This Day in History — July 3


This Day in History — July 3

Friday, July 03, 2020

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Today is the 185th day of 2020. There are 181 days left in the year.


1987: British millionaire Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand becomes the first hot-air balloon travellers to cross the Atlantic, parachuting into the sea as their craft went down off the Scottish coast.


AD 321: Roman emperor Constantine, a Christian, proclaims Sunday a day of rest and religious observance.

1583: Russia's Czar Ivan the Terrible kills his son Ivan in a fit of rage.

1608: Samuel de Champlain, French explorer, lays foundation of Canadian city of Quebec.

1775: General George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1863: The three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ends in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett's Charge.

1890: Idaho becomes the 43rd state of the Union.

1913: During a 50th-anniversary reunion at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Civil War veterans re-enact 'Pickett's Charge', which ended with embraces and handshakes between the former enemies.

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

1944: During World War II, Soviet forces recapture Minsk from the Germans.

1950: The first carrier strikes of the Korean War takes place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.

1954: Food rationing, imposed during World War II, ends in Britain.

1962: French President Charles de Gaulle signs an agreement recognising Algeria as an independent State, after 132 years of French rule.

1971: Singer Jim Morrison of The Doors dies in Paris at age 27.

1976: Israel launches its daring mission to rescue 106 passengers and Air France crew members being held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by pro-Palestinian hijackers; the commandos succeeded in rescuing all but four of the hostages.

1988: The USS Vincennes shoots down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

1992: The first US Air Force C-130 transport planes from Operation Provide Promise arrives in the besieged Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.

1993: Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide signs an accord in New York with the Haitian military that will return him to office.

1996: Boris Yeltsin decisively defeats communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov for a second term as Russian president.

1997: The Parliament of Western Samoa votes to amend the constitution to simplify the country's name to Samoa.

1999: In their first matchup in three years, world chess champion Garry Kasparov best his key rival, Anatoly Karpov, to win the Siemens Giants chess tournament.

2000: Opposition candidate Vicente Fox is declared the winner in Mexico's presidential elections, in a stunning victory that ended the ruling PRI party's 71-year lock on the presidency.

2001: Fifteen female Falun Gong followers allegedly hang themselves at a labour camp in north-eastern China after being tortured by the camp staff. The Chinese Government outlawed the spiritual movement in 1999.

2005: Saudi anti-terror forces kills al-Qaeda's top leader in the kingdom in a dawn gun battle. But despite the Moroccan terrorist Younis Mohammed Ibrahim al-Hayari's death, and a two-year crackdown on militants, the number of extremists has grown.

2007: A 10-year-old Nepalese girl is stripped of her title as a living goddess because she travelled overseas to promote a documentary about the centuries-old tradition. Because of popular support, Sajani Shakya's position is reinstated, but she retires in March 2008 at the age of 11. President George W Bush refuses to rule out an eventual pardon for I Lewis “Scooter” Libby, after already commuting his prison sentence in the Central Intelligence Agency leak case (as it turned out, Bush left office without pardoning Libby). Japan's defence minister (Fumio Kyuma) resigns after drawing furious criticism for suggesting the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inevitable. The Alinghi team from Switzerland succeeds in defending sailing's coveted America's Cup, beating Emirates Team New Zealand 5-2. Saxophonist Boots Randolph (“Yakety Sax”) dies in Nashville at age 80.

2008:The Pentagon announces it had extended the tour of 2,200 marines in Afghanistan, after insisting for months the unit would come home on time. Venus and Serena Williams win in straight sets to set up their third all-sister Wimbledon final and seventh Grand Slam championship matchup.

2009: After bitter wrangling, Africa's leaders agree to denounce the International Criminal Court and refuse to extradite Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for crimes against humanity in Darfur.

2012: Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond resigns, the biggest scalp in a financial market scandal that has ripped through the bank's senior management and sown the seeds for a new investigation into Britain's banking sector. A federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, found Clayton F Osbon, a JetBlue Airways pilot who left the cockpit during a flight and screamed about religion and terrorists, not guilty by reason of insanity of interfering with a flight crew. Andy Griffith, 86, who made homespun American Southern wisdom his trademark as the wise sheriff in The Andy Griffith Show, died at his North Carolina home.

2013: Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, is overthrown by the military after just one year by the same kind of Arab Spring uprising that had brought the Islamist leader to power.

2016: A devastating truck bombing on a bustling commercial street in downtown Baghdad kills nearly 300 people. A 19-year-old tourist from Virginia loses his left foot in a blast that occurred when he stepped on a plastic bag filled with explosive chemicals in New York's Central Park. Actress Noel Neill, who played Superman's love interest, Lois Lane, in both a movie serial and on TV, dies in Tucson, Arizona, at age 95.


John Clare, English poet (1793-1864); Franz Kafka, Austrian author (1883-1924); Tom Stoppard, British playwright (1937-); Jean-Claude “Papa Doc” Duvalier, former president of Haiti (1951-2014); Ken Russell, British film director (1927-2011); Tom Cruise, US actor (1962- )

— AP

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