Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.
On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, charging he had personally engaged in a course of conduct designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case. (In the days that followed, the Committee also adopted articles accusing Nixon of abuse of power and contempt of Congress.)
On this date:
In 1214, France prevailed in the Battle of Bouvines over the forces of the Holy Roman Empire and England.
In 1789, President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.
In 1861, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.
In 1909, during the first official test of the U.S. Army’s first airplane, Orville Wright flew himself and a passenger, Lt. Frank Lahm, above Fort Myer, Virginia, for one hour and 12 minutes.
In 1921, Canadian researcher Frederick Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, succeeded in isolating the hormone insulin at the University of Toronto.
In 1942, during World War II, the First Battle of El Alamein in Egypt ended in a draw as Allied forces stalled the progress of Axis invaders. (The Allies went on to win a clear victory over the Axis in the Second Battle of El Alamein later that year.)
In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.
In 1960, Vice President Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president on the first ballot at the Republican national convention in Chicago.
In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of urban rioting, the same day black militant H. Rap Brown said in Washington that violence was “as American as cherry pie.”
In 1980, on day 267 of the Iranian hostage crisis, the deposed Shah of Iran died at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt, at age 60.
In 1984, actor James Mason, 75, died in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In 1996, terror struck the Atlanta Olympics as a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, directly killing one person and injuring 111. (Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing.)
Ten years ago: Democrats assailed President George W. Bush’s handling of the Iraq war at their convention in Boston and painted a vivid portrait of John Kerry as a decorated Vietnam War hero. In a keynote address, Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama said Kerry had long made “tough choices when easier ones were available.”
Five years ago: The presidents of Taiwan and China exchanged direct messages for the first time since the two sides split 60 years earlier. A sailboat with an estimated 200 Haitians aboard ran aground on a reef and sank off the Turks and Caicos Islands; authorities reported 119 survivors, 15 confirmed dead and dozens missing. Football player Michael Vick, suspended for bankrolling a dogfighting operation, was reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
One year ago: Security forces and armed men clashed with supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, killing at least 80 people. More than a thousand inmates escaped a prison in Libya as protesters stormed political party offices across the country. Former Louisiana congresswoman Lindy Boggs, 97, died in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Today’s birthdays: TV producer Norman Lear is 92. Actor Jerry Van Dyke is 83. Sportscaster Irv Cross is 75. Actor John Pleshette is 72. Singer Bobbie Gentry is 70. Actress-director Betty Thomas is 66. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 66. Singer Maureen McGovern is 65. Actress Janet Eilber is 63. Rock musician Tris Imboden (Chicago) is 63. Actress Roxanne Hart is 60. Country musician Duncan Cameron is 58. Comedian-actress-writer Carol Leifer is 58. Comedian Bill Engvall is 57. Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 52. Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 47. Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 47. Actor Julian McMahon is 46. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) is 44. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 42. Rock musician Abe Cunningham is 41. Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 40. MLB player Alex Rodriguez is 39. Actor Seamus Dever is 38. Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers is 37. Actor Blair Redford is 31. Actress Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black”) is 30. Singer Cheyenne Kimball is 24.
Thought for today: “The sentimentalist ages far more quickly than the person who loves his work and enjoys new challenges.” — Lillie Langtry, English actress (1853-1929).