Today is Tuesday, July 17, the 199th day of 2012. There are 167 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 17, 1862, during the Civil War, Congress approved the Second Confiscation Act, which declared that all slaves taking refuge behind Union lines were to be set free.
On this date:
In 1812, British forces captured Fort Michilimackinac on Mackinac Island during the War of 1812.
In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
In 1912, radio and television personality Art Linkletter was born Gordon Arthur Kelly in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.
In 1918, Russia's Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.
In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as right-wing army generals launched a coup attempt against the Second Spanish Republic.
In 1944, during World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California.
In 1955, Disneyland had its opening day in Anaheim, Calif.
In 1962, the United States conducted its last atmospheric nuclear test to date, detonating a 20-kiloton device, codenamed Little Feller I, at the Nevada Test Site.
In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.
In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.
In 1987, the science-fiction film "RoboCop" was released by Orion Pictures.
In 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, N.Y., shortly after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.
Ten years ago: A double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv killed two foreign workers and one Israeli. In Britain, a one-day strike by 750,000 municipal employees closed schools, libraries and recreation centers in their first national walkout in more than two decades.
Five years ago: Senate Democrats launched an all-night debate on the Iraq war. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson abruptly resigned in the wake of charges of shoddy health care for veterans injured in the Iraq war. A Brazilian passenger jet crashed while landing in Sao Paulo, Brazil, killing all 187 people aboard and 12 on the ground. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted by a federal grand jury in Richmond, Va., on charges related to competitive dogfighting. (Vick later admitted bankrolling the dogfighting operation and helping to kill six to eight dogs; he served 23 months in federal custody, the last 60 days in home confinement.) The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 14,000 for the first time before ending the day at 13,971.55.
One year ago: Japan won the Women's World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, stunning the United States 3-1 in a penalty shootout after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie. Darren Clarke gave Northern Ireland another major championship, winning the British Open by three strokes over Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.
Today's Birthdays: Comedian Phyllis Diller is 95. Jazz singer Jimmy Scott is 87. Actor Donald Sutherland is 77. Actress-singer Diahann Carroll is 77. Rock musician Spencer Davis is 70. Rock musician Terry "Geezer" Butler is 63. Actress Lucie Arnaz is 61. Actor David Hasselhoff is 60. Rock musician Fran Smith Jr. (The Hooters) is 60. Television producer Mark Burnett ("Survivor," "The Apprentice") is 52. Actress Nancy Giles is 52. Singer Regina Belle is 49. Country singer Craig Morgan is 48. Rock musician Lou Barlow is 46. Contemporary Christian singer Susan Ashton is 45. Actor Andre Royo is 44. Actress Bitty Schram is 44. Actor Jason Clarke is 43. Singer JC (PM Dawn) is 41. Rapper Sole' is 39. Country singer Luke Bryan is 36. Actor Eric Winter is 36. Hockey player Marc Savard is 35. Actor Mike Vogel is 33. Actor Brando Eaton is 26. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeremih is 25. Actress Summer Bishil (BIHSH'-ihl) is 24.
Thought for Today: "Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out." -- Art Linkletter (1912-2010).