Today is Monday, July 21, the 203rd day of 2008. There are 163 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 21, 1861, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Va., resulting in a Confederate victory.
On this date:
In 1831, Leopold I was proclaimed King of the Belgians.
In 1925, the so-called "Monkey Trial" ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution. (The conviction was later overturned on a technicality.)
In 1930, President Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration.
In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II.
In 1949, the U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.
In 1954, the Geneva Conference concluded with accords dividing Vietnam into northern and southern entities.
In 1955, during a summit in Geneva, President Eisenhower presented his "open skies" proposal under which the U.S. and the Soviet Union would trade information on each other's military facilities and allow aerial reconnaissance.
In 1961, Capt. Virgil "Gus" Grissom became the second American to rocket into a suborbital pattern around the Earth, flying aboard the Liberty Bell 7.
In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin blasted off from the moon aboard the lunar module.
In 1980, draft registration began in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.
Ten years ago: President Clinton announced a crackdown on nursing homes that were lax about quality and on states that were doing a poor job of regulating them. The Pentagon said it found no evidence to support allegations in a CNN report that U.S. troops had used nerve gas during a 1970 operation in Laos designed to hunt down American defectors. Astronaut Alan Shepard died in Monterey, Calif., at age 74. Actor Robert Young died in Westlake Village, Calif., at age 91.
Five years ago: President Bush said he was working to persuade more nations to help in Iraq. Carlton Dotson Jr., the roommate of missing Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy, was arrested and charged with Dennehy's murder. (Dotson later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.)
One year ago: Doctors removed five small growths from President Bush's colon after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office to Vice President Dick Cheney under the rarely invoked 25th Amendment. Ruediger Diedrich, one of two Germans kidnapped in southern Afghanistan on July 18, was found dead. David Beckham made his debut with the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000. (Beckham got into the exhibition game in the 78th minute of Chelsea's 1-0 victory.) "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final volume of the wizard series by J.K. Rowling, went on sale.
Today's Birthdays: Singer Kay Starr is 86. Movie director Norman Jewison is 82. Actor Paul Burke is 82. Former Attorney General Janet Reno is 70. Actress Patricia Elliott is 66. Actor David Downing is 65. Actor Edward Herrmann is 65. Actor Leigh Lawson is 63. Actor Wendell Burton is 61. Actor Art Hindle is 60. Singer Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is 60. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 60. Comedian-actor Robin Williams is 57. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 55. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 51. Actor Lance Guest is 48. Actor Matt Mulhern is 48. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 45. Rock musician Koen Lieckens (K's Choice) is 42. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 39. Country singer Paul Brandt is 36. Actress Ali Landry is 35. Actor Josh Hartnett is 30. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 30. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 30. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 30. Singer Blake Lewis ("American Idol") is 27. Actress Vanessa Lengies is 23. Actor Jamie Waylett ("Harry Potter" films) is 19.
Thought for Today: "This is the final test of a gentleman: His respect for those who can be of no possible service to him." _ William Lyon Phelps, American educator (1865-1943).