On This Date In 1776 The secret Congressional emissary to France, Silas Deane, wrote a letter to Congress, informing them that he had been successful beyond his expectations in France. The Committee of Congress for Secret Correspondence, consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, John Dickinson, John Hay and Robert Morris, had instructed Deane to meet with French Foreign Minister Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, to stress America's need for military stores and to assure the French that the colonies were moving toward “total separation.”
On This Date In 1778 The Battle of Ushant took place during the American War of Independence, fought between French and British fleets 100 miles (160 km) west of Ushant, a French island at the mouth of the English Channel off the north-westernmost point of France. The battle ended indecisively and led to political disputes in both countries.
On This Date In 1794 The Thermidorian Reaction took place, a revolt in the French Revolution against the excesses of the Reign of Terror. It was triggered by a vote of the National Convention to execute Maximilien Robespierre, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just and several other leading members of the Terror. This ended the most radical phase of the French Revolution. The name Thermidorian refers to 9 Thermidor Year II (27 July 1794), the date according to the French Revolutionary Calendar when Robespierre and other radical revolutionaries came under concerted attack in the National Convention.
On This Date In 1864 Through July 29, 1864, the First Battle of Deep Bottom was fought at Deep Bottom in Henrico County, Virginia, as part of the Siege of Petersburg of the American Civil War. A Union force under Maj. Gens. Winfield S. Hancock and Philip H. Sheridan was sent on an expedition threatening Richmond, Virginia, and its railroads, intending to attract Confederate troops away from the Petersburg defensive line, in anticipation of the upcoming Battle of the Crater. The Union infantry and cavalry force was unable to break through the Confederate fortifications at Bailey's Creek and Fussell's Mill and was withdrawn, but it achieved its desired effect of momentarily reducing Confederate strength at Petersburg.
On This Date In 1880 The Battle of Maiwand was fought, one of the principal battles of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Under the leadership of Ayub Khan, the Afghans defeated two brigades of British and Indian troops under Brigadier-General George Burrows, though at a high price: between 2,050 and 2,750 Afghan warriors were killed; and probably about 1,500 wounded. British and Indian forces suffered 969 soldiers killed and 177 wounded.
On This Date In 1901 The 1901 Wright Glider, the second of the Wright Brothers' experimental gliders, first flew over the Kill Devil Hills, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The glider was similar to the 1900 version, but had larger wings. It was retired on August 17, 1901. During this time it made between 50 and 100 free flights, in addition to tethered flights as a kite.
On This Date In 1916 In Bruges, Belgium, and during World War I, German officials executed Captain Charles Fryatt, the former commander of the Great Eastern Railway steamship Brussels, after a German court martial found him guilty of making an attack on a German submarine.
On This Date In 1919 Through August 3, 1919, the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 took place, and was a major racial conflict that began in Chicago, Illinois. During the riot, dozens died and hundreds were injured. It is considered the worst of the approximately 25 riots during the Red Summer of 1919, so named because of the violence and fatalities across the nation. The combination of prolonged arson, looting and murder was the worst race rioting in the history of Illinois.
On This Date In 1921 At the University of Toronto, Canadian scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated insulin - a hormone they believed could prevent diabetes - for the first time. Within a year, the first human sufferers of diabetes were receiving insulin treatments, and countless lives were saved from what was previously regarded as a fatal disease.
On This Date In 1943 During World War II, Joseph Stalin, premier and dictator of the Soviet Union, issued Order No. 227, what came to be known as the “Not one step backward” order, in light of German advances into Russian territory. The order declared, “Panic makers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot. Not one step backward without orders from higher headquarters! Commanders...who abandon a position without an order from higher headquarters are traitors to the Fatherland.”
On This Date In 1949 The world's first jet-propelled airliner, the British De Havilland Comet, made its maiden test-flight in England. The jet engine would ultimately revolutionize the airline industry, shrinking air travel time in half by enabling planes to climb faster and fly higher.
On This Date In 1953 The United Nations Command, supported by the United States, the North Korean Korean People's Army, and the Chinese People's Volunteers, signed the Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War. The Armistice also called upon the governments of South Korea, North Korea, China and the United States to participate in continued peace talks. The war is considered to have ended at this point, even though there was no peace treaty. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Korean_Armistice_Agreement
On This Date In 1955 El Al Flight 402, a Lockheed L-049 Constellation international passenger flight from Vienna, Austria to Tel Aviv, Israel via Istanbul, Turkey, strayed into Bulgarian airspace and was shot down by two Bulgarian MiG-15 jet fighters and crashed near Petrich, Bulgaria. All 7 crew and 51 passengers on board the airliner were killed. The crash took place amid highly strained relations between the Eastern Bloc and the West and was the deadliest involving the Lockheed L-049 Constellation at the time.
On This Date In 1964 The United States announced it would send an additional 5,000 U.S. troops to Vietnam, bringing the total number of U.S. forces in Vietnam to 21,000. Military spokesmen and Washington officials insisted that this did not represent any change in policy regarding the Vietnam War, and that new troops would only intensify existing U.S. efforts.
On This Date In 1965 Forty-six U.S. F-105 fighter-bombers attacked the missile installation that had fired at U.S. planes on July 24 (the first time North Vietnam had launched antiaircraft missiles at U.S. aircraft). They also attacked another missile installation 40 miles northwest of Hanoi. One missile launcher was destroyed and another was damaged, but five U.S. planes were shot down in the effort.
On This Date In 1969 “Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from the film More,” the first full-length soundtrack album, and third studio album, by the English rock band Pink Floyd, was released. The film More was made in Luxembourg in 1969 and was directed by Barbet Schroeder. In it, two songs can be heard that were not included on the album: “Seabirds” and “Hollywood”.
