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July 30, 2014

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 30, 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces tried to take Petersburg, Virginia, by exploding a gunpowder-laden mine shaft that had been dug out beneath Confederate defense lines; the attack failed.

On this date:

  • In 1729, Baltimore, Maryland, was founded.
  • In 1918, poet Joyce Kilmer, a sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment, was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I. (Kilmer is perhaps best remembered for his poem "Trees.")
  • In 1932, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.
  • In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill creating a women's auxiliary agency in the Navy known as "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service" — WAVES for short.
  • In 1945, the Portland class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during World War II; only 316 out of some 1,200 men survived.
  • In 1953, the Small Business Administration was founded.
  • In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure making "In God We Trust" the national motto, replacing "E Pluribus Unum" ("Out of many, one").
  • In 1963, the Soviet Union announced it had granted political asylum to Harold "Kim" Philby, the "third man" of a British spy ring.
  • In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Medicare bill, which went into effect the following year.
  • In 1975, former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in suburban Detroit; although presumed dead, his remains have never been found.
  • In 1980, Israel's Knesset passed a law reaffirming all of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
  • In 1990, British Conservative Party lawmaker Ian Gow was killed in a bombing claimed by the Irish Republican Army.

Ten years ago: Leaders of the September 11 commission urged senators to embrace their proposals for massive changes to the nation's intelligence structure, warning that failure to act would leave America vulnerable to another devastating terrorist attack. Mike Tyson was knocked out in the fourth round of a fight in Louisville, Kentucky, by British heavyweight Danny Williams.

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