GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

July 24, 2013

Today in History

The Associated Press
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Today is Wednesday, July 24, the 205th day of 2013. There are 160 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On July 24, 1959, during a visit to Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

On this date:

In 1783, Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1862, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, and the first to have been born a U.S. citizen, died at age 79 in Kinderhook, N.Y., the town where he was born in 1782.

In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

In 1911, Yale University history professor Hiram Bingham III found the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu, in Peru.

In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland.

In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.”

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman announced a settlement in a 53-day steel strike.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts — two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon — splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1974, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

In 1983, a two-run homer by George Brett of the Kansas City Royals was disallowed and Brett called out after New York Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out there was too much pine tar on Brett’s bat. American League president Lee MacPhail later reinstated the home run. The game was re-completed Aug. 18, 1983, with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.

In 1998, a gunman burst into the U.S. Capitol, killing two police officers before being shot and captured. (The shooter, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., is being held in a federal mental facility.) The motion picture “Saving Private Ryan,” starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg, was released.

In 2002, nine coal miners became trapped in a flooded tunnel of the Quecreek Mine in western Pennsylvania; the story ended happily 77 hours later with the rescue of all nine.

Ten years ago: The House and Senate intelligence committees issued their final report on the attacks of September 11, 2001, citing countless blunders, oversights and miscalculations that prevented authorities from stopping the attackers.

Five years ago: Ford Motor Co. posted the worst quarterly performance in its history, losing $8.67 billion. Cheered by an enormous crowd in Berlin, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama summoned Europeans and Americans together to “defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it” as surely as they had conquered communism a generation ago. Zvonko Busic, who’d served 32 years in a U.S. prison for hijacking a TWA jetliner and planting a bomb that killed a policeman, was paroled and returned home to Croatia.

One year ago: In his first foreign policy speech since emerging as the likely Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney called for an independent investigation into claims the White House had leaked national security information for President Barack Obama’s political gain; the White House replied that the president “has made abundantly clear that he has no tolerance for leaks.”

Today’s birthdays: Actor John Aniston (“Days of Our Lives”) is 80. Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant is 78. Comedian Ruth Buzzi and actor Mark Goddard are 77. Actor Dan Hedaya is 73. Actor Chris Sarandon is 71. Comedian Gallagher is 67. Actor Robert Hays is 66. Former Republican national chairman Marc Racicot is 65. Actor Michael Richards is 64. Actress Lynda Carter is 62. Movie director Gus Van Sant is 61. Country singer Pam Tillis is 56. Actor Paul Ben-Victor is 51. Actor Kadeem Hardison is 48. Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth, and actors Laura Leighton and John P. Navin Jr. are 45. Actress-singer Jennifer Lopez and basketball player-turned-actor Rick Fox are 44. Actor Eric Szmanda is 38. Actress Rose Byrne and country singer Jerrod Niemann are 34. Actress Summer Glau is 32. Actresses Elisabeth Moss and Anna Paquin are 31. Actress Megan Park (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) is 27. Actress Mara Wilson is 26. Singer Jay McGuiness (The Wanted) is 23. TV personality Bindi Irwin is 15.

Thought for today: “I think all great innovations are built on rejections.” — Louise Nevelson, Russian-American artist (1900-1988).