This Day In History

Jul 5, 1921:
Sox accused of throwing World Series

After Judge Hugo Friend denies a motion to quash the indictments against the major league baseball players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, a trial begins with jury selection. The Chicago White Sox players, including stars Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, and Eddie Cicotte, subsequently became known as the "Black Sox" after the scandal was revealed.

The White Sox, who were heavily favored at the start of the World Series, had been seriously underpaid and mistreated by owner Charles Comiskey. The conspiracy to fix the games was most likely initiated by first baseman Chick Gindil and small-time gambler Josep Sullivan. Later, New York gambler Arnold Rothstein reluctantly endorsed it. The schemers used the team's discontent to their advantage: Through intermediaries, Rothstein offered relatively small sums of money for the players to lose some of the games intentionally. The scandal came to light when the gamblers did not pay the players as promised, thinking that they had no recourse. But when the players openly complained, the story became public and authorities were forced to prosecute them.

The trial against the players was actually just for show. After a tacit agreement whereby the players assented not to denigrate major league baseball or Comiskey in return for an acquittal, the signed confessions from some of the players mysteriously disappeared from police custody.

The jury acquitted all of the accused players and then celebrated with them at a nearby restaurant. But the height of the hypocrisy surrounding the entire matter came when Shoeless Joe was forced to sue Comiskey for unpaid salary. During this trial, Comiskey's lawyers suddenly produced the confessions that had disappeared during the criminal trial, with no explanation as to how they had been obtained.

Arnold Rothstein never even faced trial, and Comiskey hoped to go back to business as usual. However, all did not end well for everyone. Other baseball owners, hoping to remove any hint that the games were illegitimate, hired Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis to be the new commissioner of baseball. Landis was a hard-liner (and also a racist—he prevented blacks from playing in the major leagues during his reign into the 1940s) who then permanently barred the implicated Black Sox players from baseball.

Landis' decision has come under considerable criticism for its unfairness to a few of the players. Buck Weaver, by all accounts, had refused to take any money offered by the gamblers. He was purportedly banned from baseball for refusing to turn his teammates in. And although Shoeless Joe Jackson probably accepted some money, his statistics show that he never truly participated in throwing the games—he had the best batting average of either team in the series.

Jul 5, 1940:
United States passes Export Control Act

On this day in 1940, Congress passes the Export Control Act, forbidding the exporting of aircraft parts, chemicals, and minerals without a license. This prohibition was a reaction to Japan's occupation of parts of the Indo-Chinese coast.

Now that the Germans occupied a large swath of France, the possibility of Axis control of French colonies became a reality. Among those of immediate concern was French Indo-China. The prospect of the war spreading to the Far East was now a definite possibility. Increasing its likelihood was the request by Imperial Japan to use army, naval, and air bases in French Indo-Chinese territory, an important vantage point from which to further its campaign to conquer China. As Vichy France entered into negotiations on this issue, the Japanese peremptorily occupied key strategic areas along the coast of Indo-China.

The United States, fearing the advance of Japanese expansion and cooperation, even if by coercion, between German-controlled France and Japan, took its own action, by banning the export of aircraft parts without a license and, three weeks later, the export of aviation fuel and scrap metal and iron without a license. The United States was not alone in its concern. Great Britain, which had it own colonies in the Far East (Burma, Hong Kong, and Malaya) also feared an aggressive Japan. The day after the Export Act was passed, the British ambassador would be asked by Japan to close the Burma Road, a key supply route of arms for China, Japan's prey. Britain initially balked at the request but, fearing a declaration of war by a third enemy, caved in and closed the road, though only for a limited period.

Jul 5, 1946:
Bikini introduced

On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed "bikini," inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the modest two-piece made its appearance during World War II, when wartime rationing of fabric saw the removal of the skirt panel and other superfluous material. Meanwhile, in Europe, fortified coastlines and Allied invasions curtailed beach life during the war, and swimsuit development, like everything else non-military, came to a standstill.

In 1946, Western Europeans joyously greeted the first war-free summer in years, and French designers came up with fashions to match the liberated mood of the people. Two French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, developed competing prototypes of the bikini. Heim called his the "atom" and advertised it as "the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard's swimsuit, which was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string, was in fact significantly smaller. Made out of a scant 30 inches of fabric, Reard promoted his creation as "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard called his creation the bikini, named after the Bikini Atoll.

In planning the debut of his new swimsuit, Reard had trouble finding a professional model who would deign to wear the scandalously skimpy two-piece. So he turned to Micheline Bernardini, an exotic dancer at the Casino de Paris, who had no qualms about appearing nearly nude in public. As an allusion to the headlines that he knew his swimsuit would generate, he printed newspaper type across the suit that Bernardini modeled on July 5 at the Piscine Molitor. The bikini was a hit, especially among men, and Bernardini received some 50,000 fan letters.

