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Today In History

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Today is Wednesday, July 10, the 191st day of 2013. There are 174 days left in the year.
Today's highlight:
On July 10, 1913, the highest recorded shade temperature was measured in Death Valley, Calif., at 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.7 degrees Celsius). (Previously, the highest recorded shade temperature in the world, 136.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 58 Celsius, was said to have occurred in 1922 in present-day Libya, but the accuracy of that reading was disputed in 2012 by the World Meteorological Organization.)
On this date:
In 1509, theologian John Calvin, a key figure of the Protestant Reformation, was born in Noyon, Picardy, France.
In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles to the Senate, and urged its ratification. (However, the Senate rejected it.)
In 1925, jury selection took place in Dayton, Tenn., in the trial of John T. Scopes, charged with violating the law by teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution. (Scopes was convicted and fined, but the verdict was overturned on a technicality.)
In 1929, American paper currency was reduced in size as the government began issuing bills that were approximately 25 percent smaller.
In 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as Nazi forces began attacking southern England by air. (The Royal Air Force was ultimately victorious.)
In 1951, armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean War began at Kaesong.
In 1962, AT&T's Telstar 1 communications satellite, capable of relaying television signals and telephone calls, was launched by NASA from Cape Canaveral.
In 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent after three centuries of British colonial rule. John Paul Getty III, the teenage grandson of the oil tycoon, was abducted in Rome by kidnappers who cut off his ear when his family was slow to meet their ransom demands; young Getty was finally released in December 1973 in exchange for nearly $3 million.
In 1978, ABC-TV launched its reformatted evening newscast, "World News Tonight," with anchors Frank Reynolds, Peter Jennings and Max Robinson.
In 1985, the Greenpeace protest ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk with explosives in Auckland, New Zealand by French intelligence agents; one activist was killed. Bowing to pressure from irate customers, the Coca-Cola Co. said it would resume selling old-formula Coke, while continuing to sell New Coke.
In 1991, Boris N. Yeltsin took the oath of office as the first elected president of the Russian republic. President George H.W. Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa.
Ten years ago: During a visit to Botswana, President George W. Bush pledged to the nation with what was then the world's highest AIDS infection rate that it would have a strong partner in his administration in fighting the disease. Spain opened its first mosque in 500 years. Astronomers announced they had found the oldest and most distant planet yet, a huge, gaseous sphere 13 billion years old and 5,600 light years away. Lord Shawcross, Britain's chief prosecutor at the Nazi war crimes trials in Nuremberg, died in Cowbeech, England, at age 101.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush signed a bill overhauling rules about government eavesdropping and granting immunity to telecommunications companies that helped the U.S. spy on Americans in suspected terrorism cases. The Senate handily confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the top commander in the Middle East. Former White House adviser Karl Rove defied a congressional subpoena, refusing to testify about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department.
One year ago: Clashing over the economy, President Barack Obama challenged Mitt Romney to join him in allowing tax hikes for rich Americans like them; Romney dismissed the idea and redirected charges that he had sent jobs overseas when he worked in private equity, calling Obama the real "outsourcer-in-chief." An Israeli court cleared former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of the central charges in a multi-case corruption trial that forced him from power, but convicted him of a lesser charge of breach of trust, for which Olmert received a suspended one-year jail sentence. The National League romped to an 8-0 victory over the American League in the All-Star game.
Associated Press
Story tags » History

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