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Originally published Monday, July 20, 2009 at 12:11 PM

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Today in History

Today is Wednesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2009. There are 155 days left in the year.

Today is Wednesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2009. There are 155 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.

On this date:

In 1030, the patron saint of Norway, King Olaf II, was killed in battle.

In 1588, the English attacked the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines, resulting in an English victory.

In 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh, 37, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.

In 1900, Italian King Humbert I was assassinated by an anarchist; he was succeeded by his son, Victor Emmanuel III.

In 1914, transcontinental telephone service began with the first test phone conversation between New York and San Francisco.

In 1948, Britain's King George VI opened the Olympic Games in London.

In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established. Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC's "Tonight Show."

In 1967, an accidental rocket launch aboard the supercarrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin resulted in a fire and explosions that killed 134 servicemen.

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In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford became the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland as he paid tribute to the victims.

In 1981, Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)

Ten years ago: A day trader, apparently upset over stock losses, opened fire in two Atlanta brokerage offices, killing nine people and wounding 13 before shooting himself to death; authorities say Mark O. Barton also killed his wife and two children. California Gov. Gray Davis abandoned the state's effort to preserve Proposition 187, a divisive voter-approved ban on schooling and other public benefits for illegal immigrants.

Five years ago: Sen. John Kerry accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in Boston with a military salute and the declaration: "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty."

One year ago: Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was indicted on seven felony counts of concealing more than a quarter of a million dollars in house renovations and gifts from a powerful oil contractor. (A jury later found the longtime Republican lawmaker guilty of lying on financial disclosure forms, but a judge subsequently dismissed the case, saying prosecutors had withheld evidence.) Disgraced ex-NBA official Tim Donaghy admitted that he'd brought shame on his profession as a federal judge sentenced him to 15 months behind bars for a gambling scandal. Army scientist Bruce E. Ivins, 62, named as a top suspect in anthrax mailing attacks in 2001, died at a hospital in Frederick, Md., after deliberately overdosing on Tylenol.

Today's Birthdays: Comedian "Professor" Irwin Corey is 95. Actor Robert Horton is 85. Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, R-Kan., is 77. Actor Robert Fuller is 75. Former Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole, R-N.C., is 73. Actor David Warner is 68. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 63. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 60. Actor Mike Starr is 59. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 56. Style guru Tim Gunn (TV: "Project Runway") is 56. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 56. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 56. Actress Alexandra Paul is 46. Country singer Martina McBride is 43. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 42. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 41. Actor Tim Omundson is 40. Actor Wil Wheaton is 37. R&B singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 36. Country singer-songwriter James Otto is 36. Actor Stephen Dorff is 36. Actor Josh Radnor is 35. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 32. Actress Rachel Miner is 29. Actress Allison Mack is 27. Actor Matt Prokop is 19.

Thought for Today: "An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it." - Don Marquis, American journalist-author (born this date in 1878, died 1937).

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