Today in History

Today is Tuesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2013. There are 154 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On July 30, 1863, American automaker Henry Ford was born in Dearborn Township, Mich.

On this date:

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 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 1953, the Small Business Administration was founded.

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 1963, the Soviet Union announced it had granted political asylum to Harold “Kim” Philby, the “third man” of a British spy ring.

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.

In 1990, British Conservative Party lawmaker Ian Gow was killed in a bombing claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush took personal responsibility for the first time for using discredited intelligence in his State of the Union address, but predicted he would be vindicated for going to war against Iraq. Iraq’s U.S.-picked interim government named its first president: Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite Muslim from a party banned by Saddam Hussein. Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, who discovered Elvis Presley, died in Memphis, Tenn., at age 80.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush quietly signed a housing bill he’d once threatened to veto; it was intended to rescue some cash-strapped homeowners in fear of foreclosure. Amid corruption allegations and his own plummeting popularity, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced he would resign. Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was extradited to The Hague to face genocide charges after nearly 13 years on the run. Republican Party stalwart and onetime U.S. ambassador to Britain Anne Armstrong died in Houston at age 80.

One year ago: Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, on a visit to Israel, outraged Palestinians by telling Jewish donors that their culture was part of the reason Israel was more economically successful than the Palestinians. American teenager Missy Franklin won the women’s 100-meter backstroke before Matt Grevers led a 1-2 finish for the U.S. in the same men’s race. The Chinese won their second straight Olympic title in men’s gymnastics and third in four games after a dismal performance in qualifying.

Associated Press

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