Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2015. There are 182 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

On this date:

In 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed into law the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In 1915, a time bomb planted in a reception room of the U.S. Senate exploded shortly before midnight, causing considerable damage but hurting no one. Former Mexican President Porfirio Diaz died in exile in Paris.

In 1926, the United States Army Air Corps was created.

In 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight along the equator.

In 1943, Bing Crosby and the Ken Darby Singers recorded “Sunday, Monday or Always” for Decca Records.

In 1955, “The Lawrence Welk Show” premiered on ABC-TV under its original title, “The Dodge Dancing Party.”

In 1961, author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.

In 1979, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin was released to the public.

In 1982, Larry Walters of San Pedro, California, used a lawn chair equipped with 45 helium-filled weather balloons to rise to an altitude of 16,000 feet; he landed eight miles away in Long Beach.

In 1990, more than 1,400 Muslim pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel near Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Ten years ago: Shasta Groene (GROH’-nee), an 8-year-old girl kidnapped six weeks earlier, was rescued at a restaurant in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; the man with her, Joseph Edward Duncan III, was arrested and accused of kidnapping Shasta as well as killing members of her family. (Duncan later received three death sentences and multiple life sentences.) Egypt’s top envoy to post-Saddam Hussein Iraq (Ihab al-Sherif) was kidnapped in Baghdad (al-Qaida later announced it had killed him). The marathon Live 8 concert rocked the globe and the Internet, focusing attention on African poverty. Venus Williams beat top-ranked Lindsay Davenport at Wimbledon 4-6, 7-6 (4), 9-7 for her fifth major title and her first in nearly four years. Hollywood screenwriter Ernest Lehman (LEE’-muhn) died in Los Angeles at age 89.

Five years ago: Gen. David Petraeus arrived in Afghanistan to assume command of U.S. and NATO forces after his predecessor, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was fired for intemperate remarks he’d made about Obama administration figures in Rolling Stone magazine. The United States defeated Japan 7-2 to win its seventh consecutive world softball championships. British novelist Beryl Bainbridge, 77, died in London.

One year ago: Palestinians accused Israeli extremists of abducting and killing an Arab teenager and burning his body, sparking hours of clashes in east Jerusalem and drawing charges that the youth was murdered to avenge the killings of three kidnapped Israeli teens. Louis Zamperini, 97, an Olympic runner who survived a bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean, weeks adrift and then years as a Japanese prisoner of war and became the subject of a celebrated book and movie, died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 86. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 85. Actor Robert Ito is 84. Actress Polly Holliday is 78. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 78. Former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu is 76. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is 73. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 68. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, is 68. Actor Saul Rubinek is 67. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 66. Rock musician Gene Taylor is 63. Actress-model Jerry Hall is 59. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 54. Country singer Guy Penrod is 52. Rock musician Dave Parsons (Bush) is 50. Actress Yancy Butler is 45. Contemporary Christian musician Melodee DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 39. Actor Owain (OH’-wyn) Yeoman is 37. Race car driver Sam Hornish Jr. is 36. Singer Michelle Branch is 32. Actress Vanessa Lee Chester is 31. Figure skater Johnny Weir is 31. Actor Nelson Franklin is 30. Actress-singer Ashley Tisdale is 30. Actress Lindsay Lohan (LOH’-uhn) is 29. Actress Margot Robbie is 25.

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