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This Day in History: July 29


1858 – United States and Japan sign the Harris Treaty.

1864 – American Civil War: Confederate spy Belle Boyd is arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C.

1921 – Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

1932 – Great Depression: In Washington, D.C., troops disperse the last of the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans.

1948 – Olympic Games: The Games of the XIV Olympiad: After a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, open in London.

1957 – The International Atomic Energy Agency is established.

1958 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1959 – First United States Congress elections in Hawaii as a state of the Union.

1965 – Vietnam War: The first 4,000 101st Airborne Division paratroopers arrive in Vietnam, landing at Cam Ranh Bay.

1967 – Vietnam War: Off the coast of North Vietnam the USS Forrestal catches on fire in the worst U.S. naval disaster since World War II, killing 134.

1976 – In New York City, David Berkowitz (a.k.a. the "Son of Sam") kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks.

1996 – The child protection portion of the Communications Decency Act is struck down by a U.S. federal court as too broad.


1805 – Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian and philosopher (d. 1859)

1869 – Booth Tarkington, American author and playwright (d. 1946)

1885 – Theda Bara, American actress (d. 1955)

1907 – Melvin Belli, American lawyer and actor (d. 1996)

1923 – Edgar Cortright, American scientist and engineer (d. 2014)

1924 – Black Dahlia, American waitress and murder victim (d. 1947)

1938 – Peter Jennings, Canadian-American journalist and author (d. 2005)

1953 – Ken Burns, American director and producer


1974 – Cass Elliot, American singer and actress  (b. 1941)

1981 – Robert Moses, American urban planner, designed the Northern State Parkway and Southern State Parkway (b. 1888)

1995 – Les Elgart, American trumpet player and bandleader (b. 1917)

2007 – Tom Snyder, American journalist and talk show host (b. 1936)