Today's Highlight in History:
On July 25, 1956, the Italian liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; 51 people — 46 from the Andrea Doria, five from the Stockholm — were killed. (The Andrea Doria capsized and sank the following morning.)
On this date:
In 1866, Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army of the United States, the first officer to hold the rank.
In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel, traveling from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.
In 1918, the musical revue "The Passing Show of 1918" opened on Broadway, featuring a cast that included Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele, and the song "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles."
In 1934, Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by pro-Nazi Austrians in a failed coup attempt.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for Japan's occupation of southern Indochina.
In 1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the first underwater test of the device.
In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
In 1965, Bob Dylan drew boos from some spectators at the Newport Folk Festival as he performed with a rock band.
In 1975, the musical "A Chorus Line" opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre, beginning a run of 6,137 performances.
In 1986, movie director Vincente Minnelli, known for such musicals as "Gigi," ''An American in Paris" and "Meet Me in St. Louis," died in Los Angeles at age 83.
In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries' 46-year-old formal state of war.
In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.
Ten years ago: Israeli troops sealed off a Hezbollah stronghold and widened their control of southern Lebanon; an Israeli airstrike hit a U.N. border outpost, killing four observers. President George W. Bush was visited at the White House by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who said he and Bush agreed that training and better arming Iraqi forces as quickly as possible was central to efforts to stabilizing his country.
Five years ago: In a prime-time address to the nation, President Barack Obama made a last-ditch call for compromise on raising the government's borrowing ability before an Aug. 2 deadline; in a rebuttal, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House had been futile. The NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps voted unanimously to approve the terms of a deal to end a 4½-month lockout. Movie director Michael Cacoyannis ("Zorba the Greek") died in Athens at age 89.
One year ago: President Barack Obama, visiting Kenya, mixed blunt messages on gay rights, corruption and counterterrorism with warm reflections on his family ties during a news conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi. First lady Michelle Obama opened the Special Olympics at a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles. Cole Hamels became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs in 50 years while leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-0 win.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Barbara Harris is 81. Folk-pop singer-musician Bruce Woodley (The Seekers) is 74. Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 73. Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 65. Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 61. Model-actress Iman is 61. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley ("Curtis") is 59. Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 58. Celebrity chef/TV personality Geoffrey Zakarian (TV: "Cooks vs Cons" ''The Kitchen" ''Chopped" ''Iron Chef") is 57. Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 55. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 55. Actress Illeana Douglas is 51. Country singer Marty Brown is 51. Actor Matt LeBlanc is 49. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 49. Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (Apocalyptica) is 48. Actor D.B. Woodside is 47. Actress Miriam Shor is 45. Actor David Denman is 43. Actor Jay R. Ferguson is 42. Actor James Lafferty is 31. Actress Shantel VanSanten is 31. Actor Michael Welch is 29. Actress Linsey Godfrey is 28. Classical singer Faryl Smith is 21. Actor Pierce Gagnon is 11.
Thought for Today: "The truth is all things seen under the form of eternity." — George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher (1863-1952).