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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Today in History: July 21

1831: Leopold I is crowned as King of the newly independent Belgians. His military prowess is such that he had been colonel of a regiment at age 5.

1873: Jesse James and the James-Younger gang pull their first train robbery, taking $3,000 from a Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific train at Adair, Iowa.

1911: Herbert Marshall ("The Medium is the Message") McLuhan is born at Edmonton, Alberta.

1948: Film director and entrepreneur David Lewelyn Wark "D.W." Griffith, who "almost single-handedly invented modern cinema," dies at Los Angeles, California. The Directors Guild of America, embarrassed by him, will later rename its D.W. Griffith Award.

1984: According to the United Auto Workers, the first "robot related death" in the U.S. occurs when a die cast operator is crushed between the back of a robot and a safety post at a factory in Jackson, Michigan.

2002: WorldCom, formerly America’s second-biggest telephone long-distance company files for bankruptcy, the largest in U.S. history.

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