Before long, bold young women in bikinis were causing a sensation along the Mediterranean coast. Spain and Italy passed measures prohibiting bikinis on public beaches but later capitulated to the changing times when the swimsuit grew into a mainstay of European beaches in the 1950s. Reard's business soared, and in advertisements he kept the bikini mystique alive by declaring that a two-piece suit wasn't a genuine bikini "unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."

In prudish America, the bikini was successfully resisted until the early 1960s, when a new emphasis on youthful liberation brought the swimsuit en masse to U.S. beaches. It was immortalized by the pop singer Brian Hyland, who sang "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" in 1960, by the teenage "beach blanket" movies of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, and by the California surfing culture celebrated by rock groups like the Beach Boys. Since then, the popularity of the bikini has only continued to grow.

Jul 5, 1950:
First U.S. fatality in the Korean War

Near Sojong, South Korea, Private Kenneth Shadrick, a 19-year-old infantryman from Skin Fork, West Virginia, becomes the first American reported killed in the Korean War. Shadrick, a member of a bazooka squad, had just fired the weapon at a Soviet-made tank when he looked up to check his aim and was cut down by enemy machine-gun fire.

Near the end of World War II, the "Big Three" Allied powers--the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain--agreed to divide Korea into two separate occupation zones and temporarily govern the nation. The country was split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces occupying the northern zone and Americans stationed in the south. By 1949, separate Korean governments had been established, and both the United States and the USSR withdrew the majority of their troops from the Korean Peninsula. The 38th parallel was heavily fortified on both sides, but the South Koreans were unprepared for the hordes of North Korean troops and Soviet-made tanks that suddenly rolled across the border on June 25, 1950.

Two days later, President Harry Truman announced that the United States would intervene in the Korean conflict to stem the spread of communism, and on June 28 the United Nations approved the use of force against communist North Korea. In the opening months of the war, the U.S.-led U.N. forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but in October, Chinese communist troops entered the fray, throwing the Allies into a hasty retreat. By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, where the battle line remained for the rest of the war.

In 1953, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the United States, and participating U.N. nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished. An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died.

The original figure of American troops lost--54,246 killed--became controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S. troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed in a car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was considered a casualty of the Korean War. If these deaths are subtracted from the 54,246 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from whatever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the Korean War numbers 36,516.

Jul 5, 1954:
Elvis Presley records "That's All Right (Mama)"

History credits Sam Phillips, the owner and operator of Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee, with the discovery of Elvis Presley, which is perfectly fair, though it fails to account for the roles of four others in making that discovery possible: The business partner who first spotted something special in Elvis, the two session men who vouched for his musical talent and the blues figure who wrote the song he was playing when Sam Phillips realized what he had on his hands. The song in question was "That's All Right" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, and Elvis' unrehearsed performance of it—recorded by Sam Phillips on this day in 1954—is a moment some regard as the true beginning of the rock-and-roll revolution.

The sequence of events that led to this moment began when a young truck driver walked into the offices of Sun Records and the Memphis Recording Service on a Saturday night in the summer of 1953 and paid $3.98 plus tax to make an acetate record as a birthday present to his mother. Sam Phillips recorded Elvis singing "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," and he told his business partner Marion Kreisler something that made her write down "Good ballad singer. Hold" in her notes. It was Kreisler who was impressed enough by the incredibly shy young singer that she repeatedly brought his name up to Phillips over the next year and mentioned that he seemed worth following up with. In early July 1954, Phillips finally sent two of his favorite session musicians, guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, to go meet with Elvis and report back to him with their assessment. After talking and jamming a bit with Presley, Moore and Black gave Phillips a report that was hardly enthusiastic. "He didn't knock me out," Moore told Phillips, "[but] the boy's got a good voice." Phillips decided to take a flyer and schedule a recording session with Presley for July 5.

Phillips knew that something was brewing in the music world of 1954, and he had a pretty good idea what it would take to make the pot boil: A white singer who could sing "black" rhythm and blues. However, the first several hours of the July 5 session did nothing to convince Sam Phillips that Elvis was the one he'd been looking for. Elvis's renditions of "Harbor Lights" and "I Love You Because" were stiff and uninspired, and after numerous takes and re-takes, Phillips called for a break. Rather than shoot the breeze with his fellow musicians or step outside for a breath of fresh air, Elvis began to mess around on the guitar, playing and singing "That's All Right," but at least twice as fast as the original.

Through an open door in the control room, Sam Phillips heard this unfamiliar rendition of a familiar blues number and knew he'd found the sound he'd been looking for. "[Phillips] stuck his head out and said 'What are you doing?'" Scotty Moore later recalled. "And we said, 'We don't know.' 'Well, back up,' Sam said, 'try to find a place to start, and do it again.'"

Phillips continued recording with Elvis over the next two evenings, but he never captured anything as thrilling as he did that first night. Released to Memphis radio station WHBQ just two days after it was recorded, and then as a single two weeks later, Elvis Presley's "That's All Right (Mama)" became an instant regional hit and set him on his path toward stardom.

