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This Day in History

Thursday, July 19, 2012    

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Today is the 201st day of 2012. There are 165 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight

2002: An inquiry into the murders committed by British doctor Harold Shipman, concludes that he killed 215 of his patients, mainly elderly women, between 1975 and 1998. He was convicted in 2000 for murder of 15 of his patients.

Other Events

1333: The Scots are routed in battle of Halidon Hill, a significant setback in their fight for independence from England.

1545: The English flagship Mary Rose capsizes accidentally and sinks off Portsmouth. It is raised in 1982.

1588: The Spanish Armada is sighted off the Cornish coast of England.

1610: Vasily Shuysky, czar of Russia, is deposed after the Swedish army is defeated by Polish invaders.

1848: The first women's rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton declares that "Man cannot fulfil his destiny alone."

1864: Nanking, the capital of the Taiping rebellion in China, falls to government troops who proceed to slaughter 100,000 people.

1870: France declares war on Prussia, opening Franco-Prussian War.

1907: Emperor of Korea abdicates in favour of his son under Japan's pressure.

1918: German armies begin retreat across Marne River after being defeated in their last great offensive in France.

1939: American physician Roy P Scholz of St. Louis, Missouri, becomes first surgeon to use fibreglass sutures.

1943: Allied air force stages first raid on Rome in World War II.

1956: United States and Britain inform Egypt they cannot participate in financing Aswan Dam project.

1960: Soviet Union protests to United States over plan to equip West Germany with Polaris missile.

1966: Frank Sinatra, 50, marries 20-year old actess Mia Farrow.

1969: Apollo 11 and its astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins, travel into orbit around the moon.

1975: US and Soviet astronauts and cosmonauts end their two-day link-up in space.

1979: Nicaragua's leftist Sandinistas claim revolutionary victory, two days after President Anastasio Somoza flees the country.

1980: Summer Olympics in Moscow begin, minus dozens of nations boycotting the games because of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.

1984: Geraldine Ferraro becomes first American woman to run for vice-president.

1985: Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire is chosen to be the first schoolteacher to ride aboard a space shuttle. McAuliffe and six crew members die the following year when the Challenger explodes after lift-off.

1990: Kuwait appeals to Arab neighbours for help against threats from neighbouring Iraq.

1991: Kurds protesting Iraqi rule fight government soldiers in first major clashes since withdrawal of allied forces.

1992: A car bomb kills Paolo Borsellino, Sicily's top Mafia prosecutor.

1993: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns and dissolves parliament, under pressure from foes who accuse his government of corruption and electoral fraud.

1993: The United States and North Korea reach an interim agreement to ease confrontation over North Korea's refusal to permit inspection of suspected nuclear sites.

1995: US Congress votes to block billions of dollars in further loans to bail out the ailing Mexican economy, despite the urging of President Bill Clinton.

1998: Hundreds of Serb police battle secessionist guerrillas in house-to-house fighting for control of the central Kosovo town of Orahovac, the largest town caught up in the conflict.

1999: In southern Mexico, 20 government supporters are sentenced to 35 years each for a massacre of rebel sympathisrs; 21 women, 15 children and nine men were gunned down in December 1997, in Acteal, Chiapas.

2000: An international measure is adopted to block rebel groups from trading "conflict diamonds" to fund Africa's most vicious civil wars.

2003: An Egyptian appeals court acquits 11 men of debauchery for allegedly engaging in homosexual activity. President Hosni Mubarak ordered a retrial in May 2002, after their initial sentences in November 2001 had sparked international condemnation.

2004: Less than a month after regaining sovereignty from the US occupation authority, Iraq announces the appointment of 43 new ambassadors in its first move to re-engage with the world.

2005: Insurgents set off a bomb near a police minibus in warring Chechnya, killing 14 people including two children and wounding more than 20 others.

2006: A cruise liner carrying more than 1,000 Americans sails out of Beirut's port in the first mass US evacuation from Lebanon since Israeli airstrikes started more than a week before.

2007: Twenty-three South Korean Christian aid workers are taken hostage while on a bus to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Two are shot, two women are freed, and the Taliban agree to free the remaining 19 if South Korea ends missionary work in Afghanistan and withdraws troops.

2008: Pope Benedict XVI apologizes for the sexual abuse of children by Australia's Roman Catholic clergy at a Mass in Sydney.

2009: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, already at the centre of a post-election crisis, comes under criticism from his own hard-line supporters for appointing a first vice-president who once caused an outcry by saying Iranians were friends of Israelis.

2010: A US-born, al-Qaeda-linked cleric warns the American people that President Barack Obama will mire US forces in Yemen just as in Afghanistan.

2011: A scientific autopsy confirms that Chilean President Salvador Allende committed suicide during the 1973 coup that toppled his socialist government.

Today's Birthdays

Al-Bukhari, Islamic theologist (810-870); Samuel Colt, US inventor (1814-1862); Gottfried Keller, German author (1819-1890); Edgar Degas, French artist (1834-1917); Vladimir Mayakovsky, Russian poet (1893-1930); Brian May, British guitarist w/rock group Queen (1947-); Ilie Nastase, Romanian tennis player (1946-); Anthony Edwards, US actor, (1962-).

— AP

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