Today in History — July 15

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, July 15, the 196th day of 2007. There are 169 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon startled the country by announcing he would visit the People’s Republic of China.

On this date:

In 1606, Dutch painter Rembrandt was born in Leiden, Netherlands.

In 1870, Georgia became the last Confederate state readmitted to the Union.

In 1870, Manitoba entered confederation as the fifth Canadian province.

In 1916, Boeing Co., originally known as Pacific Aero Products, was founded in Seattle.

In 1948, President Harry Truman was nominated for another term of office by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

In 1964, Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona was nominated for president by the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

In 1965, U.S. scientists displayed close-up photographs of the planet Mars taken by Mariner 4.

In 1976, a 36-hour kidnap ordeal began for 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver as they were abducted near Chowchilla, Calif., by three gunmen and imprisoned in an underground cell. (The captives escaped unharmed.)

In 1979, President Carter delivered his “malaise” speech in which he lamented what he called a “crisis of confidence” in America.

In 1985, a gaunt-looking Rock Hudson appeared at a news conference with actress Doris Day (it was later revealed Hudson was suffering from AIDS).

Ten years ago: Fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot dead outside his Miami home; suspected gunman Andrew Phillip Cunanan was found dead eight days later.

Five years ago: John Walker Lindh, an American who had fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty to two felonies in a deal sparing him life in prison. A Pakistani judge convicted four Islamic militants in the kidnap-slaying of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl. Five-year-old Samantha Runnion was kidnapped from an apartment complex in Stanton, Calif. (Her body was found the next day; a suspect, Alejandro Avila, was later convicted).

One year ago: The U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea’s missile tests and imposed limited sanctions; a defiant North said it would launch more missiles. In a chilly prelude to a Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg, President Bush blocked Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Gunmen in Baghdad kidnapped the chairman of Iraq’s Olympic committee and at least 30 others. The space shuttle Discovery undocked from the international space station.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Philip Carey is 82. Author Clive Cussler is 76. Actor Alex Karras is 72. Actor Ken Kercheval is 72. Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, is 71. Actor Patrick Wayne is 68. Actor Jan-Michael Vincent is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer Millie Jackson is 63. Rock singer-musician Peter Lewis (Moby Grape) is 62. Singer Linda Ronstadt is 61. Rock musician Artimus Pyle is 59. Actor Terry O’Quinn is 55. Rock musician Marky Ramone is 51. Rock musician Joe Satriani is 51. Country singer-songwriter Mac McAnally is 50. Model Kim Alexis is 47. Actor Willie Aames is 47. Actor-director Forest Whitaker is 46. Actress Lolita Davidovich is

46. Actress Brigitte Nielsen is 44. Actor Kristoff St. John is 41. Rock musician Phillip Fisher is 40. Actor-comedian Eddie Griffin is

39. Actor Stan Kirsch is 39. Actor Reggie Hayes is 38. Rock musician John Dolmayan is 35. Actor Scott Foley is 35. Actor Brian Austin Green is 34. Rapper Jim Jones is 31. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kia Thornton (Divine) is 26.

Thought for Today: “Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone — but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.” — Bette Davis, American actress (1908-1989).