Today in History

  • Sun Jul 29th, 2012 8:00pm
  • Life

Today is Monday, July 30, the 212th day of 2012. There are 154 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On July 30, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill creating a women’s auxiliary agency in the Navy known as “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service” — WAVES for short.

On this date:

In 1619, the first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony.

In 1729, Baltimore, Md. was founded.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces tried to take Petersburg, Va., by exploding a gunpowder-filled mine under Confederate defense lines; the attack failed.

In 1912, Emperor Meiji of Japan died after a reign of 45 years.

In 1918, poet Joyce Kilmer, a sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment, was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I. (Kilmer is perhaps best remembered for his poem “Trees.”)

In 1932, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.

In 1945, the Portland class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during World War II; only 316 out of some 1,200 men survived.

In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure making “In God We Trust” the national motto, replacing “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of many, one”).

In 1962, the Trans-Canada Highway was officially opened at Rogers Pass in British Columbia.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Medicare bill, which went into effect the following year.

In 1975, former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in suburban Detroit; although presumed dead, his remains have never been found.

In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed a law reaffirming all of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush signed into law the most far-reaching government crackdown on business fraud since the Depression. Expelled from Congress a week earlier, an unrepentant James A. Traficant Jr. was sentenced to eight years behind bars for corruption; the Ohio Democrat made it clear he intended to run for re-election from his prison cell, and win. (He didn’t.) Pope John Paul II canonized Pedro de San Jose Betancur, Central America’s first saint. WNBA player Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks became the first woman to dunk in a professional game, jamming on a breakaway in the first half of the Sparks’ 82-73 loss to the Miami Sol.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, meeting at Camp David, forged a unified stand on Iraq. Chief Justice John Roberts was taken to a hospital after a seizure caused him to fall on a dock near his summer home in Maine. A second South Korean hostage was slain by the Taliban in central Afghanistan. Death claimed Swedish movie director Ingmar Bergman at age 89; Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni at age 94; and Hall of Fame football coach Bill Walsh at age 75.

One year ago: NATO jets bombed three Libyan state TV satellite transmitters in Tripoli, targeting a propaganda tool in Moammar Gadhafi’s fight against rebels. Caribbean Airlines Flight 523 from New York, a Boeing 737-800, slid off the end of a rainy runway in Guyana and broke in half; all 163 people on board survived.

Associated Press