Today in History
Today is Monday, July 3, the 184th day of 2017. There are 181 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 3, 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.
On this date:
In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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 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.
In 1987, British millionaire Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand became the first hot-air balloon travelers to cross the Atlantic, parachuting into the sea as their craft went down off the Scottish coast.
In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
In 1992, the first U.S. Air Force C-130 transport planes from Operation Provide Promise arrived in the besieged Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush refused to rule out an eventual pardon for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby after already commuting his prison sentence in the CIA leak case (as it turned out, Bush left office without pardoning Libby). Japan's defense minister (Fumio Kyuma) resigned after drawing furious criticism for suggesting the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inevitable. The Alinghi team from Switzerland succeeded in defending sailing's coveted America's Cup, beating Emirates Team New Zealand 5-2. Saxophonist Boots Randolph ("Yakety Sax") died in Nashville at age 80.
Five years ago: 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.
One year ago: A devastating truck bombing on a bustling commercial street in downtown Baghdad killed nearly 300 people. A 19-year-old tourist from Virginia lost 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, died in Tucson, Arizona, at age 95.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Tim O'Connor is 90. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 80. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 78. Actor Michael Cole (TV: "The Mod Squad") is 77. Attorney Gloria Allred is 76. Folk singer Judith Durham (The Seekers) is 74. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 74. Country singer Johnny Lee is 71. Humorist Dave Barry is 70. Actress Betty Buckley is 70. Rock singer-musician Paul Barrere (bah-RAYR') (Little Feat) is 69. Actress Jan Smithers is 68. Actor Bruce Altman is 62. Talk show host Montel Williams is 61. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 59. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 57. Actor Tom Cruise is 55. Actor Thomas Gibson is 55. Actress Hunter Tylo is 55. Actress Connie Nielsen is 53. Actress Yeardley Smith is 53. TV chef Sandra Lee is 51. Singer Ishmael Butler is 48. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 48. Actress-singer Shawnee Smith is 48. Actress-singer Audra McDonald is 47. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 46. Actor Patrick Wilson is 44. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 42. Actress Andrea Barber is 41. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 41. Actor Ian Anthony Dale is 39. Actress Elizabeth Hendrickson is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tonia Tash (Divine) is 38. Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is 37. Actress Olivia Munn is 37. Actress Shoshannah Stern is 37. Rock singer-songwriter Elle King is 28. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer is 26. Actress Kelsey Batelaan is 22.
Thought for Today: "A timid person is frightened before a danger; a coward during the time; and a courageous person afterward." — Jean Paul Richter, German author (1763-1825).