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Today in History — July 10

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, July 10, the 191st day of 2007. There are 174 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 10, 1940, during World War II, the Battle of Britain began as Nazi forces started attacking southern England by air.

On this date:
In 1850, Vice President Millard Fillmore assumed the presidency, taking the oath of office following the death of President Zachary Taylor.

In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles to the Senate, and urged its ratification.

In 1925, the official news agency of the Soviet Union, TASS, was established.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. and British forces invaded Sicily.

In 1951, armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean conflict began at Kaesong.

In 1962, the Telstar communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

In 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent after three centuries of British colonial rule.

In 1985, bowing to pressure from irate customers, the Coca-Cola Co. said it would resume selling old-formula Coke, while continuing to sell New Coke.

In 1991, Boris N. Yeltsin took the oath of office as the first elected president of the Russian republic.

Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton, visiting Poland, told cheering Poles in Warsaw that “never again will your fate be decided by others” following his successful drive to bring Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO by 1999. Scientists in London said DNA from a Neanderthal skeleton supported a theory that all humanity descended from an “African Eve” 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

Five years ago: A unified Senate approved harsh new penalties for corporate fraud and document-shredding as part of an accounting oversight bill. The House approved, 310-113, a measure to allow airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit to defend their planes against terrorists. (President George W. Bush later signed the measure into law.)

One year ago: A Manhattan town house was leveled by an explosion; authorities say a suicidal doctor set off the blast to avoid selling it in a divorce settlement. (The doctor, Nicholas Bartha, died five days later.) A section of ceiling in Boston’s Big Dig tunnel collapsed, killing a car passenger. A Pakistani passenger plane crashed, killing all 45 people on board. Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev was killed when a dynamite-laden truck in his convoy exploded.

Today’s Birthdays: Eunice Kennedy Shriver is 86. Former boxer Jake LaMotta is 86. Writer-producer Earl Hamner Jr. is 84. Former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins is 80. Actor William Smithers is 80. Broadway composer Jerry Herman is 76. Director Ivan Passer is 74. Actor Lawrence Pressman is 68. Singer Mavis Staples is 68. Actor Mills Watson is 67. Actor Robert Pine is 66. Rock musician Jerry Miller (Moby Grape) is 64. Tennis player Virginia Wade is 62. Actor Ron Glass is 62. Actress Sue Lyon is 61. Folk singer Arlo Guthrie is 60. Country-folk singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler is 56. Rock singer Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) is 53. Banjo player Bela Fleck is 49. Country musician Shaw Wilson (BR549) is 47. Country singer-songwriter Ken Mellons is 42. Rock musician Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros) is 42. Country singer Gary LeVox (Rascal Flats) is 37. Actress Sofia Vergara is 35. Actor Adrian Grenier is 31. Actor Thomas Ian Nicholas is 27. Singer-actress Jessica Simpson is 27.

Thought for Today: “Statesmen think they make history; but history makes itself and drags the statesmen along.” — Will Rogers, American humorist (1879-1935).