Today in History

Today in History

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Today’s Highlight in History:

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

On July 1:

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 1944, delegates from 44 countries began meeting at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, where they agreed to establish the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

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

In 1961, Diana, the princess of Wales, was born in Sandringham, England. (She died in a 1997 car crash in Paris at age 36.)

In 1963, the U.S. Post Office inaugurated its five-digit ZIP codes.

In 1966, the Medicare federal insurance program went into effect.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated federal appeals court judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, beginning an ultimately successful confirmation process marked by allegations of sexual harassment.

In 1997, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years as a British colony. Actor Robert Mitchum died in Santa Barbara, California, at age 79.

In 2002, the world’s first permanent war crimes tribunal, the International Criminal Court, came into existence. A Russian passenger jet collided with a cargo plane over southern Germany, killing all 69 people, including 45 schoolchildren, on the Russian plane and the cargo jet pilots.

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

In 2009, Academy Award-winning actor Karl Malden, 97, died in Brentwood, California. 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.

In 2015, after more than a half-century of hostility, the United States and Cuba declared they would reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, marking a historic full restoration of diplomatic relations between the Cold War foes. Episcopalians voted overwhelmingly at their General Convention in Salt Lake City to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples. San Francisco resident Kate Steinle, 32, was fatally shot in the back while walking along the city’s popular waterfront. (Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican national who was in the U.S. illegally, acknowledged holding the gun that killed Steinle but said it fired accidentally after he found it. He was found not guilty of killing Steinle; a state appeals court threw out his conviction on a gun charge.)

In 2019, fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff, the youngest player to qualify at Wimbeldon in the professional era, defeated 39-year-old Venus Williams in the first round, 6-4, 6-4. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his room at the Texas hotel where the team was staying; the medical examiner found that Skaggs had a toxic mix of alcohol and the painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his body. Hundreds of protesters swarmed into Hong Kong’s legislature, defacing portraits of lawmakers and spray-painting pro-democracy slogans in the chamber before vacating it as riot police cleared surrounding streets with tear gas; the three-hour occupation came on the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony’s return to China.

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