Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, July 1, the 182nd day of 2015. There are 183 days left in the year. This is Canada Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 1, 1940, the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state opened to traffic despite concerns over its tendency to “bounce” in windy conditions, inspiring the nickname “Galloping Gertie” (four months later, the suspension bridge’s main section collapsed into Puget Sound).

On this date:

In 1535, Sir Thomas More went on trial in England, charged with high treason for rejecting the Oath of Supremacy. (More was convicted, and executed.)

In 1863, the pivotal, three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, resulting in a Union victory, began in Pennsylvania.

In 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain as the British North America Act took effect.

In 1912, aviator Harriet Quimby, 37, was killed along with her passenger, William Willard, when they were thrown out of Quimby’s monoplane at the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet.

In 1934, Hollywood began enforcing its Production Code subjecting motion pictures to censorship review.

In 1946, the United States exploded a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

In 1965, “The Great Race,” Blake Edwards’ big-budget homage to oldtime slapstick comedy starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, was released by Warner Bros.

In 1974, the president of Argentina, Juan Peron, died; he was succeeded by his wife, Isabel Martinez de Peron.

In 1980, “O Canada” was proclaimed the national anthem of Canada.

In 1995, rock-and-roll disc jockey Wolfman Jack died in Belvidere, North Carolina, at age 57.

In 2000, Vermont’s civil unions law, which granted gay couples most of the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage, went into effect. The Confederate flag was removed from atop South Carolina’s Statehouse (in a compromise, another Confederate flag was raised on the Statehouse grounds in front of a soldier’s monument). Actor Walter Matthau died in Santa Monica, California, at age 79.

In 2004, actor Marlon Brando died in Los Angeles at age 80.

Ten years ago: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor unexpectedly announced her retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court (she was succeeded by Samuel Alito). Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Vandross died in Edison, New Jersey, at age 54.

Five years ago: California lawmakers approved a $20 million settlement with the family of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped as a girl and held captive in a secret backyard for 18 years by a paroled sex offender. At least two suicide bombers attacked a popular Muslim shrine in Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore, killing some three dozen people.

One year ago: David Greenglass, the star witness in the trial of his sister, Ethel Rosenberg, and her husband, Julius, died in New York City at age 92. (The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953 for conspiring to pass secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union; Greenglass served 10 years in prison for espionage followed by years of living under an assumed name.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Olivia de Havilland is 99. Actress-dancer Leslie Caron is 84. Actress Jean Marsh is 81. Actor Jamie Farr is 81. Bluesman James Cotton is 80. Actor David Prowse is 80. Cookiemaker Wally Amos is 79. Dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp is 74. Actress Genevieve Bujold is 73. Rock singer-actress Deborah Harry is 70. Movie-TV producer-director Michael Pressman is 65. Actor Daryl Anderson is 64. Actor Trevor Eve is 64. Actor Terrence Mann is 64. Rock singer Fred Schneider (B-52’s) is 64. Pop singer Victor Willis (Village People) is 64. Actor-comedian Dan Aykroyd is 63. Actress Lorna Patterson is 59. Actor Alan Ruck is 59. Rhythm-and-blues singer Evelyn “Champagne” King is 55. Olympic gold medal track star Carl Lewis is 54. Country singer Michelle Wright is 54. Actor Andre Braugher is 53. Actor Dominic Keating is 53. Actress Pamela Anderson is 48. Rock musician Mark Pirro is 45. Rock musician Franny Griffiths (Space) is 45. Actor Henry Simmons is 45. Hip-hop artist Missy Elliott is 44. Actress Julianne Nicholson is 44. Actress Melissa Peterman is 44. Rock musician Bryan Devendorf (The National) is 40. Actress Liv Tyler is 38. Bluegrass musician Adam Haynes (Dailey & Vincent) is 36. Actress Hilarie Burton is 33. Actress Lynsey Bartilson is 32. Actress Lea Seydoux (LEE’-uh say-DOO’) is 30. Actor Evan Ellingson is 27. Actors Andrew and Steven Cavarno are 23.

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