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Matthew Hedger
07/15/2014 2:30 PM

Today is Tuesday, July 15, the 196th day of 2014 with 169 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.

In 1799, the Rosetta Stone, which helped decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, was found in an Egyptian village by French soldiers.

In 1806, Zebulon Pike began an expedition to explore the American Southwest.

In 1912, led by all-round athlete Jim Thorpe, the U.S. team took more medals than any other country at the Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1945, Italy declared war on Japan, its former Axis partner.

In 1965, the unmanned spacecraft Mariner 4 passed over Mars at an altitude of 6,000 feet and sent the first close-up images of the planet to Earth.

In 1968, a Soviet Aeroflot jetliner landed at New York's JFK Airport, marking the beginning of direct commercial flights between the United States and the Soviet Union.

In 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon disclosed plans to make an unprecedented visit to the People's Republic of China. (He made the historic trip in February 1972.)

In 1986, Britain and the Soviet Union settled accounts on $75 million in bonds that were issued under Russia's czars and defaulted on after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. The settlement ended a 60-year financial dispute.

In 1992, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton was nominated as the Democratic Party's candidate for president.

In 1997, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot to death in front of his Miami mansion. The prime suspect was Andrew Cunanan, already wanted in four other slayings. (He was found dead a week later, an apparent suicide.)

In 2002, John Walker Lindh, a 21-year-old American captured by the U.S. military in Afghanistan while with Taliban forces, admitted he had fought as a soldier with them. (After cooperating in the investigation of the terrorist network, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.)

In 2007, the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese agreed to a $600 million settlement with 508 people who said they had been sexually abused by members of the clergy.

In 2009, Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran bound for Armenia. Officials said 168 people were killed.

In 2010, BP, the London energy company, announced it had capped its crippled underwater well that had sent millions of barrels of crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico over the previous three months after an offshore drilling rig explosion and fire killed 11 workers and unleashed an unchecked torrent from the depths.

In 2012, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the drought affecting 61 percent of the country should have only a marginal impact on food prices.

In 2013, a bill permitting same-sex marriages was passed by Britain's House of Lords and would soon become law.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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