This Day in History — July 16

Monday, July 16, 2018

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Today is the 197th day of 2018. There are 168 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1979: Saddam Hussein takes over as president of Iraq.

OTHER EVENTS

1054: Pope Leo IX delivers an excommunication to the patriarch in Constantinople. The patriarch then excommunicates the pope, resulting in the East-West Schism, where Christianity is split into Catholic and Orthodox churches.

1533: Atahualpa, king of the Inca empire, is executed on orders of conquistador Francisco Pizarro, after the Indian leader paid the Spaniard's ransom demand — one roomful of gold and two of silver.

1855: Britain's Parliament establishes responsible government throughout Australian states, except for Western Australia.

1921: Greek forces defeat Turks at Kutania in Turkey.

1925: First elected parliament in Iraq opens in Baghdad.

1940: Hitler gives orders to prepare the invasion of Britain.

1941: German forces pierce Soviet Stalin Line and take Smolensk.

1945: First atomic bomb is exploded by the United States over desert in New Mexico, heralding start of atomic age.

1949: Chinese Nationalists organise Supreme Council under Chiang Kai-Shek which begins to move forces to Taiwan.

1951: Belgium's King Leopold III abdicates and is succeeded by his son Baudouin.

1966: India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ends visit to Moscow with promise of $1 billion in Soviet aid for her country.

1969: US Apollo 11 spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to land first men on Moon.

1991: US tentatively decides to give up Clark Air Base in Philippines after the base is damaged in volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo earlier in the year.

1993: The Republic of Congo's democratically elected government imposes a 15-day state of emergency to put down an armed rebellion in the capital by the former military dictator.

1994: The first fragment from comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashes into Jupiter, creating a 1,930-kilometre-wide (1,200-mile wide) fireball.

1995: Four months after they strayed across the border into Iraq, two Americans are released from their maximum-security prison.

1996: In Kiev, Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko narrowly escapes an assassination attempt when a bomb explodes near his motorcade.

1997: Parliament of the Yugoslav Federation elects Slobodan Milosevic as president in a hastily organised vote condemned by opposition parties.

1998: The United Nations says it is pulling its human rights mission out of Rwanda after it failed to reach an agreement with the government on a new mandate.

1999: A plane piloted by John F Kennedy Jr, son of the late president, disappears over the sea north of Long Island, New York. The plane also carried his wife and sister-in-law. The wreckage is found five days later and the bodies are recovered.

2001: Russia and China sign their first friendship treaty in more than half a century.

2002: The Provisional Irish Republican Army apologises for the deaths of noncombatants in the largely Roman Catholic paramilitary organisation's 30-year campaign to reunite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

2003: United Nations war-crimes court convicts four former officers of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an ethnic Albanian guerrilla force that clashed with government troops in the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict.

2004: Fire sweeps through a school in southern India, killing at least 80 children and injuring more than 100 others, many of them critically.

2005: Negotiators of the Free Aceh Movement and the Indonesian government reach a tentative agreement to end the long-running war in the tsunami-ravaged Aceh province.

2006: Hezbollah guerillas fire a barrage of rockets into Haifa, killing eight people in the worst attack on Israel since violence broke out a week earlier along the border with Lebanon.

2007: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes north-western Japan, causing a fire and radioactive water leak at the world's largest nuclear plant. At least eight people are killed and hundreds injured.

2008: Israel frees notorious Lebanese militant Samir Kantar and four others after Hezbollah guerrillas hand over the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.

2009: A top aide of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya says he is heading back to the country, hile thousands of his supporters block roads to demand his return to power. Honduras' interim leaders promise to arrest him if he returns.

2010: A drug cartel uses a car bomb for the first time in Mexico's decades-long fight against traffickers, setting a deadly trap against federal police in Ciudad Juarez, a city across the border from Texas.

2011: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez leaves home for Cuba to begin chemotherapy, vowing to win his fight against cancer and calling for his political allies to stay united in his absence.

2012: US Navy gunners aboard a refueling ship open fire on a small boat racing toward them in broad daylight near the Gulf city of Dubai, killing one person and injuring three.

2013: A North Korean ship carrying weapons system parts buried under sacks of sugar is seized as it tries to cross the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to its home country, which is barred by UN sanctions from importing sophisticated weapons or missiles.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Sir Joshua Reynolds, English artist (1723-1792); Camille Corot, French painter (1796-1875); Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer (1872-1928); Trygve Lie, Norwegian statesman and UN Secretary-General (1896-1968); Ginger Rogers, US actress (1911-1995); Corin Redgrave, British actor (1939-2010); Michael Flatley, Irish dancer, ex-Lord of the Dance (1958- ); Will Ferrell, US actor (1967- )

— AP

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