Jul 5, 1959:
U.S. visitors to Soviet exhibition in New York express their feelings

The New York Times says American visitors to the Soviet National Exhibition in New York City are expressing very strong views of Russian society and economics in the "guest books" located throughout the exhibition. The generally negative, and often angry, comments indicated that cultural exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union did not necessarily bring the two nations closer together in understanding.

The Soviet National Exhibition in New York City was the outgrowth of a new emphasis on cultural exchanges by both the United States and the Soviet Union in the late 1950s. In January 1958, the two nations signed an agreement designed to increase cultural contact and specifically cited the "usefulness of exhibits as an effective means of developing mutual understanding." At the end of 1958, both nations agreed to host national exhibitions from the other nation. The Soviet National Exhibition came to New York City in June 1959, and ran until late July. The focal point of the exhibition was Sputnik, the Soviet satellite that had gone into orbit around the earth in 1957. There were also exhibits on Soviet industry and agriculture, as well as musical and theatrical performances. Unknown to most of the U.S. public, until the Times article of July 5, 1959, was that the Soviets had placed comment books around the exhibition hall. Americans, never shy in expressing their opinions, gladly obliged by filling the books up as quickly as they were placed. To a large degree, the comments reflected the existing Cold War animosities. A typical remark was, "I think the main perspective of this Russian exhibit is to show the average American citizen how lucky he is to be an American." Another sarcastically noted, "I missed seeing your typical Russian home (dump) and your labor camps (slave camps)." And after a performance of Russian folk music, one "critic" declared, "Russian music is for the birds. If they'll take it." Other comments were considered too "coarse" to be reprinted.

A few weeks after the Times article appeared, the American National Exhibition opened in Moscow. Like the Russians, the Americans placed comment books around the displays. And, as in New York City, Russians in Moscow used the opportunity to vent about American imperialism, decadence, and lack of morality. In the following years, more and more cultural exchanges took place. Most U.S. officials came to believe that such exchanges increased mutual understanding and decreased the mutual suspicion upon which the Cold War rested. In 1959, however, the early attempts at familiarity only bred contempt.

Jul 5, 1963:
Edie Falco born

On this day in 1963, the actress Edie Falco, best known for her role as mob wife Carmela Soprano on the hit television drama The Sopranos, is born in Brooklyn, New York.

The Sopranos, proclaimed by some critics to be the greatest TV series of all time, debuted on HBO in January 1999. The show centered around the personal and professional problems of the New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini. Complicating Tony’s life were a large cast of characters--among them, his materialistic wife Carmela, his therapist Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), his uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese), his children Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) and A.J. (Rober Iler) and his crime-world crew, including Paulie “Walnuts” Gaultieri (Tony Sirico), Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt) and Carmela’s cousin Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli). The brainchild of writer and producer David Chase, the show became known for its dark, edgy style, its graphic violence and profanity and its frequent pop-culture references.

As the well-coiffed, conflicted Mrs. Soprano, Falco was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in each year of the The Sopranos’ six-season run and won the award three times. In 2003, during the show’s fourth season, she scored a rare trifecta, winning a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, and an Emmy in the same year. Falco’s Carmela enjoyed the lavish lifestyle her husband’s profession provided, but struggled with his infidelities and the fact that his illegal career was at odds with her religious faith. The final episode of The Sopranos aired June 10, 2007; almost 12 million people tuned in for the finale, which provoked fierce debate among the show’s die-hard fans over its open-ended final scene.

Prior to her breakout role on The Sopranos, Falco acted on Broadway and appeared on such TV shows as Oz, Law & Order and Homicide. Her first big film break came with a small speaking role in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway (1994). She went on to appear in A Price Above Rubies (1998), Judy Berlin (1999), Sunshine State (2002) and Freedomland (2006). More recently, Falco guest-starred in several episodes of the acclaimed NBC sitcom 30 Rock.
05 July Deaths

