Today in History

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Associated Press

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Today is Friday, July 13, the 195th day of 2012. There are 171 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 13, 1787, the Congress of the Confederation adopted the Northwest Ordinance, which established a government in the Northwest Territory, an area corresponding to the present-day Midwest and Upper Midwest.

On this date:

In 1793, French revolutionary writer Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his bath by Charlotte Corday, who was executed four days later.

In 1812, New York became the first U.S. city to adopt regulations on how pawnbrokers could conduct business.

In 1863, deadly rioting against the Civil War military draft erupted in New York City. (The insurrection was put down three days later.)

In 1923, a sign consisting of 50-foot-tall letters spelling out "HOLLYWOODLAND" was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills to promote a subdivision (the last four letters were removed in 1949).

In 1939, Frank Sinatra made his first commercial recording, "From the Bottom of My Heart" and "Melancholy Mood," with Harry James and his Orchestra for the Brunswick label.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy won the Democratic presidential nomination on the first ballot at his party's convention in Los Angeles.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall to be U.S. solicitor general.

In 1972, George McGovern received the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in Miami Beach.

In 1977, a blackout lasting 25 hours hit the New York City area.

In 1978, Lee Iacocca was fired as president of Ford Motor Co. by chairman Henry Ford II.

In 1985, "Live Aid," an international rock concert in London, Philadelphia, Moscow and Sydney, took place to raise money for Africa's starving people.

In 1999, Angel Maturino Resendiz, suspected of being the "Railroad Killer," surrendered in El Paso, Texas. (Resendiz was executed in 2006.)

Ten years ago: The nation's governors opened their summer meeting in Boise, Idaho, with high health care costs the main topic. Photographer Yousuf Karsh died in Boston at age 93.

Five years ago: Former media mogul Conrad Black was convicted in Chicago of swindling the Hollinger International newspaper empire out of millions of dollars. (Black was sentenced to 6½ years in federal prison, but had his sentence reduced to three years; he was freed in May 2012.) Family prayer services and a huge public outpouring in Austin, Texas, ushered in three days of memorial ceremonies honoring the late Lady Bird Johnson.

One year ago: California became the first state in the nation to add lessons about gays and lesbians to social studies classes in public schools under a measure signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Three coordinated bombings in India's busy financial capital killed 26 people in the worst terror attack in the country since the 2008 Mumbai siege. Abby Wambach broke a tense tie with a thunderous header in the 79th minute, and the United States earned its first trip to the Women's World Cup final since winning it in 1999 with a 3-1 victory over France. (Japan, which went on to win the Cup, upset Sweden 3-1 in the other semifinal.)

Today's Birthdays: Actor Patrick Stewart is 72. Actor Robert Forster is 71. Actor Harrison Ford is 70. Singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) is 70. Actor-comedian Cheech Marin is 66. Actress Daphne Maxwell Reid is 64. Actress Didi Conn is 61. Singer Louise Mandrell is 58. Actor-director Cameron Crowe is 55. Tennis player Anders Jarryd is 51. Rock musician Gonzalo Martinez De La Cotera (Marcy Playground) is 50. Comedian Tom Kenny (TV: "SpongeBob SquarePants") is 50. Country singer-songwriter Victoria Shaw is 50. Bluegrass singer Rhonda Vincent is 50. Actor Kenny Johnson is 49. Actor Michael Jace is 47. Country singer Neil Thrasher is 47. Singer Deborah Cox is 39. Actress Ashley Scott is 35. Rock musician Will Champion (Coldplay) is 34. Actor Fran Kranz is 31. Actor Steven R. McQueen is 24.

Thought for Today: "If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never." — Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (1813-1855).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, July 13)

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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