Today is Sunday, July 29, the 211th day of 2012. There are 155 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 29, 1914, transcontinental telephone service in the U.S. began with the first test phone conversation between New York and San Francisco.
On this date:
In 1030, the patron saint of Norway, King Olaf II, was killed in battle.
In 1588, the English attacked the Spanish Armada in the Battle of Gravelines, resulting in an English victory.
In 1890, artist Vincent van Gogh, 37, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Auvers-sur-Oise, France.
In 1900, Italian King Humbert I was assassinated by an anarchist; he was succeeded by his son, Victor Emmanuel III.
In 1921, Adolf Hitler became the leader ("fuehrer") of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
In 1948, Britain's King George VI opened the Olympic Games in London.
In 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency was established. Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC's "Tonight Show."
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.
In 1967, an accidental rocket launch aboard the supercarrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin resulted in a fire and explosions that killed 134 servicemen.
In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford became the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland.
In 1981, Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. (However, the couple divorced in 1996.)
In 1985, the space shuttle Challenger began an 8-day mission that got off to a shaky start -- the spacecraft achieved a safe orbit even though one of its main engines shut down prematurely after lift-off.
Ten years ago: In Afghanistan, a man identified by authorities as a would-be suicide bomber with more than a half-ton of explosives in his car was stopped by a chance traffic accident just 300 yards from the U.S. Embassy; a suspect was captured after a car chase. A visibly exhausted Pope John Paul II greeted thousands of Roman Catholic faithful as he arrived in Guatemala City. An Amtrak train derailed outside Washington, D.C., injuring more than 100 people.
Five years ago: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown arrived at Camp David in Maryland for a private dinner as well as meetings with President George W. Bush. Tens of thousands of Iraqis celebrated after Iraq beat three-time champion Saudi Arabia 1-0 to take the Asian Cup. Alberto Contador of Spain won the doping-scarred Tour de France. Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn took their places in the Baseball Hall of Fame. TV talk show host and newsman Tom Snyder died in San Francisco at age 71. French actor Michel Serrault died in Honfleur, France, at age 79.
One year ago: Norway began burying the dead, a week after an anti-Muslim extremist killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage. Delaware carried out its first execution since 2005, putting to death Robert Jackson III, who was convicted of killing a woman with an ax during a burglary.
Today's Birthdays: Comedian "Professor" Irwin Corey is 98. Actor Robert Horton is 88. Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker is 80. Actor Robert Fuller is 78. Former Sen. Elizabeth H. Dole is 76. Actor David Warner is 71. Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) is 66. Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is 63. Actor Mike Starr is 62. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 59. Style guru Tim Gunn (TV: "Project Runway") is 59. Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) is 59. Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) is 59. Actor Kevin Chapman is 50. Actress Alexandra Paul is 49. Country singer Martina McBride is 46. Rock musician Chris Gorman is 45. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 44. Actor Tim Omundson is 43. Actor Wil Wheaton is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) is 39. Country singer-songwriter James Otto is 39. Actor Stephen Dorff is 39. Actor Josh Radnor is 38. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 35. Actress Rachel Miner is 32. Actress Allison Mack is 30. Actor Matt Prokop is 22.
Thought for Today: "Man must rise above the Earth -- to the top of the atmosphere and beyond -- for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives." -- Socrates, Greek philosopher (469 B.C.-399 B.C.)
(Above Advance for Use Sunday, July 29)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.