Today in History – Thursday, July 6, 2017


Today is Thursday, July 6, the 187th day of 2017. There are 178 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On July 6, 1957, Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title as she defeated fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2. The Harry S. Truman Library, the nation’s first presidential library, was dedicated in Independence, Missouri. Sixteen-year-old John Lennon first met 15-year-old Paul McCartney when Lennon’s band, the Quarrymen skiffle group, performed a gig at St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool.

On this date:

In 1535, Sir Thomas More was executed in England for high treason.

In 1777, during the American Revolution, British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga.

In 1885, French scientist Louis Pasteur tested an anti-rabies vaccine on 9-year-old Joseph Meister, who had been bitten by an infected dog; the boy did not develop rabies.

In 1917, during World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence and Auda Abu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba (AH’-kah-buh) from the Ottoman Turks.

In 1933, the first All-Star baseball game was played at Chicago’s Comiskey Park; the American League defeated the National League, 4-2.

In 1942, Anne Frank, her parents and sister entered a “secret annex” in an Amsterdam building where they were later joined by four other people; they hid from Nazi occupiers for two years before being discovered and arrested.

In 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1964, the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” starring The Beatles, had its world premiere in London. British colony Nyasaland became the independent country of Malawi.

In 1967, war erupted as Nigeria sent troops into the secessionist state of Biafra. (The Biafran (bee-AF’-ruhn) War lasted 2 1/2 years and resulted in a Nigerian victory.)

In 1971, jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong died in New York at age 69.

In 1988, 167 North Sea oil workers were killed when explosions and fires destroyed a drilling platform. Medical waste and other debris began washing up on New York City-area seashores, forcing the closing of several popular beaches.

In 1997, the rover Sojourner rolled down a ramp from the Mars Pathfinder lander onto the Martian landscape to begin inspecting the soil and rocks of the red planet.

Ten years ago: A man on a balcony over the New York-New York casino floor in Las Vegas opened fire on the gamblers below, wounding four people before he was tackled by off-duty military reservists. (The gunman, Steven Zegrean, was later convicted of charges including attempted murder and was sentenced to 26 to 90 years in prison; he died in April 2010 less than a year into his term.) Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, pioneer of the modern historical romance novel, died in Princeton, Minnesota, at age 68.

Five years ago: At a 100-nation conference in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hailed an accelerating wave of defections in President Bashar Assad’s inner circle as the United States and its international allies pleaded once again for global sanctions against the Syrian regime. Former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was released from jail in Florida for a second time while he awaited his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin. (Zimmerman was acquitted.)

One year ago: President Barack Obama scrapped plans to cut American forces in Afghanistan by half before leaving office. Double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in a South African prison for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Philando Castile, a black elementary school cafeteria worker, was killed during a traffic stop in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights by Officer Jeronimo Yanez, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter (Yanez was acquitted at trial). Former Fox News Channel anchor Gretchen Carlson sued network chief executive Roger Ailes, claiming she was cut loose after she had refused his sexual advances and complained about harassment in the workplace, allegations denied by Ailes. (Carlson later settled her lawsuit for a reported $20 million.) The augmented-reality game Pokemon Go made its debut in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer-actress Della Reese is 86. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is 82. Actor Ned Beatty is 80. Singer Gene Chandler is 77. Country singer Jeannie Seely is 77. Actor Burt Ward is 72. Former President George W. Bush is 71. Actor-director Sylvester Stallone is 71. Actor Fred Dryer is 71. Actress Shelley Hack is 70. Actress Nathalie Baye is 69. Actor Geoffrey Rush is 66. Actress Allyce Beasley is 66. Rock musician John Bazz (The Blasters) is 65. Actor Grant Goodeve is 65. Country singer Nanci Griffith is 64. Retired MLB All-Star Willie Randolph is 63. Jazz musician Rick Braun is 62. Actor Casey Sander is 62. Country musician John Jorgenson is 61. Former first daughter Susan Ford Bales is 60. Hockey player and coach Ron Duguay (doo-GAY’) is 60. Actress-writer Jennifer Saunders is 59. Rock musician John Keeble (Spandau Ballet) is 58. Actor Pip Torrens is 57. Actor Brian Posehn is 51. Political reporter/moderator John Dickerson (TV: “Face the Nation”) is 49. Actor Brian Van Holt is 48. Rapper Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) is 47. TV host Josh Elliott is 46. Rapper 50 Cent is 42. Actress Tia Mowry is 39.

Actress Tamera Mowry is 39. Comedian-actor Kevin Hart is 38. Actress Eva (EH’-vuh) Green is 37. Actor Gregory Smith is 34. Rock musician Chris “Woody” Wood (Bastille) is 32. Rock singer Kate Nash is 30. Actor Jeremy Suarez is 27.

Thought for Today: “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.” — Frida Kahlo (FREE’-dah KAH’-loh), Mexican painter (born this date in 1907, died 1954).