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Today in history: July 29

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

Today is Saturday, July 29th, the 210th day of 2006. There are 155 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History
Twenty-five years ago, on July 29th, 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 soundly defeated the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines.

In 1856, 150 years ago, German composer Robert Schumann died in Bonn at age 46.

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

In 1900, Italian King Humbert the First was assassinated by an anarchist; he was succeeded by his son, Victor Emmanuel the Third.

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

In 1948, Britain’s King George the Sixth opened the Olympic Games in London.

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

In 1967, fire swept the U-S-S Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin, killing 134 servicemen.

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.

In 1986, a federal jury in New York found that the National Football League had committed an antitrust violation against the rival United States Football League. But in a hollow victory for the U-S-F-L, the jury ordered the N-F-L to pay token damages of only three dollars.

Ten years ago: China detonated a nuclear test explosion that it promised would be its last, just hours before international negotiators in Geneva began discussing a global ban on such testing. At the Atlanta Olympics, Carl Lewis won the gold medal in the long jump, becoming only the fifth Olympian to win gold medals in four straight games. Michael Johnson won the 400-meter dash, Allen Johnson the 110-meter hurdles.

Five years ago: In a nonbinding referendum, residents of Vieques voted overwhelmingly for the U-S Navy to immediately stop bombing on the Puerto Rican island. Lance Armstrong won his third straight Tour de France, becoming the first American to do so. Former Polish communist ruler Edward Gierek died at age 88.

One year ago: The U-N Security Council unanimously adopted a U-S-sponsored resolution expanding U-N sanctions against al-Qaida terrorists and Afghanistan’s former Taliban rulers to affiliates and splinter groups. Cabaret singer Hildegarde, whose career spanned almost seven decades, died in New York at age 99.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Professor Irwin Corey is 92. Actor Robert Horton is 82. Former Senator Nancy Kassebaum-Baker (Republican, Kansas) is 74. Senator Elizabeth H. Dole (Republican, North Carolina) is 70. Actor David Warner is 65. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 60. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 57. Actor Mike Starr is 56. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 53. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 53. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 53. Actress Alexandra Paul is 43. Country singer Martina McBride is 40. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 39. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 38. Actor Wil Wheaton is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 33. Actor Stephen Dorff is 33. Actress Allison Mack (“Smallville”) is 24.

Thought for Today:

“Charity looks at the need and not at the cause.” -- German proverb.