967 – Emperor Murakami of Japan (b. 926)
1316 – Ferdinand of Majorca (b. 1278)
1375 – Charles III, Count of Alençon (b. 1337)
1507 – Crinitus, Florentine scholar (b. 1475)
1539 – Anthony Maria Zaccaria, Italian saint (b. 1502)
1666 – Albert VI, Duke of Bavaria (b. 1584)
1676 – Carl Gustaf Wrangel, Swedish commander and politician (b. 1613)
1715 – Charles Ancillon, French jurist and diplomat (b. 1659)
1719 – Meinhardt Schomberg, 3rd Duke of Schomberg, German-English general (b. 1641)
1773 – Francisco José Freire, Portuguese historian and philologist (b. 1719)
1819 – William Cornwallis, English admiral and politician (b.1744)
1826 – Stamford Raffles, English politician, founded Singapore (b. 1782)
1833 – Nicéphore Niépce, French inventor, created the first known photograph (b. 1765)
1859 – Charles Cagniard de la Tour, French physicist and engineer (b. 1777)
1862 – Heinrich Georg Bronn, German geologist and paleontologist (b. 1800)
1863 – Lewis Armistead, American general (b. 1817)
1884 – Victor Massé, French composer (b. 1822)
1908 – Jonas Lie, Norwegian author, poet, and playwright (b. 1833)
1920 – Max Klinger, German painter and sculptor (b. 1857)
1927 – Albrecht Kossel, German physician and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1853)
1929 – Henry Lincoln Johnson, American sergeant (b. 1897)
1932 – Sasha Chorny, Russian poet and author (b. 1880)
1935 – Bernard de Pourtalès, Swiss captain and sailor (b. 1870)
1937 – Daniel Sawyer, American golfer (b. 1884)
1945 – John Curtin, Australian politician, 14th Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1885)
1948 – Georges Bernanos, French soldier and author (b. 1888)
1948 – Carole Landis, American actress and singer (b. 1919)
1957 – anugrah Narayan Sinha, Indian lawyer and politician, 1st Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar (b. 1887)
1957 – Charles Sherwood Noble, American inventor (b. 1873)
1965 – Porfirio Rubirosa, Dominican race car driver, polo player, and diplomat (b. 1909)
1966 – George de Hevesy, Hungarian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)
1969 – Wilhelm Backhaus, German pianist and educator (b. 1884)
1969 – Walter Gropius, German architect, designed the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and Werkbund Exhibition (b. 1883)
1969 – Tom Mboya, Kenyan politician, 1st Minister of Justice for Kenya (b. 1930)
1969 – Leo McCarey, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1898)
1975 – Gilda dalla Rizza, Italian soprano (b. 1892)
1983 – Harry James, American trumpet player and actor (b. 1916)
1991 – Howard Nemerov, American poet (b. 1920)
1995 – Jüri Järvet, Estonian actor (b. 1919)
1997 – Mrs. Elva Miller, American singer (b. 1907)
1998 – Sid Luckman, American football player (b. 1916)
2001 – Ernie K-Doe, American singer (b. 1936)
2002 – Katy Jurado, Mexican actress (b. 1924)
2002 – Ted Williams, American baseball player and manager (b. 1918)
2004 – Hugh Shearer, Jamaican politician, 3rd Prime Minister of Jamaica (b. 1923)
2004 – Rodger Ward, American race car driver (b. 1921)
2005 – Shirley Goodman, American singer (Shirley & Company) (b. 1936)
2005 – James Stockdale, American admiral (b. 1923)
2006 – Gert Fredriksson, Swedish canoe racer (b. 1919)
2006 – Thirunalloor Karunakaran, Indian poet and scholar (b. 1924)
2006 – Kenneth Lay, American businessman (b. 1942)
2006 – Amzie Strickland, American actress (b. 1919)
2006 – Don Lusher, English trombonist (b. 1923)
2007 – Régine Crespin, French soprano (b. 1927)
2007 – Kerwin Mathews, American actor (b. 1926)
2007 – George Melly, English singer-songwriter and critic (b. 1926)
2008 – Hasan Doğan, Turkish businessman (b. 1956)
2010 – Bob Probert, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1965)
2011 – Cy Twombly, American painter (b. 1928)
2012 – Rob Goris, Belgian cyclist (b. 1982)
2012 – Gerrit Komrij, Dutch author, poet, and playwright (b. 1944)
2012 – Colin Marshall, Baron Marshall of Knightsbridge, English businessman and politician (b. 1933)
2012 – Bob Rowland Smith, American politician (b. 1925)
2012 – Ruud van Hemert, Dutch actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1938)
2013 – Bud Asher, American lawyer and politician (b. 1925)
2013 – David Cargo, American politician, 22nd Governor of New Mexico (b. 1929)
2013 – Paul Couvret, Dutch-Australian pilot and politician (b. 1922)
2013 – Jean Guy, American wife of William L. Guy (b. 1922)
2013 – James McCoubrey, Canadian-American super-centenarian (b. 1901)
2013 – Ama Quiambao, Filipino actress (b. 1947)
2013 – Daniel Wegner, Canadian-American psychologist and educator (b. 1948)
2013 – Lambert Jackson Woodburne, South African admiral (b. 1939)
2014 – Sharifah Aini, Malaysian singer (b. 1953)
2014 – Volodymyr Sabodan, Ukrainian metropolitan (b. 1935)

Jul 5, 1966:
Governors express support for U.S. global commitments

State and territorial governors meet in Los Angeles to adopt a resolution expressing "support of our global commitments, including our support of the military defense of South Vietnam against aggression." The vote was 49 to 1, with Governor Mark Hatfield (R-Oregon) casting the dissenting vote against the resolution.

Also on this day: During a White House press conference, President Lyndon B. Johnson expresses his disappointment at the reaction of a "few" U.S. allies. Johnson had been actively seeking international support for the war against the communists in Vietnam. He had hoped to solicit aid for South Vietnam from U.S. allies and non-aligned nations and at the same time build an international consensus for his policies in Southeast Asia. Although more than 40 nations did send humanitarian or economic aid to South Vietnam, the response for military forces had been much less hearty than he expected. He was eventually able to obtain commitments from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines, who all provided troops to fight in the war.

