Today In History

Associated Press

Walt Disney (center) showing Orange County officials plans for Disneyland's layout, December 1954.
Walt Disney (center) showing Orange County officials plans for Disneyland’s layout, December 1954.

Today in History: Friday, July 17, 2015

On July 17, 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as Gen. Francisco Franco led an uprising of army troops based in North Africa.
1821 Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
1898 Spanish troops in Santiago, Cuba, surrendered to U.S. forces during the Spanish-American War.
1917 With the country at war with Germany, the British royal family changed its name from the German Saxe-Coburg Gotha to Windsor.
1918 Russia’s Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children were executed by the Bolsheviks.
1945 President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill began meeting at Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II.
1948 Southern Democrats opposed to the party’s position on civil rights met in Birmingham, Ala., to endorse South Carolina Gov. Strom Thurmond for president.
1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif.
1961 Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb died at age 74.
1967 Jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane died at age 40.
1981 A pair of walkways above the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed during a dance, killing 114 people.
1996 TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747 bound for Paris, exploded and crashed off Long Island, N.Y., shortly after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport. All 230 people aboard were killed.
2000 Bashar Assad succeeded his late father, Hafez Assad, becoming Syria’s 16th head of state.
2009 Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite died at age 92.

Today’s Birthdays:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel turns 61 years old today.
Diahann Carroll, Actress, singer, 80
Donald Sutherland, Actor, 80
Spencer Davis, Rock singer, musician, 73
Connie Hawkins, Basketball Hall of Famer, 73
Terry “Geezer” Butler, Rock musician (Black Sabbath), 66
Lucie Arnaz, Actress, 64
David Hasselhoff, Actor (“Baywatch,” “Knight Rider”), 63
Bryan Trottier, Hockey Hall of Famer, 59
Mark Burnett, TV producer (“Survivor,” “The Apprentice”), 55
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, turns 68 years old today.

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