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Today in history: July 5

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, July 5, the 186th day of 2006. There are 179 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Sixty years ago, on July 5, 1946, the bikini bathing suit made its debut during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris. Micheline Bernardini, a local nude dancer, modeled the skimpy two-piece outfit designed by Louis Reard.

On this date:
In 1811, Venezuela became the first South American country to declare independence from Spain.

In 1830, the French occupied the North African city of Algiers.

In 1865, William Booth founded the Salvation Army in London.

In 1935, President Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act, which provided for a National Labor Relations Board, and authorized labor to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining.

In 1940, during World War II, Britain and the Vichy government in France broke diplomatic relations.

In 1947, Larry Doby signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first black player in the American League.

In 1954, Elvis Presley’s first commercial recording session took place at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn.; the song he recorded was “That’s All Right (Mama).”

In 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win a Wimbledon singles title as he defeated Jimmy Connors.

In 1975, the Cape Verde Islands officially became independent after 500 years of Portuguese rule.

In 1991, a worldwide financial scandal erupted as regulators in eight countries shut down the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

Ten years ago: The government reported the nation’s unemployment rate fell to a six-year low in June 1996; nervous investors, fearing higher interest rates, gave the stock market its worst beating in four months, sending the Dow industrials down 114 points.

Five years ago: President Bush named veteran prosecutor Robert Mueller to take over the FBI.

One year ago: President Bush thanked Iraq war ally Denmark during a stopover in Copenhagen while en route to an international economic summit in Scotland. Tropical Storm Cindy moved ashore, pelting the Louisiana coast with sideways rain and intermittent squalls. Retired Vice Admiral and war hero James Stockdale, Ross Perot’s 1992 presidential running mate, died in Coronado, Calif., at age 81.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Katherine Helmond is 72. Actress Shirley Knight is 70. Singer-musician Robbie Robertson is 63. Julie Nixon Eisenhower is 58. Rock star Huey Lewis is 56. Baseball pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage is 55. Country musician Charles Ventre (River Road) is 54. Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn is 47. Actress Edie Falco (“The Sopranos”) is 43. Rapper RZA is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Joe is 33. Rock musician Bengt Lagerberg (The Cardigans) is 33. Actor Dale Godboldo is 31. Rock singer Jason Wade (Lifehouse) is 26.

Thought for Today: “To wish to act like angels while we are still in this world is nothing but folly.” — St. Theresa of Avila, Spanish Carmelite nun (1515-1582).