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Today in history: July 14

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

Today is Thursday, July 14, the 195th day of 2005. There are 170 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 14, 1789, during the French Revolution, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison and released the seven prisoners inside.

On this date:
In 1798, Congress passed the Sedition Act, making it a federal crime to publish false, scandalous or malicious writing about the United States government.

In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry relayed to Japanese officials a letter from former President Fillmore, requesting trade relations.

In 1881, outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., alias Billy the Kid, was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, N.M.

In 1933, all German political parties, except the Nazi Party, were outlawed.

In 1958, the army of Iraq overthrew the monarchy.

In 1965, the American space probe Mariner 4 flew by Mars, sending back photographs of the planet.

In 1965, U.S. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. died in London at age 65.

In 1966, eight student nurses were murdered by Richard Speck in a Chicago dormitory.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter won the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s convention in New York.

In 1978, Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky was convicted of treasonous espionage and anti-Soviet agitation, and sentenced to 13 years at hard labor. (Sharansky was released in 1986.)

Ten years ago: Under pressure from Congress, FBI Director Louis Freeh removed his friend Larry Potts as the bureau’s deputy director because of controversy over Potts’ role in a deadly 1992 FBI siege in Idaho.

Five years ago: A Florida jury ordered five major tobacco companies to pay smokers a record $145 billion in punitive damages. (However, in 2003, a state appeals court reversed not only the award but also the class action unifying hundreds of thousands of sick Florida smokers under a single lawsuit; the Florida Supreme Court agreed in May 2004 to review that decision.) The 13th International AIDS Conference came to a close in Durban, South Africa. Actress Meredith MacRae of TV’s “Petticoat Junction” died in Manhattan Beach, Calif., at age 56.

One year ago: The Senate scuttled a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (48 senators voted to advance the measure — 12 short of the 60 needed — and 50 voted to block it). In Iraq, a suicide attacker detonated a massive car bomb at a checkpoint near the British Embassy and the interim government’s headquarters in Baghdad, killing 11 people; the governor of Mosul was killed in attack on his convoy.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Gloria Stuart is 95. Former President Gerald R. Ford is 92. Movie and stage director Ingmar Bergman is 87. Actor Dale Robertson is 82. Actor Harry Dean Stanton is 79. Actress Nancy Olson is 77. Actress Polly Bergen is 75. Former football player Rosey Grier is 73. Country singer Del Reeves is 73. Actor Jerry Houser is 53. Actor-director Eric Laneuville is 53. Actor Stan Shaw is 53. Movie producer Scott Rudin is 47. Country musician Ray Herndon (McBride and the Ride) is 45. Actor Jackie Earle Haley is 44. Actor Matthew Fox is 39. Rock musician Ellen Reid (Crash Test Dummies) is 39. Rock singer-musician Tonya Donelly is 39. Actress Missy Gold is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tameka Cottle (Xscape) is 30. Hip-hop musician taboo (Black Eyed Peas) is 30.

Thought for Today: “There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.” — Rex Stout, American author (1886-1975).