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Today in History

Today is Sunday, July 17, the 199th day of 2016. There are 167 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800, a Europe-bound Boeing 747, exploded and crashed off Long Island, New York, shortly after departing John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people on board.

On this date:

In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

In 1918, Russia's Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as right-wing army generals launched a coup attempt against the Second Spanish Republic.

In 1944, during World War II, 320 men, two-thirds of them African-Americans, were killed when a pair of ammunition ships exploded at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California.

In 1945, following Nazi Germany's surrender, President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II.

In 1955, Disneyland had its opening day in Anaheim, California.

In 1962, the United States conducted its last atmospheric nuclear test to date, detonating a 20-kiloton device, codenamed Little Feller I, at the Nevada Test Site.

In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.

In 1981, 114 people were killed when a pair of suspended walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a tea dance.

In 1998, Nicholas II, last of the Romanov czars, was formally buried in Russia 80 years after he and his family were slain by the Bolsheviks.

In 2001, Katharine Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Co., died three days after suffering a head injury in Sun Valley, Idaho; she was 84.

In 2014, all 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

Ten years ago: The shuttle Discovery and its crew of six returned home safely. A powerful earthquake sent a tsunami crashing into a beach resort on Indonesia's Java island, killing at least 600 people. Mystery writer Mickey Spillane died in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, at age 88.

Five years ago: Japan won the Women's World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, stunning the United States 3-1 in a penalty shootout after coming from behind twice in a 2-2 tie. Darren Clarke gave Northern Ireland another major championship, winning the British Open by three strokes over Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.

One year ago: More than 1,000 people attended an interfaith service in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to mourn four Marines who had been shot to death at a reserve facility by a Kuwaiti-born gunman. A suicide bomber with the Islamic State group attacked a crowded marketplace in Iraq's Diyala province, killing 115 people.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Donald Sutherland is 84. Actress-singer Diahann Carroll is 81. Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor is 76. Rock musician Spencer Davis is 77. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is 69. Rock musician Terry "Geezer" Butler is 67. Actress Lucie Arnaz is 65. Actor David Hasselhoff is 64. Rock musician Fran Smith Jr. (The Hooters) is 64. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) is 62. Television producer Mark Burnett is 56. Actress Nancy Giles is 56. Singer Regina Belle is 53. Rock musician Kim Shattuck is 53. Country singer Craig Morgan is 52. Rock musician Lou Barlow is 50. Contemporary Christian singer Susan Ashton is 49. Actor Andre Royo is 48. Actress Bitty Schram is 48. Actor Jason Clarke is 47. Movie director F. Gary Gray is 47. Singer JC (PM Dawn) is 45. Rapper Sole' is 43. Country singer Luke Bryan is 40. Actor Eric Winter is 40. Hockey player Marc Savard is 39. Actor Mike Vogel is 37. Actor Tom Cullen is 31. Actor Brando Eaton is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeremih (jehr-uh-MY') is 29. Actress Summer Bishil (BIHSH'-ihl) is 28. Actress Billie Lourd is 24. Actor Leo Howard is 19.

Thought for Today: "My philosophy is to do the best you can for somebody. Help. It's not just what do you for yourself. It's how you treat people decently. The golden rule." — Art Linkletter, Canadian-born American radio and television personality (born this date in 1912, died in 2010).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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