July 15 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1799, the Rosetta Stone, which helped decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, was found in an Egyptian village by French soldiers.
In 1806, Zebulon Pike began an expedition to explore the American Southwest.
In 1907, three organizations -- the Publishers Press Association, the Scripps-McRae Press Association and the Scripps News Associations -- joined to form United Press, which would eventually become United Press International. The wire service started business with 460 newspaper clients, of which 400 were evening newspapers and 60 were Sunday morning newspapers.
In 1945, Italy declared war on Japan, its former Axis partner.
In 1965, the unmanned spacecraft Mariner 4 passed over Mars at an altitude of 6,000 feet and sent the first close-up images of the planet to Earth.
In 1968, a Soviet Aeroflot jetliner landed at New York's JFK Airport, marking the beginning of direct commercial flights between the United States and the Soviet Union.
In 1968, daytime soap opera One Life to Live premiered on ABC. In its 45-year run, the television series racked up dozens of Daytime Emmy Awards, including six for actor Erika Slezak.
In 1997, Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot to death in front of his Miami mansion. The prime suspect was Andrew Cunanan, already wanted in four other slayings. He was found dead a week later, an apparent suicide.
In 2002, John Walker Lindh, a 21-year-old American captured by the U.S. military in Afghanistan while with Taliban forces, admitted he had fought as a soldier with them. After cooperating in the investigation of the terrorist network, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released from prison in May 2019.
In 2009, Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran bound for Armenia. Officials said 168 people were killed.
In 2010, BP, the London energy company, announced it had capped its crippled underwater well that sent millions of barrels of crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico over the previous three months after an offshore drilling rig explosion and fire killed 11 workers and unleashed an unchecked torrent from the depths.