Today in History
Today in History
Today is Saturday, July 3, the 184th day of 2021. There are 181 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 3, 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
On this date:
In 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.
In 1913, during a 50th anniversary reunion at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Civil War veterans re-enacted Pickett’s Charge, which ended with embraces and handshakes between the former enemies.
In 1944, during World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk from the Germans.
In 1950, the first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.
In 1971, singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.
In 1976, Israel launched its daring mission to rescue 106 passengers and Air France crew members being held at Entebbe (en-TEH’-bee) Airport in Uganda (yoo-GAHN’-dah) by pro-Palestinian hijackers; the commandos succeeded in rescuing all but four of the hostages.
In 1979, Dan White, convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee) and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison. (He ended up serving five years.)
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan presided over a gala ceremony in New York Harbor that saw the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.
In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
In 1996, Russians went to the polls to re-elect Boris Yeltsin president over his Communist challenger, Gennady Zyuganov (geh-NAH’-dee zhoo-GAH’-nahf), in a runoff.
In 2003, the U.S. put a $25 million bounty on Saddam Hussein, and $15 million apiece for his two sons. (The $30 million reward for Odai and Qusai Hussein went to a tipster whose information led U.S. troops to their hideout, where the brothers were killed in a gunbattle.)
In 2013, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown by the military after just one year by the same kind of Arab Spring uprising that had brought the Islamist leader to power.
Ten years ago: Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) won his first Wimbledon, beating defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
Five years ago: A devastating truck bombing on a bustling commercial street in downtown Baghdad killed nearly 300 people. Actor Noel Neill, who played Superman’s love interest, Lois Lane, in both a movie serial and on TV, died in Tucson, Arizona, at age 95.
One year ago: Speaking at the foot of Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day, President Donald Trump asserted that protesters pushing for racial justice were engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.” Amid a rampant resurgence of the coronavirus, Texas began mandating face coverings on the orders of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who said it seemed that people were “not comprehending the magnitude of the problem.”
Today’s Birthdays: Playwright Tom Stoppard is 84. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 82. Actor Michael Cole (TV: “The Mod Squad”) is 81. Attorney Gloria Allred is 80. Folk singer Judith Durham (The Seekers) is 78. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 78. Country singer Johnny Lee is 75. Humorist Dave Barry is 74. Actor Betty Buckley is 74. Actor Jan Smithers is 72. Actor Bruce Altman is 66. Talk show host Montel Williams is 65. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 63. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 61. Actor Tom Cruise is 59. Actor Thomas Gibson is 59. Actor Hunter Tylo is 59. Actor Connie Nielsen is 57. Actor Yeardley Smith is 57. TV chef Sandra Lee is 55. Singer Ishmael Butler is 52. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 52. Actor-singer Shawnee Smith is 52. Actor-singer Audra McDonald is 51. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 50. Actor Patrick Wilson is 48. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 46. Actor Andrea Barber is 45. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 45. Actor Ian Anthony Dale is 43. Actor/comedian Jule Klausner is 43. Actor Elizabeth Hendrickson is 42. R&B singer Tonia Tash (Divine) is 42. Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is 41. Actor Olivia Munn is 41. Actor Shoshannah Stern is 41. Rock singer-songwriter Elle King is 32. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer is 30.