Jul 5, 1970:
Pilot error causes crash in Toronto

An Air Canada DC-8 crashes while landing in Toronto, killing 108 people on this day in 1970. The crash was caused by poor landing procedures and inadvertent pilot error. The terrible accident came less than two days after another jet crash had killed more than 100 people in Spain.

The roots of this accident can be found in the working relationship of pilot Peter Hamilton and his co-pilot Donald Rowland. Though they were colleagues who often flew together, they frequently disagreed over the procedure for deploying the wing spoilers at landing. The spoilers are the parts of the wings that assist in braking when they are put in the right position.

Hamilton preferred to "arm the spoilers" or get them ready for deployment, early in the landing process, when the plane was 2,000 feet high, although this was against company policy. Rowland eventually agreed to arm the spoilers before landing, but only when the plane was just above the ground.

On this day, Rowland accidentally deployed the spoilers–rather than merely arming them–as the plane was approaching Toronto's airport. The premature deployment immediately caused the right wing to plunge to the ground. One engine on the right side fell off and the loss of weight sent the plane back into the air. Hamilton tried to regain control and attempt another landing; as he did, another engine, and then the whole right wing, detached from the plane.

The DC-8 broke into pieces in mid-air near the airport. All 108 people onboard were killed.

Jul 5, 1975:
Ashe becomes first black man to win Wimbledon

On this day in 1975, Arthur Ashe defeats the heavily favored Jimmy Connors to become the first black man ever to win Wimbledon, the most coveted championship in tennis.

Arthur Ashe began playing tennis as a boy in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. After winning a tennis scholarship to UCLA, Ashe was taken under the wing of tennis star Pancho Gonzales, who recognized the young player’s potential. In 1968, Ashe became the first black man to win the U.S. Open. Two years later, he captured the Australian Open for his second Grand Slam title. Over the next seven years, Ashe won his share of tournaments, but no more majors, and, frustrated, he set his sights on victory at Wimbledon, one of the most celebrated championships in tennis.

Arthur Ashe was 31 years old in 1975, and seemingly well past his prime, so his advancement to the 1975 Wimbledon finals came as somewhat of a surprise to the tennis establishment. While Ashe’s best finishes at Wimbledon had been losses in the semi-finals in 1968 and 1969, his opponent, the brash 22-year-old Jimmy Connors, was the defending Wimbledon champion. In their three previous meetings, Connors had handled Ashe easily. Furthermore, Connors was coming off an impressive semi-final win against Roscoe Tanner, whose intimidating serve observers called the hardest hitting ever at Wimbledon.

Though many thought he didn’t have a chance, Ashe formulated a game plan for the match: hit nothing hard. He planned to serve strongly and then give Connors nothing but "junk" as Ashe himself described it. Connors won the first game of the first set, but then dropped the rest of the set in just 20 minutes, 6-1. Although Connors won just one game off Ashe in the second set, he took the third set 7-5. His confidence restored, Connors strutted around the court, while Ashe closed his eyes between sets, concentrating on the moment at hand. Finally, with the shocked crowd cheering him on, Ashe finished Connors off in the fourth set, 6-4.

Ashe retired from competitive tennis in 1980 after suffering a heart attack. For his career, he won 51 tournaments. In retirement, Ashe wrote the three-volume book A Hard Road to Glory, first published in 1988, which detailed the struggle of black athletes in America. In 1983, after double-bypass surgery, Ashe was infected with HIV during a blood transfusion. After revealing his disease to the world in 1992, he set about educating the public about HIV and AIDS. He died of AIDS-related complications on February 6, 1993. In 1997, the U.S. Open’s new home court was named Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Jul 5, 1990:
Automotive safety expert Amos Neyhart dies at age 91

On this day in 1990, Amos Neyhart, an engineering professor who established the first driver education courses in the United States in the 1930s, dies in a Pennsylvania nursing home at the age of 91.

Neyhart joined the faculty of Pennsylvania State University in 1929 as an assistant professor of industrial engineering. (He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the same institution.) Around 1931, when a drunk driver hit Neyhart's parked car, he became convinced of the need for teenagers to be educated in how to drive properly. Parents lacked the necessary objectivity and patience to teach their children to drive, he believed, and they also often unknowingly passed along their own bad driving habits. Neyhart began by teaching volunteer students from State College High School; he used his own 1929 Graham-Paige automobile, which he had specially fitted with dual brake and clutch linkages. In 1933, he established a formal course at the high school, and he soon developed a teacher-preparation program. In 1934, Neyhart published "The Safe Operation of an Automobile," the first textbook on driver education.

Neyhart's pioneering work in Pennsylvania soon caught on across the country. By 1968, according to an article that year in The New York Times, accredited driver education courses were offered in more than 71 percent of the nation's high schools. A study completed at the time by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles found that graduates of such courses were involved in 22 percent fewer accidents and had 50 percent fewer driving violations than non-graduates, and most insurance companies had begun granting discounts to accredited young drivers.

