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Today in History

Today is Thursday, July 21, the 203rd day of 2016. There are 163 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 21, 1861, during the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Virginia, resulting in a Confederate victory.

On this date:

In 1773, Pope Clement XIV issued an order suppressing the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. (The Society was restored by Pope Pius VII in 1814.)

In 1816, Paul Reuter (ROYT'-ur), founder of the British news agency bearing his name, was born in Kassel, Hesse, Germany.

In 1925, the so-called "Monkey Trial" ended in Dayton, Tennessee, with John T. Scopes found guilty of violating state law for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution. (The conviction was later overturned on a technicality.)

In 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration (later the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).

In 1944, American forces landed on Guam during World War II, capturing it from the Japanese some three weeks later. The Democratic national convention in Chicago nominated Sen. Harry S. Truman to be vice president.

In 1949, the U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

In 1959, the NS Savannah, the first nuclear-powered merchant ship, was christened by first lady Mamie Eisenhower at Camden, New Jersey.

In 1961, Capt. Virgil "Gus" Grissom became the second American to rocket into a sub-orbital pattern around the Earth, flying aboard the Liberty Bell 7.

In 1972, the Irish Republican Army carried out 22 bombings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing nine people and injuring 130 in what became known as "Bloody Friday."

In 1973, Israeli agents in Lillehammer, Norway, killed Ahmed Bouchikhi, a Moroccan waiter, apparently mistaking him for an official with Black September, the group that attacked Israel's delegation at the 1972 Munich Olympics and killed 11 athletes.

In 1980, draft registration began in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.

In 1996, dozens of memorial services were held across the country to remember the 230 people lost in the crash of TWA Flight 800.

Ten years ago: Israel massed tanks and troops on its northern border, called up reserves and warned civilians to flee Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon as it prepared for a ground invasion, which came the next day. Mako, the Japan-born actor who used his Oscar nomination for the 1966 film "The Sand Pebbles" to push for better roles for Asian American actors, died in Somis, California, at age 72.

Five years ago: The 30-year-old space shuttle program ended as Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after the 135th shuttle flight. Eurozone leaders agreed to a sweeping deal that would grant Greece a massive new bailout and radically reshape the currency union's rescue fund. The NFL canceled its Hall of Fame game between St. Louis and Chicago despite owners voting in favor of a tentative deal to end a lockout.

One year ago: The Defense Department said a U.S. airstrike in Syria on July 8, 2015 had killed Muhsin al-Fadhli, a key figure in the Khorasan Group, a dangerous al-Qaida offshoot. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sihk) became the 16th notable Republican contestant to enter the U.S. 2016 presidential race. A federal appeals court overturned some of the most sensational convictions that sent former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY'-uh-vitch) off to a lengthy term in prison, ruling that the Democrat did not break the law when he sought to secure a Cabinet position in President Barack Obama's administration in exchange for appointing an Obama adviser to the president's former U.S. Senate seat. After a nearly decade-long steroids prosecution, Barry Bonds emerged victorious when federal prosecutors dropped what was left of their criminal case against the career home runs leader. Author E.L. Doctorow, 84, died in New York. Actor-singer Theodore Bikel, 91, died in Los Angeles.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Kay Starr is 94. Movie director Norman Jewison is 90. Former Attorney General Janet Reno is 78. Actor David Downing is 73. Actor Leigh Lawson is 73. Actor Wendell Burton is 69. Singer Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is 68. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is 68. Actor Jamey Sheridan is 65. Rock singer-musician Eric Bazilian (The Hooters) is 63. Comedian Jon Lovitz is 59. Actor Lance Guest is 56. Actor Matt Mulhern is 56. Comedian Greg Behrendt is 53. Rock musician Koen Lieckens (K's Choice) is 50. Soccer player Brandi Chastain is 48. Rock singer Emerson Hart is 47. Rock-soul singer Michael Fitzpatrick (Fitz and the Tantrums) is 46. Actress Alysia Reiner is 46. Country singer Paul Brandt is 44. Christian rock musician Korey Cooper (Skillet) is 44. Actress Ali Landry is 43. Actor-comedian Steve Byrne is 42. Actor Justin Bartha is 38. Actor Josh Hartnett is 38. Contemporary Christian singer Brandon Heath is 38. Actress Sprague Grayden is 38. Reggae singer Damian Marley is 38. Country singer Brad Mates (Emerson Drive) is 38. MLB All-Star pitcher CC Sabathia is 36. Singer Blake Lewis ("American Idol") is 35. Rock musician Will Berman (MGMT) is 34. Rock musician Johan Carlsson (Carolina Liar) is 32. Actress Vanessa Lengies (LEHN'-jeez) is 31. Actor Rory Culkin is 27. Actor Jamie Waylett ("Harry Potter" films) is 27. Figure skater Rachael Flatt is 24.

Thought for Today: "Suspense is worse than disappointment." — Robert Burns, Scottish poet (born 1759, died this date in 1796).

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

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