Today is Wednesday, July 6, the 187th day of 2011. There are 178 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 6, 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order establishing the Medal of Freedom.
On this date:
In 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga.
In 1809, French troops arrested Pope Pius VII, who had excommunicated Emperor Napoleon I; the pope was confined for about five years.
In 1885, French scientist Louis Pasteur tested an anti-rabies vaccine on 9-year-old Joseph Meister, who had been bitten by an infected dog; the boy did not develop rabies.
In 1917, during World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba (AH'-kah-buh) from the Turks.
In 1928, the first all-talking feature, "Lights of New York," had its gala premiere in New York.
In 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Conn.
In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title as she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2.
In 1971, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong died in New York at age 69.
In 1988, 167 North Sea oil workers were killed when a series of explosions and fires destroyed a drilling platform.
In 1989, the U.S. Army destroyed its last Pershing 1A missiles at an ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas, under terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Ten years ago: Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen pleaded guilty to 15 criminal counts and agreed to give a full accounting of his spying activities for Moscow. The United States turned over to Japanese authorities an American serviceman accused of raping an Okinawan woman. (Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy Woodland was convicted of rape and sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.) Eight-year-old Jessie Arbogast was badly injured in a shark attack near Pensacola, Fla.
Five years ago: The space shuttle Discovery docked with the international space station, bringing with it European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, who began a 6-month stay aboard the station. Election officials declared Felipe Calderon winner of the official count in Mexico's disputed presidential race over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who blamed fraud for his narrow loss. Magazine publisher Ralph Ginzburg, who was at the center of two First Amendment battles in the 1960s and served eight months in federal prison for obscenity, died in New York at age 76.
One year ago: Queen Elizabeth II addressed the United Nations for the first time since 1957 during her first New York visit in over 30 years; she then laid a wreath at ground zero. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed talk of a rift at a White House meeting. The Obama administration filed suit in Phoenix to block Arizona's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law. Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in a residential substance-abuse program for violating her probation stemming from two separate 2007 cases of driving under the influence of cocaine and alcohol. (Lohan ended up serving 14 days behind bars and was released on Aug. 2.)
Today's Birthdays: Former first lady Nancy Reagan is 90. Actor William Schallert is 89. Singer-actress Della Reese is 80. The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, is 76. Actor Ned Beatty is 74. Singer Gene Chandler is 71. Country singer Jeannie Seely is 71. Actor Burt Ward is 66. Former President George W. Bush is 65. Actor-director Sylvester Stallone is 65. Actor Fred Dryer is 65. Actress Shelley Hack is 64. Actress Nathalie Baye is 63. Actress Allyce Beasley is 60. Actor Geoffrey Rush is 60. Rock musician John Bazz (The Blasters) is 59. Actor Grant Goodeve is 59. Country singer Nanci Griffith is 58. Jazz musician Rick Braun is 56. Country musician John Jorgenson is 55. Former first daughter Susan Ford Bales is 54. Hockey player and coach Ron Duguay is 54. Rock musician John Keeble (Spandau Ballet) is 52. Actor Brian Posehn is 45. Rapper Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) is 41. Rapper 50 Cent is 36. Actress Tia Mowry is 33. Actress Tamera Mowry is 33. Actress Eva Green is 31. Actor Gregory Smith is 28. Rock singer Kate Nash is 24. Actor Jeremy Suarez is 21.
Thought for Today: "Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently." -- Rosa Luxemburg, Polish-German revolutionary (1871-1919).
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)