Today is Wednesday, July 9, the 190th day of 2014. There are 175 days left in the year.
On July 9, 1944, during World War II, American forces secured Saipan as the last Japanese defenses fell.
On this date:
In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII had his 6-month-old marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, annulled.
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to Gen. George Washington’s troops in New York.
In 1816, Argentina declared independence from Spain.
In 1850, the 12th president of the United States, Zachary Taylor, died after serving only 16 months of his term. (He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.)
In 1896, William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous “cross of gold” speech at the Democratic national convention in Chicago.
In 1918, 101 people were killed in a train collision in Nashville, Tennessee. The Distinguished Service Cross was established by an Act of Congress.
In 1938, Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo died in Port Chester, New York, at age 68.
In 1943, during World War II, the Allies launched Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily.
In 1964, United Airlines Flight 823, a Vickers Viscount 745D, crashed in Tennessee during a flight from Philadelphia to Huntsville, Alabama, after a fire broke out on board; all 39 occupants were killed.
In 1974, former U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren died in Washington at age 83.
In 1986, the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography released the final draft of its report, which linked hard-core porn to sex crimes.
In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton tapped Tennessee Sen. Al Gore to be his running mate. Former CBS News commentator Eric Sevareid died in Washington at age 79.
Ten years ago: A Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded the CIA had provided unfounded assessments of the threat posed by Iraq that the Bush administration had relied on to justify going to war. The International Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s planned security barrier in the West Bank violated international law (Israel disregarded the ruling and continued building the barrier). Paul Klebnikov, the American editor of Forbes magazine’s Russian edition, was gunned down near his Moscow office. Actress Isabel Sanford died in Los Angeles at age 86.
Five years ago: The Group of Eight industrialized nations opened their summit in L’Aquila, Italy, to Group of Five developing countries Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, as well as Egypt. The Dutch government turned over dozens of antiquities stolen from Iraq to Baghdad’s ambassador. Byrd and Melanie Billings, a wealthy couple in Escambia County, Florida, were murdered during a home invasion robbery (seven men were later convicted for their roles in the killings; one was sentenced to death as the ringleader). Michael Phelps broke the then-world record in the 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. national championships in Indianapolis, swimming the two-lap final in 50.22 seconds.
One year ago: Egypt’s military-backed interim leader, Adly Mansour, named economist Hazem el-Beblawi as prime minister, ending days of political deadlock. Francesco Schettino, the former captain of the luxury liner Costa Concordia, went on trial for the 2012 shipwreck off Giglio that claimed 32 lives. A massive memorial service in Arizona honored 19 members of the Prescott-based Granite Mountain Hotshots who died when a wind-fueled, out-of-control fire overran them. Defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Chelios, along with forward Brendan Shanahan, were elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame; they were joined in the class of 2013 by Geraldine Heaney, the third woman to be enshrined in the hall, and the late Fred Shero, the coach who’d led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 1974 and ’75.
Today’s birthdays: Actor-singer Ed Ames is 87. Former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is 82. Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks is 81. Actor James Hampton is 78. Actor Brian Dennehy is 76. Actor Richard Roundtree is 72. Author Dean Koontz is 69. Football Hall-of-Famer O.J. Simpson is 67. Actor Chris Cooper is 63. TV personality John Tesh is 62. Country singer David Ball is 61. Business executive/TV personality Kevin O’Leary (“Shark Tank”) is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer Debbie Sledge (Sister Sledge) is 60. Actor Jimmy Smits is 59. Actress Lisa Banes is 59. Actor Tom Hanks is 58. Singer Marc Almond is 57. Actress Kelly McGillis is 57. Rock singer Jim Kerr (Simple Minds) is 55. Actress-rock singer Courtney Love is 50. Rock musician Frank Bello (Anthrax) is 49. Actor David O’Hara is 49. Rock musician Xavier Muriel (Buckcherry) is 46. Actor Scott Grimes is 43. Actor Enrique Murciano is 41. Musician/producer Jack White is 39. Rock musician Dan Estrin (Hoobastank) is 38. Actor-director Fred Savage is 38. Country musician Pat Allingham is 36. Actress Megan Parlen is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kiely Williams (3lw) is 28. Actor Mitchel Musso is 23. Actress Georgie Henley is 19.
Thought for today: “Quotations (such as have point and lack triteness) from the great old authors are an act of filial reverence on the part of the quoter, and a blessing to a public grown superficial and external.” — Louise Imogen Guiney, American poet and essayist (1861-1920).