Today in History
Today is Friday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2021. 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 1867, New York’s first elevated rail line, a single track between Battery Place and Greenwich Street, went into operation.
In 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau (gee-TOH’) at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)
In 1917, rioting erupted in East St. Louis, Illinois, as white mobs attacked Black residents; nearly 50 people, mostly Blacks, are believed to have died in the violence.
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 1961, author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, the first meeting between a Catholic U.S. chief executive and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.
In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gregg v. Georgia, ruled 7-2 the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.
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 1986, ruling in a pair of cases, the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action as a remedy for past job discrimination.
In 1990, more than 1,400 Muslim pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel near Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
In 2018, rescue divers in Thailand found 12 boys and their soccer coach, who had been trapped by flooding as they explored a cave more than a week earlier.
Ten years ago: Petra Kvitova beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 to become the first left-handed woman to win the Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova in 1990.
Five years ago: Hillary Clinton was voluntarily interviewed for 3 1/2 hours by the FBI at the agency’s Washington headquarters about her use of a private email server as secretary of state. Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel (EL’-ee vee-ZEHL’), 87, died in New York. Oscar-winning director Michael Cimino, 77, died in Beverly Hills, California.
One year ago: The government said employers added 4.8 million jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, still a Depression-era level, as the job market improved for a second straight month. The coronavirus infection curve rose in 40 of the 50 states heading into the July Fourth holiday weekend. A statement posted on his Twitter account revealed that former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain was being treated for the coronavirus at an Atlanta-area hospital, less than two weeks after attending President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Cain died on July 30 of complications from the virus.) Five of the nine casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, reopened amid the pandemic. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on charges that she had helped lure at least three girls – one as young as 14 – to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 92. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 91. Actor Robert Ito is 90. Actor Polly Holliday is 84. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 84. Former White House chief of staff and former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu is 82. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is 79. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 74. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, is 74. Actor Saul Rubinek is 73. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 72. Actor Wendy Schaal is 67. Actor-model Jerry Hall is 65. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 60. Country singer Guy Penrod is 58. Rock musician Dave Parsons (Bush) is 56. Actor Yancy Butler is 51. Contemporary Christian musician Melodee DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 45. Actor Owain (OH’-wyn) Yeoman is 43. Race car driver Sam Hornish Jr. is 42. NHL center Joe Thornton is 42. Singer Michelle Branch is 38. Actor Vanessa Lee Chester is 37. Figure skater Johnny Weir is 37. Actor Nelson Franklin is 36. Actor-singer Ashley Tisdale is 36. Actor Lindsay Lohan (LOH’-uhn) is 35. Actor Margot Robbie is 31.