By The Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, July 6, the 188th day of 2016. There are 178 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 6, 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut. (One of the survivors of the blaze was future actor Charles Nelson Reilly, then age 13.)
On this date:
In 1535, Sir Thomas More was executed in England for high treason.
In 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga.
In 1865, the weekly publication The Nation, the self-described “flagship of the left,” made its debut.
In 1917, during World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba (AH’-kah-buh) from the Turks.
In 1933, the first All-Star baseball game was played at Chicago’s Comiskey Park; the American League defeated the National League, 4-2.
In 1945, President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order establishing the Medal of Freedom. Nicaragua became the first nation to ratify the United Nations Charter.
In 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title as she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2.
In 1964, the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” starring The Beatles, had its world premiere in London. British colony Nyasaland became the independent country of Malawi.
In 1966, Malawi became a republic.
In 1971, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong died in New York at age 69.
In 1988, 167 North Sea oil workers were killed when explosions and fires destroyed a drilling platform. Medical waste and other debris began washing up on New York City-area seashores, forcing the closing of several popular beaches.
In 1996, a Delta MD-88 jetliner’s left engine blew apart during an attempted takeoff from Pensacola, Florida, sending metal pieces ripping into the cabin, killing a mother and her son.
Ten years ago: The space shuttle Discovery docked with the international space station, bringing with it European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, who began a 6-month stay aboard the station. Election officials declared Felipe Calderon (fay-LEE’-pay kahl-duh-ROHN’) winner of the official count in Mexico’s disputed presidential race over Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (ahn-DRAYS’ mahn-WEHL’ LOH’-pez OH’-brah-dohr), who blamed fraud for his narrow loss. Magazine publisher Ralph Ginzburg, who was at the center of two First Amendment battles in the 1960s and served eight months in federal prison for obscenity, died in New York at age 76.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama held his first Twitter town hall, which focused on jobs and the economy. Jury selection began in the perjury trial of former baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, who was accused of lying under oath to Congress when he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs during his career (the proceedings ended abruptly in a mistrial; Clemens was later acquitted in a retrial). The 2018 Winter Olympics were awarded to the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, sending the winter games to Asia for the first time since 1998.
One year ago: The Associated Press obtained documents in which Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 that he’d secured quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with and that he gave the sedative to at least one woman and other people; Cosby’s lawyers insisted that two of the accusers knew they were taking quaaludes from the comedian, according to the unsealed documents. Pope Francis received a hero’s welcome in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s biggest city, as he celebrated the first public Mass of his South American tour. Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub, 77, died in Santa Barbara, California.
Today’s Birthdays: Singer-actress Della Reese is 85. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is 81. Actor Ned Beatty is 79. Singer Gene Chandler is 76. Country singer Jeannie Seely is 76. Actor Burt Ward is 71. Former President George W. Bush is 70. Actor-director Sylvester Stallone is 70. Actor Fred Dryer is 70. Actress Shelley Hack is 69. Actress Nathalie Baye is 68. Actor Geoffrey Rush is 65. Actress Allyce Beasley is 65. Rock musician John Bazz (The Blasters) is 64. Actor Grant Goodeve is 64. Country singer Nanci Griffith is 63. Retired MLB All-Star Willie Randolph is 62. Jazz musician Rick Braun is 61. Actor Casey Sander is 61. Country musician John Jorgenson is 60. Former first daughter Susan Ford Bales is 59. Hockey player and coach Ron Duguay (doo-GAY’) is 59. Actress-writer Jennifer Saunders is 58. Rock musician John Keeble (Spandau Ballet) is 57. Actor Brian Posehn is 50. Political reporter/moderator John Dickerson (TV: “Face the Nation”) is 48. Actor Brian Van Holt is 47. Rapper Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) is 46. TV host Josh Elliott is 45. Rapper 50 Cent is 41. Actress Tamera Mowry is 38. Actress Tia Mowry is 38. Comedian-actor Kevin Hart is 37. Actress Eva (EH’-vuh) Green is 36. Actor Gregory Smith is 33. Rock musician Chris “Woody”