GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

July 12, 2013

Today in History

The Associated Press
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — 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.

Ten years ago: Wrapping up a five-day tour of Africa, President George W. Bush said he would not allow terrorists to use the continent as a base “to threaten the world.” The USS Ronald Reagan, the first carrier named for a living president, was commissioned in Norfolk, Va.

Five years ago: Angelina Jolie gave birth at a hospital on the French Riviera to twins Knox and Vivienne, making a family of eight with Brad Pitt.

One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden rallied support for President Barack Obama at the NAACP’s convention in Houston, declaring that Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s election-year agenda would hurt — not help — working families in the black community. A scathing report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh said the late Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials had buried child sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade earlier to avoid bad publicity.

Today’s birthdays: Movie director Monte Hellman is 84. Comedian Bill Cosby is 76. Singer-musician Christine McVie is 70. Actress Denise Nicholas is 69. Singer-songwriter Butch Hancock is 68. Fitness guru Richard Simmons, actor Jay Thomas and singer Walter Egan are 65. Writer-producer Brian Grazer and actress Cheryl Ladd are 62. Country singer Julie Miller, Gospel singer Sandi Patty and actress Mel Harris are 57. Actor Buddy Foster is 56. Rock guitarist Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) is 51. Actress Judi Evans is 49. Rock singer Robin Wilson (Gin Blossoms) is 48. Actress Lisa Nicole Carson is 44. Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is 42. Country singer Shannon Lawson and rapper Magoo are 40. Actress Anna Friel and rhythm-and-blues singer Tracie Spencer are 37. Actor Steve Howey is 36. Actors Topher Grace and Michelle Rodriguez are 35. Singer-musician Kimberly Perry (The Band Perry) is 30. Actor Erik Per Sullivan is 22. Olympic gold medal gymnast Jordyn Wieber is 18.

Thought for today: “Man is not made for society, but society is made for man. No institution can be good which does not tend to improve the individual.” — Margaret Fuller, American social reformer (1810-1850).