Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 6, 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut. (Among the survivors was future actor Charles Nelson Reilly, then age 13.)
On this date:
In 1483, England’s King Richard III was crowned in Westminster Abbey.
In 1535, Sir Thomas More was executed in England for high treason.
In 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga.
In 1854, the first official meeting of the Republican Party took place in Jackson, Michigan.
In 1917, during World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba (AH’-kah-buh) from the Turks.
In 1933, the first All-Star baseball game was played at Chicago’s Comiskey Park; the American League defeated the National League, 4-2.
In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title as she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2.
In 1964, the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” starring The Beatles, had its world premiere in London. The British colony Nyasaland became the independent country of Malawi.
In 1971, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong died in New York at age 69.
In 1988, 167 North Sea oil workers were killed when explosions and fires destroyed a drilling platform. Medical waste and other debris began washing up on New York City-area seashores, forcing the closing of several popular beaches.
In 1989, the U.S. Army destroyed its last Pershing 1A missiles at an ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas, under terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
In 1994, 14 firefighters were killed while battling a several-days-old blaze on Storm King Mountain in Colorado.
Ten years ago: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry chose former rival John Edwards to be his running mate. A U.S. fighter pilot who’d mistakenly bombed Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan in 2002, killing four, was found guilty in New Orleans of dereliction of duty; Maj. Harry Schmidt was reprimanded and docked a month’s pay.
Five years ago: Robert McNamara, the Pentagon chief who’d directed the escalation of the Vietnam War despite private doubts, died in Washington, D.C., at 93. President Barack Obama opened a two-day Moscow summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Doctors at four hospitals in four states (Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma and Michigan) finished transplanting eight kidneys over three weeks.
One year ago: A runaway train carrying crude oil derailed in eastern Quebec, igniting fires and explosions that destroyed much of the town of Lac-Megantic and killed 47 people. An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport; of the 307 people on board Flight 214, three Chinese teens were killed. A solar-powered aircraft, the Solar Impulse, completed the final leg of a history-making cross-country flight, gliding to a smooth stop at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Marion Bartoli won her first major title, defeating Sabine Lisicki 6-1, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final. Jimmie Johnson became the first driver in 31 years to sweep Daytona International Speedway.
Today’s Birthdays: Former first lady Nancy Reagan is 93. Actor William Schallert is 92. Singer-actress Della Reese is 83. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is 79. Actor Ned Beatty is 77. Singer Gene Chandler is 74. Country singer Jeannie Seely is 74. Actor Burt Ward is 69. Former President George W. Bush is 68. Actor-director Sylvester Stallone is 68. Actor Fred Dryer is 68. Actress Shelley Hack is 67. Actress Nathalie Baye is 66. Actor Geoffrey Rush is 63. Actress Allyce Beasley is 63. Rock musician John Bazz (The Blasters) is 62. Actor Grant Goodeve is 62. Country singer Nanci Griffith is 61. Jazz musician Rick Braun is 59. Country musician John Jorgenson is 58. Former first daughter Susan Ford Bales is 57. Hockey player and coach Ron Duguay (doo-GAY’) is 57. Actress-writer Jennifer Saunders is 56. Rock musician John Keeble (Spandau Ballet) is 55. Actor Brian Posehn is 48. Actor Brian Van Holt is 45. Rapper Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) is 44. TV host Josh Elliott is 43. Rapper 50 Cent is 39. Actress Tamera Mowry is 36. Actress Tia Mowry is 36. Comedian-actor Kevin Hart is 35. Actress Eva (EH’-vuh) Green is 34. Actor Gregory Smith is 31. Rock singer Kate Nash is 27. Actor Jeremy Suarez is 24.
Thought for Today: “Fear is forward. No one is afraid of yesterday.” – Renata Adler, American writer.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.