Beginning in the late 1930s, Neyhart served as a consultant on driver education for the American Automobile Association (AAA); he was also director of Penn State's Institute of Public Safety in Continuing Education. Presidents Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson all named him to national traffic safety committees during their administrations. In 1988, Neyhart was inducted into the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International.

Jul 5, 1996:
First successful cloning of a mammal

On this day in 1996, Dolly the sheep--the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell--is born at the Roslin Institute in Scotland.

Originally code-named "6LL3," the cloned lamb was named after the buxom singer and actress Dolly Parton. The name was reportedly suggested by one of the stockmen who assisted with her birth, after he learned that the animal was cloned from a mammary cell. The cells had been taken from the udder of a six-year-old ewe and cultured in a lab using microscopic needles, in a method first used in human fertility treatments in the 1970s. After producing a number of normal eggs, scientists implanted them into surrogate ewes; 148 days later one of them gave birth to Dolly.

Dolly's birth was announced publicly in February 1997 to a storm of controversy. On one hand, supporters argued that cloning technology can lead to crucial advances in medicine, citing the production of genetically modified animals to be organ donors for humans as well as "therapeutic" cloning, or the process of cloning embryos in order to collect stem cells for use in the development of treatments for degenerative nerve diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Some scientists also looked at animal cloning as a possible way to preserve endangered species. On the other hand, detractors saw the new cloning technology as potentially unsafe and unethical, especially when it was applied to what many saw as the logical next step: human cloning.

Over the course of her short life, Dolly was mated to a male sheep named David and eventually gave birth to four lambs. In January 2002 she was found to have arthritis in her hind legs, a diagnosis that raised questions about genetic abnormalities that may have been caused in the cloning process. After suffering from a progressive lung disease, Dolly was put down on February 14, 2003, at the age of six. Her early death raised more questions about the safety of cloning, both animal and human. Though Ian Wilmut, the lead scientist on the team that produced Dolly, has spoken out publicly against human cloning, its supporters are unlikely to be dissuaded. As for Dolly, the historic sheep was stuffed and is now on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Jul 5, 2003:
World Health Organization declares SARS contained worldwide

On this day in 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces that all person-to-person transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has ceased. In the previous eight months, the disease had killed about 775 people in 29 countries and exposed the dangers of globalization in the context of public health. In spite of WHO's announcement, a new case was diagnosed in China in January 2004, and four more diagnoses followed that April.

The first cases of SARS—then believed to be pneumonia—likely appeared in China's Guangdong province in November 2002. On February 15, 2003, China reported 305 cases of atypical pneumonia, which was later found to be SARS. China was criticized, and later apologized, for failing to alert world health authorities of the initial outbreak and taking proper precautions to contain it. SARS soon spread to neighboring areas, like Hong Kong and Vietnam, and then around the world via air travel. In March, an elderly Canadian woman died from SARS after returning to Toronto from a visit to Hong Kong. The illness went on to kill 44 people in the Toronto area. In China, where the first cases occurred, 350 people died from the disease. In all, more than 8,000 people are thought to have been infected.

Following the WHO's March 12, 2003, issuing of a global health alert about SARS, fear of the disease led many to cancel travel to the affected regions. In addition to a pronounced dip in tourism, many businesses restricted travel to both Asia and Ontario, Canada. The 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup in soccer had been scheduled to take place in China, but was moved to the United States as a precaution. The 2003 Women's World Championship in ice hockey that was to be played in Beijing was cancelled outright. Airlines and other tourism-related businesses saw profits decline; some were even forced to lay off workers. Conferences and conventions scheduled for Toronto were cancelled, resulting in a loss of millions of dollars in revenues. Even Chinese food restaurants—from Beijing to New York—reported losses.

The major symptoms of SARS are initially flu-like, including a high fever and dry cough, and in some cases, headaches, diarrhea, stiffness, rash, confusion and loss of appetite also result. Difficulty breathing begins between two and 10 days after infection. Scientists are not yet sure how it is transmitted, but believe that close contact with an infected person is required to contract the disease. SARS is now known to be caused by the SARS coronavirus; a coronavirus is also responsible for some cases of the common cold. Officials believe the disease's mortality rate is about 10 percent.
06 July Events

