Today is Wednesday, July 17, the 198th day of 2013. There are 167 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 17, 1918, Russia's Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.

Glancing Backward Locally:

25 years ago - 1988

A reported "twister" that struck the Ulster and LeRaysville areas caused major structure damage to houses and other buildings throughout the area. The family of Willy and Mary Tuttle managed to avert tragedy, as they managed to evacuate their home shortly before the winds hit. The Tuttle home was smashed by a tree uprooted in the high winds, but no family members were injured in the incident.

The drought which has gripped the area is threatening the local sweet corn crop. Thomas Champluvier, a Laceyville dairy farmer who's a major supplier of sweet corn for the area said he's lost "almost all" of his early corn because of the dry weather.

The Monroeton Hose Company will again be sponsoring the annual Miss Monroeton and Little Miss Monroeton contests during Old Home Days which are slated to run from Aug. 16 through 20.

50 years ago - 1963

The Sullivan County Treasurer was arrested by Sheriff Edwin R. Beinlich on charges of embezzlement and conversion of public funds to her own use, it was announced last night by Sullivan County District Attorney Charles M. Kschinka. The treasurer's arrest was made following about 10 weeks of investigation, after a reported shortage of $8,000 in the county treasurer's accounts was discovered by county auditor's on April 1.

The Towanda High School Class of 1938 held its 25th year reunion at the American Legion in Towanda on Saturday, with 45 class members in attendance and 42 guests. The class members coming the longest distance were Bradley and Marie Beehan from Germany, with runner-ups being Harvey and Mavis Wood from North Carolina.

John Oliver Thomas, 26, of Kingston, is in the Bradford County jail in lieu of bail, after pleading guilty to larceny of a motor vehicle. Thomas hitchhiked a ride from Fred Scott of Sylvania, who was returning home from the Wyalusing livestock sales with a cow and a bull in his truck. Scott stopped at the Bite Bar in Wysox around midnight, while Thomas remained in the vehicle. When he left the Bit Bar, Scott said, he discovered his truck and the livestock were gone. Scott notified the state police about the incident, and was picked up around 5 a.m. in Laceyville. The truck was found abandoned near Mehoopany, but the livestock were none the worse for the wear.

Elsewhere on this date:

In 1763, American entrepreneur John Jacob Astor was born in Walldorf in present-day Germany.

In 1821, Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began as right-wing army generals launched a coup attempt against the Second Spanish Republic.

In 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan took off from New York, saying he was headed for California; he ended up in Ireland, supposedly by accident, earning the nickname "Wrong Way Corrigan."

In 1955, Disneyland had its opening day in Anaheim, Calif.

In 1975, an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower link-up of its kind.

In 1998, Nicholas II, last of the Romanov czars, was formally buried in Russia 80 years after he and his family were slain by the Bolsheviks.

Today's Birthdays: Jazz singer Jimmy Scott is 88. Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor is 73. Rock musician Fran Smith Jr. (The Hooters) is 61. Singer Regina Belle is 50. Singer JC (PM Dawn) is 42. Country singer Luke Bryan is 37. Actress Summer Bishil (BIHSH'-ihl) is 25.