Top News On This Day, July 23: Eileen Collins becomes 1st...

On This Day, July 23: Eileen Collins becomes 1st female Space Shuttle commander

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July 23 (BP) — In 1829, William Burt of Mount Vernon, Mich., patented the “typographer,” believed to be the first typewriter.

In 1948, legendary pioneer movie director D.W. Griffith, maker of several silent classics, including The Birth of a Nation, died at the age of 73.

In 1967, rioting erupted on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s predominantly African-American inner city. By the time it was quelled four days later by 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops, 43 people were dead, 342 injured.

In 1973, Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox served subpoenas on the White House after U.S. President Richard Nixon refused to turn over requested tapes and documents.

In 1982, actor Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed when a helicopter crashed on the movie set of The Twilight Zone.

In 1984, Vanessa Williams gave up her crown as Miss America, bowing to demands by pageant officials that she quit because she appeared nude in sexually explicit pictures in Penthouse magazine.

Former Miss America Vanessa Williams (R) poses with the 2015 Miss America, Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell on September 13, 2016. File Photo by John Angelillo/BP

In 1999, U.S. Air Force Col. Eileen Collins became the first woman to command a space shuttle flight, with the launch of Columbia on a four-day mission.

In 2002, a laser-guided bomb fired from an Israeli warplane hit the Gaza home of Sheik Salah Shehada, founder of the military wing of Hamas, killing him and 14 others and wounding more than 140 people.

In 2003, the Massachusetts attorney general said an investigation indicated nearly 1,000 cases of abuse by Roman Catholic priests and other church personnel in the Boston diocese over 60 years.

In 2005, three synchronized terrorist bombings struck Sharm el-Sheik, an Egyptian resort, killing at least 90 people and injuring 240.

U.S. President George W. Bush (C) and first lady Laura visit the Egyptian Embassy and greet ambassador Nabil Fahmy (L) to sign a book of condolence for the weekend bombing in Egypt’s Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheik in Washington on July 25, 2005. File Photo by Jay L. Clendenin/BP

In 2012, the NCAA imposed severe penalties, including a $60 million fine, on Penn State University. One official accused the university of a “conspiracy of silence” about child abuse involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a scientific review that said mint flavoring makes it easier to start smoking cigarettes and then harder to quit.

In 2014, a TransAsia Airways twin turboprop plane crashed in stormy weather during an emergency landing on a Taiwanese island, killing 48 people and injuring 10.

In 2019, Conservative Party members voted Boris Johnson as Britain’s new prime minister, succeeding Theresa May.

In 2020, China launched the Tianwen-1 orbiter in its first attempt to reach the surface of Mars. The rover Zhurong set down on the red planet on May 15.

In 2021, Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron and Emperor Naruhito declared the Tokyo 2020 Games open.

File Photo by Bob Strong/BP

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