371 BC – The Battle of Leuctra, where Epaminondas defeated Cleombrotus I, takes place
640 – Battle of Heliopolis: The Muslim Arab army under 'Amr ibn al-'As defeat the Byzantine forces near Heliopolis (Egypt).
1044 – The Battle of Ménfő between troops led by Emperor Henry III and Magyar forces led by King Samuel takes place.
1189 – Richard I "the Lionheart" accedes to the English throne.
1253 – Mindaugas is crowned King of Lithuania.
1348 – Pope Clement VI issues a papal bull protecting the Jews accused of having caused the Black Death.
1411 – Ming China's Admiral Zheng He returns to Nanjing after the third treasure voyage and presents the Sinhalese king, captured during the Ming–Kotte War, to the Yongle Emperor.
1415 – Jan Hus is burned at the stake.
1483 – Richard III is crowned King of England.
1484 – Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.
1495 – First Italian War: Battle of Fornovo – Charles VIII defeats the Holy League.
1535 – Sir Thomas More is executed for treason against King Henry VIII of England.
1557 – King Philip II of Spain, consort of Queen Mary I of England, sets out from Dover to war with France, which eventually resulted in the loss of the City of Calais, the last English possession on the continent, and Mary I never seeing her husband again.
1560 – The Treaty of Edinburgh is signed by Scotland and England.
1573 – Córdoba, Argentina, is founded by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera.
1609 – Bohemia is granted freedom of religion.
1614 – Żejtun and the surrounding villages suffer a raid from Ottoman forces. This was the last unsuccessful attempt by the Ottomans to conquer the island of Malta.
1630 – Thirty Years' War: Four thousand Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphus land in Pomerania, Germany.
1685 – Battle of Sedgemoor: Last battle of the Monmouth Rebellion. troops of King James II defeat troops of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.
1751 – Pope Benedict XIV suppresses the Patriarchate of Aquileia and establishes from its territory the Archdiocese of Udine and Gorizia.
1777 – American Revolutionary War: Siege of Fort Ticonderoga: After a bombardment by British artillery under General John Burgoyne, American forces retreat from Fort Ticonderoga, New York.
1779 – Battle of Grenada: The French defeat British naval forces during the American Revolutionary War.
1785 – The dollar is unanimously chosen as the monetary unit for the United States.
1801 – First Battle of Algeciras: Outnumbered French Navy ships defeat the Royal Navy in the fortified Spanish port of Algeciras.
1809 – The second day of the Battle of Wagram; France defeats the Austrian army in the largest battle to date of the Napoleonic Wars.
1854 – In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the United States Republican Party is held.
1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.
1887 – David Kalākaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, is forced at gunpoint by Americans to sign the Bayonet Constitution giving Americans more power in Hawaii while stripping Hawaiian citizens of their rights.
1892 – Dadabhai Naoroji is elected as the first Indian Member of Parliament in Britain.
1892 – Three thousand eight hundred striking steelworkers engage in a day-long battle with Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike, leaving ten dead and dozens wounded.
1917 – World War I: Arabian troops led by T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") and Auda ibu Tayi capture Aqaba from the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt.
1919 – The British dirigible R34 lands in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.
1933 – The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game is played in Chicago's Comiskey Park. The American League defeated the National League 4–2.
1936 – A major breach of the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal in England sends millions of gallons of water cascading 200 feet (61 m) into the River Irwell.
1937 – Spanish Civil War: Battle of Brunete: The battle begins with Spanish Republican troops going on the offensive against the Nationalists to relieve pressure on Madrid.
1939 – Holocaust: the last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany are closed.
1940 – Story Bridge, a major landmark in Brisbane, as well as Australia's longest cantilever bridge is formally opened.
1941 – Nazi Germany launches its offensive to encircle several Soviet armies near Smolensk.
1942 – Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the "Secret Annexe" above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
1944 – Jackie Robinson refuses to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court martial.
1944 – The Hartford circus fire, one of America's worst fire disasters, kills approximately 168 people and injures over 700 in Hartford, Connecticut.
1947 – The AK-47 goes into production in the Soviet Union.
1957 – Althea Gibson wins the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.
1957 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles.
1962 – As a part of Operation Plowshare, the Sedan nuclear test takes place.
1962 – The Late Late Show, the world's longest-running chat show by the same broadcaster, airs on RTÉ One for the first time.
1964 – Malawi declares its independence from the United Kingdom.
1966 – Malawi becomes a republic, with Hastings Banda as its first President.
1967 – Nigerian Civil War: Nigerian forces invade Biafra, beginning the war.
1975 – The Comoros declares independence from France.
1986 – Davis Phinney becomes the first American cyclist to win a road stage of the Tour de France.
1988 – The Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea is destroyed by explosions and fires. One hundred sixty-seven oil workers are killed, making it the world's worst offshore oil disaster in terms of direct loss of life.
1995 – In the Bosnian War, under the command of General Ratko Mladić, Serbia begins its attack on the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, and kills more than 8000 Bosniaks, in what then- UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called "the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War".
1997 – The Troubles: In response to the Drumcree dispute, five days of mass protests, riots and gun battles begin in Irish nationalist districts of Northern Ireland.
1999 – U.S. Army private Barry Winchell dies from baseball-bat injuries inflicted on him in his sleep the previous day by a fellow soldier, Calvin Glover, for his relationship with transgender showgirl and former Navy Corpsman Calpernia Addams.
2003 – The 70-metre Eupatoria Planetary Radar sends a METI message (Cosmic Call 2) to five stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri (HD 75732), HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris (HD 95128). The messages will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2049 respectively.
2006 – The Nathula Pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-openes for trade after 44 years.

