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Today in History and Celebrity Birthdays

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Celebrity Birthdays for July 8: Actor Jeffrey Tambor is 80. Drummer Jai Johanny Johanson (The Allman Brothers Band) is 80. Ballerina Cynthia Gregory is 78. Actress Kim Darby is 77. Children's performer Raffi is 76. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is 75.

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Today in History for July 8: On this date: In 1629, Spain's King Philip III sent England's King Charles the First an elephant and five camels. Included were instructions that the elephant be given a gallon of wine each day.

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Today in Music History for July 8: In 1792, Lowell Mason, Presbyterian pioneer of congregational singing, was born.

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Celebrity Birthdays for July 7: Bandleader Doc Severinsen is 97. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Ringo Starr is 84. Comedian Bill Oddie is 83. Singer-guitarist Warren Entner of the Grass Roots is 80. Actor Joe Spano is 78.

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Today in History for July 7: On this date: In 1438, the decrees of Basel were adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. They restricted the authority of the popes and imposed a degree of accountability on the cardinals and bishops of the church.

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Today in Music History for July 7: In 1607, Britain's national anthem -- "God Save the King" -- was sung in public for the first time.

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Celebrity Birthdays for July 6: The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is 89. Singer Gene Chandler is 87. Country singer Jeannie Seely is 84. Actor Burt Ward ("Batman") is 79. Richard Elswit, guitarist with Dr. Hook, is 79.

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Today in History for July 6: In 1415, Czech reformer Jan Hus was martyred. He was condemned for heresy and burned at the stake because of his outspoken appeals for church reform and for political and religious rights for the common people.

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Today in Music History for July 6: In 1925, Bill Haley, rock 'n' roll's first teen idol, was born in Highland Park, Mich.

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Today in History for July 16: On this date: In 622, Prophet Mohammad fled from Mecca, where he was despised and persecuted, to the northern city of Medina, marking the day of beginning of Hegira, the Islamic calendar.