Today In History

Today is Friday, July 12, the 193rd day of 2013. There are 172 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1856 – American adventurer William Walker declares himself president of Nicaragua, a position he holds for about a year before being forced out by neighboring states.

1869 – Parliamentary system is adopted by Napoleon III of France.

1902 – Australia’s Parliament passes Immigration Restriction Act to stop non-European immigration, and gives women right to vote.

1941 – British-Soviet mutual aid pact of World War II is signed.

1957 – Prince Karim, 20-year-old student at Harvard University, becomes Aga Khan and leader of 20 million Ismaili Muslims following the death of his grandfather.

1960 – France agrees to independence of Dahomey, Niger, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast, Chad, Central Africa and the Congo.

1967 – Chinese Communist mobs in Hong Kong wreck government building and attack police in most violent of four days of anti-British rioting.

1971 – Orangemen in Northern Ireland march in city streets to celebrate half century of Protestant rule.

1973 – U.S. pilots fly heavy air strikes against Cambodian insurgents as fighting is reported south and west of Phnom Penh.

1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter says he favors development of neutron bomb because of its less destructive effect.

1983 – Britain and China begin formal yearlong negotiations in Beijing on the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty.

1990 – Boris Yeltsin resigns from the Soviet Union’s Communist Party during the 28th meeting of the Party Congress.

1991 – The five permanent members of U.N. Security Council tell Iraq’s ambassador his country must swiftly disclose extent of its nuclear program or face serious consequences.

1994 – Germany’s highest court clears the way for German forces to take part in military operations beyond the country’s borders, reversing a post-World War II strategy intended to keep the country from becoming a threat.

1995 – Bosnian Serbs separate men from women and children among the captured after the fall of Srebrenica and take over the U.N. base that was supposed to protect them.

1997 – Basque separatists in Spain shoot hostage Miguel Angel Blanco in the head and dump his body. The murder sets off days of protests, some of more than a million people, against separatist violence.

1998 – Three young Catholic boys burn to death in a sectarian attack in Northern Ireland.

1999 – The 52-member Organization of African Unity begins a conference in Algeria to address African problems ranging from a dlrs 220 billion debt to civil conflicts.

2000 – The long-delayed International Space Station’s service module is lifted off into orbit.

2001 – Bulgaria’s former king, Simeon II, is named prime minister.

2002 – U.N. Security Council approves a resolution that grants U.S. peacekeepers serving in U.N. missions immunity from prosecution by the International Criminal Court, for at least a year.

2003 – Salamat Hashim, the leader of the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front, dies. The group had been fighting to establish a breakaway Islamic state in the southern Philippines.

2004 – Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asks the opposition Labor Party to join his coalition — an alliance that would strongly boost chances for an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

2005 – Prince Albert II of Monaco accedes to the throne of a 700-year-old dynasty, a bachelor prince coming into his own as a retiring but modern ruler.

2006 – Dozens of attacks against police and civilians leave five people dead in Sao Paulo. Authorities suspect they were ordered by one of Brazil’s most notorious organized crime groups.

2007 – French First Lady Cecilia Sarkozy visits five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death in Libya for allegedly infecting hundreds of children with HIV. The diplomatic efforts of Cecilia and husband Nicolas Sarkozy eventually win their release.

2008 – North Korea agrees to disable its main reactor by the end of October and allow international inspections to verify its nuclear disarmament.

2009 – President Barack Obama gets a rapturous reception in Ghana from Africans overjoyed at the visit of America’s first black president to a country south of the Sahara.

2010 – In a stunning ruling, film director Roman Polanski is declared a free man, no longer confined to house arrest in his Alpine villa after Swiss authorities reject a U.S, request for his extradition because of a 32-year-old sex conviction.

2011 – The powerful half-brother of President Hamid Karzai is gunned down in his heavily fortified home by a close associate, setting off a power struggle in southern Afghanistan and raising doubts about stability in a critical area for the U.S.-led war effort.

2012 – The White House asks Iraq to hand over a Hezbollah commander who was accused of masterminding a 2007 attack that killed five American soldiers, though two Iraqi courts have declared him not guilty.

Today’s Birthdays:

Hipolito Yrigoyen, first democratically elected president of Argentina (1852-1933); Elijah Wedgewood, British pottery maker (1730-1795); Henry David Thoreau, U.S. author-naturalist (1817-1862); George Eastman, U.S. inventor (1854-1932); Amedeo Modigliani, Italian artist (1884-1920); Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet and Nobel laureate (1904-1973); Van Cliburn, U.S. pianist (1934–2013); Bill Cosby, U.S. actor-comedian (1937–); Cheryl Ladd, U.S. actress (1951–).

Thought For Today:

No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities — Christian Nestell Bovee, American author (1820-1904).

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