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Today in history: July 27

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 27th, the 208th day of 2006. There are 157 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History
On July 27th, 1789, Congress established the Department of Foreign Affairs, the forerunner of the Department of State.

On this date
In 1794, French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre was overthrown and placed under arrest; he was executed the following day.

In 1861, Union General George B. McClellan was put in command of the Army of the Potomac.

In 1866, Cyrus W. Field finally succeeded, after two failures, in laying the first underwater telegraph cable between North America and Europe.

In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.

In 1960, Vice President Nixon was nominated for president at the Republican national convention in Chicago.

In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-to-eleven to recommend President Nixon’s impeachment on a charge that he had personally engaged in a “course of conduct” designed to obstruct justice in the Watergate case.

In 1976, Air Force veteran Ray Brennan became the first person to die of so-called “Legionnaire’s Disease” following an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.

In 1980, on day 267 of the Iranian hostage crisis, the deposed Shah of Iran died at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt, at age 60.

In 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington by President Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam.

In 2003, comedian Bob Hope died in Toluca Lake, California, at age 100.

Ten years ago: Terror struck the Atlanta Olympics as a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, killing one person and injuring 111. (Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing.) American Gail Devers won the women’s 100-meter dash.

Five years ago: A judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, sentenced 14-year-old Nathaniel Brazill to 28 years in prison for fatally shooting teacher Barry Grunow at Lake Worth Middle School.

One year ago: NASA said a sizable chunk of foam insulation came flying off the shuttle Discovery’s fuel bank during liftoff, prompting the space agency to ground future shuttle flights until the problem could be fixed. Iraq’s most feared terror group said it had killed two kidnapped Algerian diplomats. Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who’d plotted to bomb the Los Angeles airport on the eve of the millennium, was sentenced to 22 years in prison by a judge in Seattle. India’s financial capital, Bombay, was paralyzed by the strongest rains ever recorded in the nation.

Today’s Birthdays: TV producer Norman Lear is 84. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harvey Fuqua (FYOO’-kwah) is 77. Actor Jerry Van Dyke is 75. Sportscaster Irv Cross is 67. Actor John Pleshette is 64. Singer Bobbie Gentry is 62. Actress-director Betty Thomas is 58. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 58. Actor Maury Chaykin is 57. Singer Maureen McGovern is 57. Actress Janet Eilber is 55. Actress Roxanne Hart is 54. Country musician Duncan Cameron (Sawyer Brown) is 50. Comedian Bill Engvall is 49. Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 44. Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 39. Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 39. Actor Julian McMahon is 38. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 34. Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 32. Actor Jonathan Rhys (rees) Meyers is 29.

Thought for Today:

“The sentimentalist ages far more quickly than the person who loves his work and enjoys new challenges.” --Lillie Langtry, English actress (1853-1929).