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MILESTONES: July 29, birthdays for Martina McBride, Danger Mouse, Tim Gunn

July 29, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle History

NOTABLE PEOPLE BORN ON THIS DAY include actor Wil Wheaton, who was born in 1972; documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, who was born in 1953; actor David Warner, who was born in 1941; musician Danger Mouse, who was born in 1977; dancer and choreographer Paul Taylor, who was born in 1930; former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Hanford Dole, who was born in 1936; singer Patty Sciafla, who was born in 1953; actor Josh Radnor, who was born in 1974; former tennis player Fernando González, who was born in 1980; football player Rayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott, who was born in 1993; fashion consultant and TV personality Tim Gunn, who was born in 1953; country singer Martina McBride, who was born in 1966; and actress Alexandra Paul, who was born in 1963. 

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NASA WAS ESTABLISHED on this day in 1958 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill creating the agency. NASA runs the civilian space program and directs aerospace exploration and research for the United States. Since its establishment, NASA has orchestrated the Apollo Moon landing, the Skylab space station and the Space Shuttle Program. 

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BENITO MUSSOLINI was born on this day in 1883 in Dovia, Italy. The Italian Fascist leader was first prime minister and later absolute dictator of Italy from 1922-43. After Italy’s military defeat during WWII, he was arrested by the Italian government, and then temporarily rescued by German troops. While fleeing to Switzerland in 1945, Mussolini was killed by partisans near Lake Como, Italy. 

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“THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING” was published by J.R.R. Tolkien on this day in 1954. The book was the first in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which itself is a sequel to the author’s 1937 fantasy novel, “The Hobbit.” The epic was originally a single book, but the publishers chose to break it into three parts due to its length. 

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THE USS INDIANAPOLIS sank after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on this day in 1945. The cruiser was on its way to Okinawa to prepare for the invasion of Japan. On board the ship was a crew of 1,196, and 350 died immediately from the impact or went down with the ship. The surviving sailors were adrift for 84 hours before they were spotted by air and rescued on Aug. 2, with only 318 sailors still alive. The event represents the Navy’s largest loss of life at sea. 

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“I think we too often make choices based on the safety of cynicism, and what we’re led to is a life not fully lived. Cynicism is fear, and it’s worse than fear — it’s active disengagement.” 

—Ken Burns, who was born on this day in 1953

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