Today is Monday, July 29, the 210th day of 2019. There are 155 days left in the year.
Birthdays: Former senator Elizabeth H. Dole is 83. REO Speedwagon keyboardist Neal Doughty is 73. Documentary maker Ken Burns is 66. Rush bassist-singer Geddy Lee is 66. Rock singer Patti Scialfa is 66. Actor/comedian Dean Haglund is 54. Country singer Martina McBride is 53. Actor Rodney Allen Rippy is 51. Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris is 46. Hip-hop DJ/music producer Danger Mouse is 42. Actress Rachel Miner is 39.
In 1914, transcontinental telephone service in the US became operational with the first test conversation between New York and San Francisco. The Cape Cod Canal, offering a shortcut across the base of the peninsula, was officially opened to shipping traffic.
In 1921, Adolf Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating NASA.
In 1965, The Beatles’ second feature film, ‘‘Help!,’’ had its world premiere in London.
In 1967, an accidental rocket launch on the deck of the carrier USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin resulted in a fire and explosions that killed 134 servicemen. (Among the survivors was future Arizona senator John McCain, a Navy lieutenant commander who narrowly escaped with his life.)
In 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a glittering ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)
In 1994, abortion opponent Paul Hill shot and killed Dr. John Bayard Britton and Britton’s bodyguard, James H. Barrett, outside the Ladies Center clinic in Pensacola, Fla. (Hill was executed in 2003.)
In 1997, members of Congress from both parties embraced compromise legislation designed to balance the budget while cutting taxes.
In 2004, Senator John Kerry accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Boston with a military salute and the declaration: ‘‘I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty.’’
In 2014, spurred to action by the downing of a Malaysian airliner over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks; President Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of US penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.
In 2017, US and South Korean forces conducted joint live-fire exercises in response to North Korea’s second launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile; experts said the North Korean launch showed that a large portion of the United States was now within range of North Korea’s arsenal.
Last year, President Trump tweeted he was willing to see the government shut down over border security issues, including money for a US-Mexico border wall.