July 15, 2011 — A decade ago, the oil and gas industry thought that bigger was better. Now, the refrain appears to be the exact opposite.

ConocoPhillips on Thursday became the latest energy giant to seek a breakup of itself, announcing that it will spin off its refining business to shareholders as a separate publicly traded company. 



July 15, 1996 — DIME BOX, Texas — A 40-foot fireball throwing off 1,000-degree heat raged from a natural gas well Sunday after a series of explosions rocked the structure, killing two workers.

Three deadly explosions at the rig 65 miles southeast of Austin Saturday night sent up a fireball that illuminated the blackened sky like a rising sun and whose glow could be seen from 20 miles away.



July 15, 1971 — A strike of 400,000 members of the AFL-CIO Communications Workers of America against the highly automated Bell Telephone System entered its second day today, but effects on the public were minimal. Telephone company officials urged direct dialing and use of telephone directories.

In Los Angeles, George Donnelly, assistant vice president of Pacific Telephone said the company might be able to weather a strike of a month. 



July 15, 1946 — FRANKFURT, Germany — Ninety-six American soldiers were arrested by United States Third Army military police during the last six days for public petting with German frauleins, it was announced today.

The arrests were made following General Joseph T. McNarney’s crackdown on displays of affection. In Nuremberg military police arrested 71 soldiers in a four-day period between July 4 and 9. Many soldiers were ordered to pay $5 fines.