Today in History
Today is Monday, July 13, the 195th day of 2020. There are 171 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 13, 2013, a jury in Sanford, Florida, cleared neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed Black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.
On this date:
In 1787, the Congress of the Confederation adopted the Northwest Ordinance, which established a government in the Northwest Territory, an area corresponding to the present-day Midwest and Upper Midwest.
In 1812, New York became the first U.S. city to adopt regulations on how pawnbrokers could conduct business.
In 1863, deadly rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City. (The insurrection was put down three days later.)
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to be U.S. Solicitor General; Marshall became the first Black jurist appointed to the post. (Two years later, Johnson nominated Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court.)
In 1973, former presidential aide Alexander P. Butterfield revealed to Senate Watergate Committee staff members the existence of President Richard Nixon’s secret White House taping system. (Butterfield’s public revelation came three days later.)
In 1974, the Senate Watergate Committee proposed sweeping reforms in an effort to prevent another Watergate scandal.
In 1985, “Live Aid,” an international rock concert in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, took place to raise money for Africa’s starving people.
In 1990, the romantic fantasy “Ghost,” starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, was released by Paramount Pictures.
In 1999, Angel Maturino Resendiz (ahn-HEHL’ mah-tyoo-REE’-noh reh-SEHN’-deez), suspected of being the “Railroad Killer,” surrendered in El Paso, Texas. (Resendiz was executed in 2006.)
In 2005, a suicide car bomb exploded next to U.S. troops handing out candy and toys in Iraq, killing more than two dozen people, including 18 children and teenagers and an American soldier.
In 2006, Israel imposed a naval blockade against Lebanon and blasted the Beirut airport and army air bases; Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets into Israel.
In 2018, a grand jury indictment, sought by special counsel Robert Mueller, alleged that the Russian government was behind a sweeping conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election; the grand jury indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges that they had hacked Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party.
Ten years ago: New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died in Tampa, Florida, nine days after turning 80. The National League won the All-Star Game, defeating the American League 3-1 in Anaheim, California, to capture its first Midsummer Classic since 1996. Vernon Baker, a Black U.S. soldier who belatedly received the Medal of Honor for World War II valor in 1997 after historians concluded he’d been wrongly denied the award because of his race, died at his home near St. Maries, Idaho; he was 90.
Five years ago: Calling America “a nation of second chances,” President Barack Obama cut the prison sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders. Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old woman from suburban Chicago, was found hanged in a Waller County, Texas, jail cell three days after being arrested during a traffic stop; her death was ruled a suicide, a finding disputed by her family. New York City reached a $5.9 million settlement with the family of Eric Garner, a Black man who died after being placed in a white police officer’s chokehold. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
One year ago: After briefly becoming a hurricane, Tropical Storm Barry made landfall about 160 miles west of New Orleans, bringing heavy rain that tested the levees and pumps that were bolstered after Hurricane Katrina in 2005; the storm spared New Orleans and Baton Rouge from catastrophic flooding. Simona Halep won her first Wimbledon title, defeating Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2 in the women’s final. A power outage crippled the heart of Manhattan just as Saturday night Broadway shows were set to go on, sending theater-goers into the streets and bringing subways to a near halt; electricity was restored by about midnight.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show announcer Johnny Gilbert (TV: “Jeopardy!”) is 96. Actor Patrick Stewart is 80. Actor Harrison Ford is 78. Singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) is 78. Actor-comedian Cheech Marin is 74. Actress Daphne Maxwell Reid is 72. Actress Didi Conn is 69. Actor Gil Birmingham is 67. Singer Louise Mandrell is 66. Rock musician Mark “The Animal” Mendoza (Twisted Sister) is 64. Actor-director Cameron Crowe is 63. Former tennis player Anders Jarryd is 59. Rock musician Gonzalo Martinez De La Cotera is 58. Comedian Tom Kenny is 58. Country singer-songwriter Victoria Shaw is 58. Bluegrass singer Rhonda Vincent is 58. Actor Kenny Johnson is 57. Roots singer/songwriter Paul Thorn is 56. Country singer Neil Thrasher is 55. Actor Ken Jeong is 51. Bluegrass musician Mike Barber (The Gibson Brothers) is 50. Singer Deborah Cox is 47. Actress Ashley Scott is 43. Rock musician Will Champion (Coldplay) is 42. Actor Fran Kranz is 39. Actress Aya Cash is 38. St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is 38. Actor Colton Haynes is 32. Actor Steven R. McQueen is 32. Soul singer Leon Bridges is 31. Actress Hayley Erin (“General Hospital”) is 26. Actor Kyle Harrison Breitkopf is 15.
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