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July 12, 2013

Today in History

Today is Friday, July 12, the 193rd day of 2013. There are 172 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On July 12, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill authorizing the Medal of Honor.

On this date:

In 1543, England’s King Henry VIII married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr.

In 1690, forces led by William of Orange defeated the army of James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.

In 1909, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing for a federal income tax, and submitted it to the states. (It was declared ratified in February 1913.)

In 1943, the World War II tank battle of Prokhorovka between German invaders and Soviet defenders took place with no clear victor.

In 1948, the Democratic national convention, which nominated President Harry S. Truman for a second term of office, opened in Philadelphia.

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was flown by helicopter from the White House to a secret mountaintop location as part of a drill involving a mock nuclear attack on Washington.

In 1967, six days of race-related rioting erupted in Newark, N.J.; the violence claimed 26 lives.

In 1973, actor Lon Chaney, Jr., 67, died in San Clemente, Calif.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter defended Supreme Court limits on government payments for poor women’s abortions, saying, “There are many things in life that are not fair.”

In 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale announced he’d chosen U.S. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York to be his running-mate; Ferraro was the first woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket.

In 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis tapped Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas as his running-mate.

In 1993, some 200 people were killed when an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck northern Japan and triggered a tsunami. In Somalia, a mob enraged by a deadly United Nations attack on the compound of Mohamed Farrah Aidid killed an Associated Press photographer and three employees of Reuters.

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