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This Day in History, July 21

Saturday, July 21, 2012    

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Today is the 203rd day of 2012, There are 163 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight

1960: Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon — now Sri Lanka — becomes the world's first woman prime minister.

Other Events

1542: Pope Paul III establishes the Roman Inquisition to fight Protestantism.

1820: Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted announces his discovery that an electrical current creates a magnetic field.

1831: Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg is crowned the first king of newly independent Belgium, prompting the Dutch to invade.

1954: An armistice is signed in Geneva, dividing Vietnam into a communist north and a US-supported south as France surrenders North Vietnam to the Communists.

1969: US Apollo 11 astronauts Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr and Neil Armstrong and blast off from the Moon and head back to Earth after man's first lunar landing.

1989: Top Communist Party leaders in Soviet Union call for sterner restrictions on the press.

1991: South African government admits it secretly gave $600,000 in recent years to African National Congress rival Inkatha Party.

2000: Bolivian drug trafficker, Roberto Suarez Gomez, self-proclaimed "King of Cocaine" dies at age 68. He is believed to be the model for the acclaimed US movie Scarface.

2003: The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that so far more than 1,000 Iraqi children had been killed or injured by abandoned weapons and unexploded ordnance.

2005: Rioters enraged by subsidy cuts clash with security forces for a second day across Yemen, burning cars and buildings and leaving 16 people dead in the country's worst civil strife in more than a decade.

2007: India elects Pratibha Patil as the country's first female president. The 72-year-old candidate of the governing Congress party received 65.82 per cent of the votes, defeating incumbent Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

2008: Radovan Karadzic, a former Bosnian Serb leader and one of the world's top war crimes fugitives, is arrested in a Belgrade suburb by Serbian security forces.

2010: China's largest reported oil spill empties beaches along the Yellow Sea as its size doubles. Clean-up efforts include straw mats and frazzled workers with little more than rubber gloves.

2011: Eurozone leaders agree to a sweeping deal that will grant Greece a massive new bailout which will likely make it the first euro country to default.

Today's Birthdays

Saint Philip Neri, Italian churchman (1515-1595); Baron Paul Julius von Reuter, German-born news service pioneer (1816-1899); Ernest Hemingway, US author and Nobel laureate (1899-1961); Marshall McLuhan, Canadian media theorist (1911-1980); Isaac Stern, Russian born violinist (1920-2001); Don Knotts, US actor (1924-2006); Norman Jewison, Canadian director (1926-); Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), British pop singer (1948-); Robin Williams, US actor (1951-); Josh Hartnett, US actor (1978-).

— AP

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