This Day in History
Today is Tuesday, July 1, the 182nd day of 2014. There are 183 days left in the year.
1969: Denmark becomes the first country in the world to allow sale and production of pornography after adult censorship is lifted.
1847: The US Post Office issues the first adhesive-backed stamps.
1867: The provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario officially become the Dominion of Canada. As a dominion, Canada still owed its allegiance to the British crown and didn't receive total independence until 1982.
1910: South Africa becomes a dominion of British Empire, after the British defeat the Dutch settlers in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under apartheid until the 1990s when black majority rule was established.
1961: Algerians vote overwhelmingly for independence from France.
1962: Rwanda and Burundi gain their independence from Belgium.
1968: Britain, Soviet Union, United States, and 58 non-nuclear nations sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to curb the spread of nuclear weapons.
1994: PLO leader Yasser Arafat drives from Egypt into Gaza, ending his 27-year roaming exile, returning to Palestinian land with all the trappings of a head of state.
1996: The world's first voluntary euthanasia law takes effect in Australia's Northern Territory.
1997: After 156 years as a British colony, Hong Kong awakens to its first day as part of China. Prince Charles and former governor Chris Patten leave aboard the royal yacht Britannia.
1999: Queen Elizabeth II opens Scotland's first Parliament in nearly 300 years. An 18th century Scottish ballad by poet Robert Burns is sung instead of the traditional British anthem, "God Save The Queen".
2000: After 38 years and mounting pressure from an NAACP boycott, South Carolina removes the Confederate flag from atop its Statehouse. In a compromise with supporters, another one is raised on Statehouse grounds.
2002: A Boeing 757 cargo jet crashes mid-air into a Russian passenger airliner over southern Germany. Seventy-one are killed -- mostly children from the Russian plane en route to attending a festival in Barcelona.
2004: Saddam Hussein appears in Iraqi court for the first time, scoffing at charges of war crimes and genocide and declaring himself still the president of Iraq.
2005: A fire paralyses a water plant near Baghdad, leaving millions of the capital's weary residents with dry taps a day after the mayor threatened to quit because of mounting infrastructure problems.
2008: France's army chief resigns following a weekend military show in which 16 people were shot and wounded when real bullets were used instead of blanks.
2011: A defiant Moammar Gadhafi threatens to carry out attacks in Europe against "homes, offices, families", unless NATO halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya.
2013: Demonstrations by millions across Egypt call for the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German philosopher and mathematician (1646-1716); George Sand (Armandine Dudevant), French author (1804-1876); Charles Laughton, British-born actor (1899-1965); James Cagney, US actor (1904-1986); Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales (1961-1997); Sydney Pollack, US director (1934-2008); Olivia de Havilland, British actress (1916--); Sir Seretse Khama, first president of Botswana (1921-1980); Twyla Tharp, US dancer/choreographer (1941--); Deborah Harry, U.S. singer (1945--); Liv Tyler, US actress (1977--); Carl Lewis, US Olympic athlete (1961--); Pamela Anderson, US actress (1967--).
Yasser Arafat drives from Egypt into Gaza, ending his 27-year roaming exile, returning to Palestinian land with all the trappings of a head of state.