Today in history
On July 30, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill creating a women’s auxiliary agency in the Navy known as “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service” — WAVES for short.
In 1619, the first representative assembly in America convened in Jamestown in the Virginia Colony.
In 1792, the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” (lah mar-seh-YEHZ’), by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, was first sung in Paris by troops arriving from Marseille.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union forces tried to take Petersburg, Virginia, by exploding a gunpowder-laden mine shaft beneath Confederate defense lines; the attack failed.
In 1916, German saboteurs blew up a munitions plant on Black Tom, an island near Jersey City, New Jersey, killing about a dozen people.
In 1918, poet Joyce Kilmer, a sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment, was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in World War I. (Kilmer is remembered for his poem “Trees.”)
In 1932, the Summer Olympic Games opened in Los Angeles.
In 1945, the Portland class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, having just delivered components of the atomic bomb to Tinian in the Mariana Islands, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine; only 317 out of nearly 1,200 men survived.
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure making “In God We Trust” the national motto, replacing “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one).
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a measure creating Medicare, which began operating the following year.
In 1975, former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in suburban Detroit; although presumed dead, his remains have never been found.
In 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed a law reaffirming all of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
In 1997, two men bombed Jerusalem’s most crowded outdoor market, killing themselves and 16 others. Eighteen people were killed in a landslide that swept one ski lodge onto another at the Thredbo Alpine Village in southeast Australia.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, meeting at Camp David, forged a unified stand on Iraq, aiming to head off talk of a splintering partnership in the face of an unpopular war. Chief Justice John Roberts was taken to a hospital after a seizure caused him to fall on a dock near his summer home in Maine.
“Happiness is a reward that comes to those that have not looked for it.” — Emile Chartier, French philosopher (18681951).