On This Date In 1974 The U.S. House Judiciary Committee recommended that America's 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate.
On This Date In 1977 “Terrapin Station,” the ninth studio album by the Grateful Dead, was released. This album was the first time since Anthem of the Sun that the Grateful Dead used an outside producer. This is also the first Grateful Dead album on the Arista label after releasing other albums (1973-1976) on its own Grateful Dead Records.
On This Date In 1980 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (October 26, 1919 - July 27, 1980), the last Shah of Iran, died in exile in Egypt, from complications of Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma) at aged 60. Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat gave the Shah a state funeral.
On This Date In 1981 Adam John Walsh, age six, was abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Florida, and later found murdered. In the aftermath of the crime, Adam's father, John Walsh, became a leading victims' rights activist and host of the long-running television show America's Most Wanted.
On This Date In 1983 “Madonna,” the self-titled debut album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, was released by Sire Records. The album had a slow and steady climb, and peaked at eight on the Billboard 200 on the week ending October 20, 1984, almost a year after its release. It also peaked at twenty on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Within a year, the album sold 2.8 million copies in the United States. It placed at seven on the year-end chart for 1984 and at 25 on the year-end chart for 1985, with Madonna becoming the top pop artist for the year 1985.
On This Date In 1990 The last Citroen 2CV, known as the “Tin Snail” for its distinctive shape, rolled off the production line at the company's plant in Mangualde, Portugal at four o'clock on the afternoon. Since its debut in 1948, a total of 5,114,959 2CVs had been produced worldwide.
On This Date In 1993 Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis collapsed after suffering cardiac arrest while shooting baskets at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts. Two hours later, Lewis was pronounced dead at Waltham-Weston Hospital. In the wake of Lewis’ death, his widow, Donna Harris-Lewis, began the Reggie Lewis Foundation to continue his charitable efforts in the Boston community, including an annual turkey giveaway at Thanksgiving.
On This Date In 1993 “Siamese Dream,” the second album by the American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, was released on Virgin Records. The album fused diverse influences such as shoegazing, psychedelic rock, dream pop, noise pop, classic rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock. The album debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts, and eventually sold over four million copies in the U.S., and over six million worldwide.
On This Date In 1996 The Centennial Olympic Park Bombing took place, a terrorist bombing in Atlanta, Georgia, United States during the 1996 Summer Olympics, the XXVI Summer Olympiad, the first of four committed by Eric Robert Rudolph. Two people died, and 111 were injured.
On This Date In 2002 During an air show at the Skniliv Airfield in Lviv, Ukraine, a fighter jet crashed into a crowd of spectators, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds more. This was the worst air-show accident to that date. The two pilots, however, managed to eject themselves from the plane before the crash and survived with minor injuries.
On This Date In 2003 Bob Hope, KBE, KCSG, KSS, born Leslie Townes Hope, (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003), died in his sleep at his home in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles. An English-born American comedian and actor who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies, he was also noted for his work with the U.S. armed forces and his numerous USO shows entertaining American military personnel. Throughout his long career, he was honored for his humanitarian work. In 1996, the U.S. Congress declared him the “first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces.” Bob Hope appeared in or hosted at least 199 USO shows. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/27/newsid_381...
On This Date In 2010 On the 57th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War, the United States intensified high-profile military exercises called “Invincible Spirit,” conducted by an armada of South Korean and U.S. ships — including the USS George Washington supercarrier — in international waters off the South Korean coast. http://www.voanews.com/content/war-games-coincide-with-korean-war-a...
Happy Birthday Jerry Van Dyke (1931), Bobbie Gentry (1944), Rade Serbedzija (1946), Peggy Fleming (1948), Maureen McGovern (1949), Roxanne Hart (1952), Yahoo Serious (1953), Bill Engvall (1957), Donnie Yen (1963), Juliana Hatfield (1967), Sasha Mitchell (1967), Julian McMahon (1968), Triple H (1969), Jill Arrington (1972), Maya Rudolph (1972), Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (1977), and Indiana Evans (1990).
RIP George Biddell Airy (1801 – 1892), Donald Crisp (1882 – 1974), Queen Mother Moore (1898 – 1996), Ross Alexander (1907 – 1937), Keenan Wynn (1916 – 1986), and Adolfo Celi (1922 – 1986).
Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude. William James
The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets. Will Rogers
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. Charles Dickens
Teaching is more than imparting knowledge, it is inspiring change. Learning is more than absorbing facts, it is acquiring understanding. William Arthur Ward
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience. George Bernard Shaw
We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead. William Arthur Ward
On the same night Curiosity lands on Mars, a "Martian Triangle" will appear in sunset skies of Earth. The first-magnitude apparition on August 5th gives space fans something to do while they wait for news from the Red Planet.
The Schiehallion Dance ensemble performs at the 2012 Canadian International Military Tattoo in Hamilton, Ontario. More information on the Schiehallion Dancers can be found at http://www.schiehalliondancers.ca/
People have to face regrets. Becoming mature means learning to accept what you cannot change, facing unresolved sorrows and learning to love life as it really happens, not as you would have it happen. When someone attaches unkindness to criticism, she's angry. Angry people need to criticize as an outlet for their anger. That's why you must reject unkind criticism. Unkind criticism is never part of a meaningful critique of you. Its purpose is not to teach or to help, its purpose is to punish. Life isn't supposed to be an all or nothing battle between misery and bliss. Life isn't supposed to be a battle at all. And when it comes to happiness, well, sometimes life is just okay, sometimes it's comfortable, sometimes wonderful, sometimes boring, sometimes unpleasant. When your day's not perfect, it's not a failure or a terrible l***. It's just another day. Barbara Sher
Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. Mary Anne Radmacher