Today is Thursday, July 12, the 194th day of 2012. There are 172 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 12, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill passed by Congress authorizing the Medal of Honor.

Glancing Backward Locally:

50 years ago - 1962

T. Arthur Johnson and Charles (Baldy) Chilson, Towanda Water Works employees, had a narrow escape yesterday when the wall of a hole in which they were working on Second Street collapsed and buried them. The combination of a sheltering piece of paving and prompt work by fellow employees was credited by George Snell, borough manager, with saving their lives.

Dr. Richard B. Ganley, a Sayre dentist, was elected as director of the Sayre Borough School Board at a recent meeting.

Announcement was made yesterday that Sgt. John Mancuso will assume command of the State Police detail in Towanda this morning.

75 years ago - 1937

Nearly a thousand employees of the Smith-Levin-Harris company and their friends gathered at Lake Mokoma, Laporte, over the weekend for their annual picnic.

Celebrating his birthday today is Burgess C.S. Lilley, who for many years has been one of Towanda's foremost citizens. Lilley was a member of the borough council before being elected burgess and has always been interested in affairs of the county seat.

The First Presbyterian Church of Troy will be recipient of a gift of valuable chimes within the next six weeks. The donor is Henry B. Van Dyne who will give the chimes in honor of his father and mother.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1543, England's King Henry VIII married his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr.

In 1690, forces led by William of Orange defeated the army of James II at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland.

In 1812, U.S. forces led by Gen. William Hull invaded Canada during the War of 1812 against Britain. (However, Hull retreated shortly thereafter to Detroit.)

In 1909, the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing for a federal income tax, and submitted it to the states. (It was declared ratified in February 1913.)

In 1912, the silent film "Queen Elizabeth," starring Sarah Bernhardt, opened in New York.

In 1948, the Democratic national convention, which nominated President Harry S. Truman for a second term of office, opened in Philadelphia.

In 1962, The Rolling Stones played their first-ever gig at The Marquee in London.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter defended Supreme Court limits on government payments for poor women's abortions, saying, "There are many things in life that are not fair."

In 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale announced he'd chosen U.S. Rep. Geraldine A. Ferraro of New York to be his running-mate; Ferraro was the first woman to run for vice president on a major-party ticket.

In 1988, Democratic presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis tapped Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas as his running-mate.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Monte Hellman is 83. Pianist Van Cliburn is 78. Comedian Bill Cosby is 75. Singer-musician Christine McVie is 69. Actress Denise Nicholas is 68. Singer-songwriter Butch Hancock is 67. Fitness guru Richard Simmons is 64. Actor Jay Thomas is 64. Singer Walter Egan is 64. Writer-producer Brian Grazer is 61. Actress Cheryl Ladd is 61. Country singer Julie Miller is 56. Gospel singer Sandi Patty is 56. Actress Mel Harris is 56. Actor Buddy Foster is 55. Rock guitarist Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) is 50. Actress Judi Evans is 48. Rock singer Robin Wilson (Gin Blossoms) is 47. Actress Lisa Nicole Carson is 43. Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi is 41. Country singer Shannon Lawson is 39. Rapper Magoo is 39. Actress Anna Friel is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tracie Spencer is 36. Actor Steve Howey is 35. Actor Topher Grace is 34. Actress Michelle Rodriguez is 34. Country singer-musician Kimberly Perry (The Band Perry) is 29. Actor Erik Per Sullivan is 21.

Thought for Today: "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." - Milton Berle, American comedian (born this date in 1908, died 2002).