updated 7/20/2007 12:19:07 AM ET 2007-07-20T04:19:07

BC-History-July 20,0532

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 20, the 201st day of 2007. There are 164 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon as they stepped out of their lunar module.

On this date:

In 1810, Colombia declared independence from Spain.

In 1861, the Congress of the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, Va.

In 1871, British Columbia entered Confederation as a Canadian province.

In 1917, the draft lottery in World War I went into operation.

In 1944, an attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb failed as the explosion at Hitler’s Rastenburg headquarters only wounded the Nazi leader.

In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

In 1976, America’s Viking I robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars.

In 1977, a flash flood hit Johnstown, Pa., killing more than 80 people and causing $350 million in damage.

In 1977, the U.N. Security Council voted to admit Vietnam to the world body.

In 1982, Irish Republican Army bombs exploded in two London parks, killing eight British soldiers, along with seven horses belonging to the Queen’s Household Cavalry.

Ten years ago: Seven people were arrested after New York City police found scores of deaf Mexicans who were being kept in slave-like conditions and forced to peddle trinkets for the smugglers who had brought them to the U.S.

Five years ago: Twenty-nine people died in a blaze started by bartenders who were doing tricks with fire at Utopia, an unlicensed night club in Lima, Peru.

One year ago: President Bush, addressing the NAACP, said he knew racism existed in America and that many black voters distrusted his Republican Party; Bush promised to improve the GOP’s rocky relations with blacks. The Senate voted 98-0 to renew the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act for another quarter-century.

Today’s Birthdays: Mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary is 88. Actress-singer Sally Ann Howes is 77. Rockabilly singer Sleepy LaBeef is 72. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., is 71. Actress Diana Rigg is 69. Rock musician John Lodge (The Moody Blues) is 64. Country singer T.G. Sheppard is 63. Singer Kim Carnes is 61. Rock musician Carlos Santana is 60. Rock musician Paul Cook (The Sex Pistols) is 51. Actress Donna Dixon is 50. Country singer Radney Foster is 48. Actor Frank Whaley is 44. Rock singer Chris Cornell is 43. Rock musician Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) is 41. Actor Reed Diamond is 40. Actor Josh Holloway (“Lost”) is 38. Singer Vitamin C is 38. Actor Simon Rex is 33. Actress Judy Greer is 32. Actor Charlie Korsmo is 29. Actor John Francis Daley is 22. Actress Billi Bruno is 11.

Thought for Today: “We may well go to the moon, but that’s not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us.” — Charles de Gaulle, French statesman (1890-1970).

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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