terry Crews is 49. Actor Simon Baker is 48. Actor Donnie Keshawarz is 48. Movie director Christopher Nolan is 47. Actor Tom Green is 46. Actress Jaime Pressly is 40. Alt-country singer-musician Seth Avett is 37. Actress Yvonne Strahovski is 35. Actor Martin Starr is 35. Actress Gina Rodriguez is 33. Actor Nico Tortorella is 29. Actress Joey King is 18.

Thought for Today: “Happiness is a reward that comes to those that have not looked for it.” — Emile Chartier, French philosopher (1868-1951).

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