Today in History – Sunday, July 3, 2016


Today is Sunday, July 3, the 185th day of 2016. There are 181 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 3, 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.

On this date:

In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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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 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union.

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 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg by dedicating the Eternal Light Peace Memorial.

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 1962, French President Charles de Gaulle signed an agreement recognizing Algeria as an independent state after 132 years of French rule.

In 1971, singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan presided over a gala ceremony in New York Harbor that saw the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty. Singer-actor Rudy Vallee died at his North Hollywood home at age 84.

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. A blaze destroyed a fireworks store in Scottown, Ohio, filled with Fourth of July shoppers, killing nine people and injuring eleven.

Ten years ago: Former U.S. Army Pfc. Steven D. Green was charged in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, and killing her, her parents and sister. (Green was convicted of murder and rape, and was sentenced to five life terms; he committed suicide in prison in 2014.) A subway train derailed in Valencia, Spain, killing 43 people. Annika Sorenstam ended ten years of frustration by winning the U.S. Women’s Open, her tenth major championship.

Five years ago: A chartered fishing boat, the Erik, sank in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, leaving one Northern California man dead and seven missing. Yingluck Shinawatra (SHIHN’-uh-waht), the sister of Thailand’s fugitive former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra (TAHK’-sihn SHIHN’-uh-waht), led his loyalists to a landslide election victory, a stunning rout of the military-backed government that had crushed protests by his supporters. Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) won his first Wimbledon, beating defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

One year ago: The Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered by the sun’s rays, landed in Hawaii after pilot Andre Borschberg made a record-breaking five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Tim O’Connor is 89. Jazz musician Pete Fountain is 86. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 79. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 77. Actor Michael Cole (TV: “The Mod Squad”) is 76. Attorney Gloria Allred is 75. Folk singer Judith Durham (The Seekers) is 73. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 73. Country singer Johnny Lee is 70. Humorist Dave Barry is 69. Actress Betty Buckley is 69. Rock singer-musician Paul Barrere (bah-RAYR’) (Little Feat) is 68. Actress Jan Smithers is 67. Actor Bruce Altman is 61. Talk show host Montel Williams is 60. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 58. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 56. Actor Tom Cruise is 54. Actor Thomas Gibson is 54. Actress Hunter Tylo is 54. Actress Connie Nielsen is 52. Actress Yeardley Smith is 52. TV chef Sandra Lee is 50. Singer Ishmael Butler is 47. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 47. Actress-singer Shawnee Smith is 47. Actress-singer Audra McDonald is 46. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 45. Actor Patrick Wilson is 43. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 41. Actress Andrea Barber is 40. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 40. Actor Ian Anthony Dale is 38. Actress Elizabeth Hendrickson is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tonia Tash (Divine) is 37. Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is 36. Actress Olivia Munn is 36. Actress Shoshannah Stern is 36. Rock singer-songwriter Elle King is 27. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer is 25. Actress Kelsey Batelaan is 21.

Thought for Today: “Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” — Edna Ferber, American author and playwright (1885-1968).

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