Today's Highlight in History:
On July 27, 1940, Bugs Bunny made his "official" debut in the Warner Bros. animated cartoon "A Wild Hare." Billboard magazine published its first "music popularity chart" listing best-selling retail records (in first place was "I'll Never Smile Again" recorded by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, with featured vocalist Frank Sinatra).
On this date:
In 1789, President George Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.
In 1861, Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan took command of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.
In 1921, Canadian researcher Frederick Banting and his assistant, Charles Best, succeeded in isolating the hormone insulin at the University of Toronto.
In 1953, the Korean War armistice was signed at Panmunjom, ending three years of fighting.
In 1960, Vice President Richard M. Nixon was nominated for president on the first ballot at the Republican national convention in Chicago.
In 1965, Shirley Ann Lawson of Auckland gave birth to four girls and a boy, the first quintuplets born in New Zealand.
In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of urban rioting, the same day black militant H. Rap Brown said in Washington that violence was "as American as cherry pie."
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to adopt the first of three articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon.
In 1980, on day 267 of the Iranian hostage crisis, the deposed Shah of Iran died at a military hospital outside Cairo, Egypt, at age 60.
In 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington by President Bill Clinton and South Korean President Kim Young-sam.
In 1996, terror struck the Atlanta Olympics as a pipe bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park, directly killing one person and injuring 111. (Anti-government extremist Eric Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing.)
In 2003, comedian Bob Hope died in Toluca Lake, California, at age 100.
Ten years ago: NASA said a sizable chunk of foam insulation came flying off the shuttle Discovery's fuel bank during liftoff, prompting the space agency to ground future shuttle flights until the problem could be fixed. Al-Qaida in Iraq said it had killed two kidnapped Algerian diplomats. Ahmed Ressam (AH'-med rehs-AHM'), an Algerian who'd plotted to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the millennium, was sentenced to 22 years in prison by a federal judge in Seattle. (However, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in February 2010 that the 22-year sentence was too lenient; Ressam was later resentenced to 37 years.)
Five years ago: BP announced that its much-criticized chief executive, Tony Hayward, would be replaced by Robert Dudley as the company reported a record quarterly loss and set aside $32.2 billion to cover the costs of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Canadian character actor Maury Chaykin died in Toronto on his 61st birthday.
One year ago: Italy's Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France, becoming the first Italian to win cycling's greatest race in 16 years. Bernhard Langer ran away with the Senior British Open for his fourth senior major title, finishing a Champions Tour-record 13 strokes ahead of Scotland's Colin Montgomerie. Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, were inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame.
Today's Birthdays: TV producer Norman Lear is 93. Actor Jerry Van Dyke is 84. Sportscaster Irv Cross is 76. Actor John Pleshette is 73. Singer Bobbie Gentry is 71. Actress-director Betty Thomas is 68. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 67. Singer Maureen McGovern is 66. Actress Janet Eilber is 64. Rock musician Tris Imboden (Chicago) is 64. Actress Roxanne Hart is 61. Country musician Duncan Cameron is 59. Comedian-actress-writer Carol Leifer is 59. Comedian Bill Engvall is 58. Jazz singer Karrin Allyson is 53. Country singer Stacy Dean Campbell is 48. Rock singer Juliana Hatfield is 48. Actor Julian McMahon is 47. Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is 45. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 43. Rock musician Abe Cunningham is 42. Singer-songwriter Pete Yorn is 41. MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez is 40. Actor Seamus Dever is 39. Actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers is 38. Actor Blair Redford is 32. Actress Taylor Schilling is 31. Singer Cheyenne Kimball is 25
Thought for Today: "The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority." — Ralph W. Sockman, American clergyman (1889-1970).