updated 7/30/2007 12:19:17 AM ET 2007-07-30T04:19:17

BC-History-July 29,0623

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, July 29, the 210th day of 2007. There are 155 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 29, 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a resplendent ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)

On this date:

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.

In 1957, Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created NASA.

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. (One survivor was Navy Lt. Cmdr. John McCain, now a U.S. senator.)

In 1980, a state funeral was held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60.

Ten years ago: Members of Congress from both parties embraced compromise legislation designed to balance the budget while cutting taxes. Minamata Bay, Japan, once a worldwide symbol of industrial pollution, was declared free of mercury 40 years after contaminated food fish were blamed for deaths and birth defects.

Five years ago: In Afghanistan, a man identified by authorities as a would-be suicide bomber with more than a half-ton of explosives in his car was stopped by a chance traffic accident just 300 yards from the U.S. Embassy. A visibly exhausted Pope John Paul II greeted thousands of Roman Catholic faithful as he arrived in Guatemala City. An Amtrak train derailed outside Washington, injuring more than 100 people.

One year ago: The U.S. command announced it was sending 3,700 troops to Baghdad to try to quell sectarian violence sweeping the Iraqi capital. Actor-director Mel Gibson issued a lengthy statement apologizing for his drunken-driving arrest and for what he called his “despicable” statements toward the deputies who arrested him in Malibu, Calif.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Professor Irwin Corey is 93. Actor Robert Horton is 83. Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, R-Kan., is

75. Actor Robert Fuller is 73. Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole, R-N.C., is

71. Actor David Warner is 66. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 61. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 58. Actor Mike Starr is 57. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 54. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 54. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 54. Actress Alexandra Paul is 44. Country singer Martina McBride is 41. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 40. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 39. Actor Wil Wheaton is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 34. Actor Stephen Dorff is 34. Actor Josh Radnor is 33. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 30. Actress Allison Mack is 25.

Thought for Today: “I do not know which makes a man more conservative — to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.” — John Maynard Keynes, English economist (1883-1946).

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

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