Today in History


Today is Tuesday, July 7, the 188th day of 2015. There are 177 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 7, 1865, four people were hanged in Washington D.C. for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln: Lewis Powell (aka Lewis Payne), David Herold, George Atzerodt and Mary Surratt, the first woman to be executed by the U.S. federal government.

On this date:

In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey (mahn-tuh-RAY’) after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.

In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

In 1919, the first Transcontinental Motor Convoy, in which a U.S. Army convoy of motorized vehicles crossed the United States, departed Washington D.C. (The trip ended in San Francisco on September 6, 1919.)

In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War erupted into full-scale conflict as Imperial Japanese forces attacked the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing.

In 1948, six female U.S. Navy reservists became the first women to be sworn in to the regular Navy.

In 1954, Elvis Presley made his radio debut as Memphis, Tennessee, station WHBQ played his first recording for Sun Records, “That’s All Right.”

In 1969, Canada’s House of Commons gave final approval to the Official Languages Act, making French equal to English throughout the national government.

In 1975, the daytime drama “Ryan’s Hope” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1976, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford hosted a White House dinner for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1987, Lt. Col. Oliver North began his long-awaited public testimony at the Iran- Contra hearing, telling Congress that he had “never carried out a single act, not one,” without authorization.

In 1990, the first “Three Tenors” concert took place as opera stars Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras performed amid the brick ruins of Rome’s Baths of Caracalla on the eve of the World Cup championship.

Ten years ago: Suicide terrorist bombings in three Underground stations and a double-decker bus killed 52 victims and four bombers in the worst attack on London since World War II. Al-Qaida’s wing in Iraq claimed to have killed Egypt’s top envoy, Ihab al-Sherif, who’d been abducted by gunmen.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama bypassed the Senate and appointed Dr. Donald Berwick to run Medicare and Medicaid. In Philadelphia, a disabled sightseeing “duck boat” adrift in the Delaware River was struck by a barge and capsized; two Hungarian tourists died. Los Angeles police charged Lonnie Franklin Jr. in the city’s “Grim Sleeper” serial killings.

One year ago: Washington state issued its first retail marijuana licenses. Pope Francis begged forgiveness in his first meeting with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy and vowed to hold bishops responsible for their handling of pedophile priests. Eduard Shevardnadze, 86, the Soviet Union’s foreign minister who helped end the Cold War but then as Georgia’s president was forced into retirement by parliament, died in Tbilisi. Actor Dick Jones, 87, the voice of Pinocchio in the classic 1940 Walt Disney cartoon, died in Los Angeles.

Today’s Birthdays: Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 88. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough is 82. Rock star Ringo Starr is 75. Rock musician Jim Rodford is 74. Comedian Bill Oddie is 74. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 72. Actor Joe Spano is 69. Pop singer David Hodo (The Village People) is 68. Country singer Linda Williams is 68. Actress Shelley Duvall is 66. Actress Roz Ryan is 64. Actor Billy Campbell is 56. Actor Robert Taylor is 55. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 53. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is 52. Actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan is 49. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is 49. Actress Amy Carlson is 47. Actress Jorja Fox is 47. Actress Cree Summer is 46. Actress Robin Weigert is 46. Actress Kirsten Vangsness is 43. Actor Troy Garity is 42. Actress Berenice Bejo (BEH’-ruh-nees BAY’-hoh) is 39. Actor Hamish Linklater is 39. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 35. Rapper Cassidy is 33. Country singer Gabbie Nolen is 33. Actor Ross Malinger is 31. Pop singer Ally Hernandez (Fifth Harmony) (TV: “The X Factor”) is 22. Pop musician Ashton Irwin (5 Seconds to Summer) is 21.

Thought for Today: “Memory depends very much on the perspicuity, regularity, and order of our thoughts. Many complain of the want of memory, when the defect is in their judgment; and others, by grasping at all, retain nothing.” — Margaret Fuller, American critic and social reformer (1810-1850).

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