Jul 6, 1775:
Congress issues a "Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms

On this day in 1775, one day after restating their fidelity to King George III and wishing him "a long and prosperous reign" in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress sets "forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms" against British authority in the American colonies. The declaration also proclaimed their preference "to die free men rather than live as slaves."

As in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress never impugned the motives of the British king. Instead, they protested, "The large strides of late taken by the legislature of Great Britain toward establishing over these colonies their absolute rule..." Congress provided a history of colonial relations in which the king served as the sole governmental connection between the mother country and colonies, until, in their eyes, the victory against France in the Seven Years' War caused Britain's "new ministry finding all the foes of Britain subdued" to fall upon "the unfortunate idea of subduing her friends also." According to the declaration, the king's role remained constant, but "parliament then for the first time assumed a power of unbounded legislation over the colonies of America," which resulted in the bloodletting at Lexington and Concord in April 1775.

At this point, Congress assumed that if the king could merely be made to understand what Parliament and his ministers had done, he would rectify the situation and return the colonists to their rightful place as fully equal members of the British empire. When the king sided with Parliament, however, Congress moved beyond a Declaration of Arms to a Declaration of Independence.

Jul 6, 1862:
Mark Twain begins reporting in Virginia City

Writing under the name of Mark Twain, Samuel Clemens begins publishing news stories in the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.

Born in Missouri in 1835, Clemens followed a circuitous route to becoming an observer and writer of the American West. As a young man he apprenticed as a printer and worked in St. Louis, New York, and Philadelphia. In 1856, he briefly considered a trip to South America where he thought he could make money collecting coca leaves. A year later, he became a riverboat pilot apprentice on the Mississippi River, and worked on the water for the next four years.

In 1861, Clemens' brother Orion was appointed secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada. Clemens jumped at the offer to accompany Orion on his western adventure. He spent his first year in Nevada prospecting for a gold or silver mine but was no more successful than the vast majority of would-be miners. In need of money, he accepted a job as reporter for a Virginia City, Nevada, newspaper called the Territorial Enterprise. His articles covering the bustling frontier-mining town began to appear on this day in 1862. Like many newspapermen of the day, Clemens adopted a pen name, signing his articles with the name Mark Twain, a term from his old river boating days.

Clemens' stint as a Nevada newspaperman revealed an exceptional talent for writing. In 1864, he traveled farther West to cover the booming state of California. Fascinated by the frontier life, Clemens drew on his western experiences to write one of his first published works of fiction, the 1865 short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." The success of this classic western tall tale catapulted Clemens out of the West, and he became a world-hopping journalist for a California newspaper.

In 1869, Clemens settled in Buffalo, New York, and later in Hartford, Connecticut. All told, Clemens spent only a little more than five years in the West, and the majority of his subsequent work focused on the Mississippi River country and the Northeast. As a result, Clemens can hardly be defined as a western writer. Still, his 1872 account of his western adventures, Roughing It, remains one of the most original and evocative eyewitness accounts of the frontier ever written. More importantly, even his non-western masterpieces like Tom Sawyer (1876) and Huckleberry Finn (1884) reflected a frontier mentality in their rejection of eastern pretentiousness and genteel literary conventions.

Jul 6, 1864:
Confederate General Jubal Early occupies Hagerstown

On this day, Confederate General Jubal Early's troops cross the Potomac River and capture Hagerstown, Maryland. Early had sought to threaten Washington, D.C., and thereby relieve pressure on General Robert E. Lee, who was fighting to keep Ulysses S. Grant out of Richmond, Virginia.

During the brutal six-week campaign against Grant in June 1864, Lee was under tremendous pressure. On June 12, he dispatched Jubal Early to Lynchburg, in western Virginia, to hold off a Union attack by General David Hunter. After defeating Hunter, Early was ordered to head down the Shenandoah Valley to the Potomac. Lee hoped that this threat to Washington would force Grant to return part of his army to the capital and protect it from an embarrassing capture by the Confederates. Lee was inspired by a similar Shenandoah campaign by Stonewall Jackson in 1862, in which Jackson occupied three Federal armies in a brilliant military show. However, the circumstances were different in 1864. Grant now had plenty of men, and Lee was stretched thin around the Richmond-Petersburg perimeter.

Still, the first part of Early's raid was successful. His force crossed the Potomac on July 6, and a cavalry brigade under John McCausland rode into Hagerstown. Early instructed McCausland to demand $200,000 from the city officials of Hagerstown for damages caused by Hunter in the Shenandoah Valley, but McCausland felt the amount was too large, so he asked for $20,000. After receiving the money, Early's army turned southeast toward Washington. The Confederates reached the outskirts of the city before being turned away by troops from Grant's army.

Jul 6, 1918:
Czech troops take Russian port of Vladivostok for Allies

On July 6, 1918, troops of the Czech Legion, fighting on behalf of the Allies during World War I and for the cause of their own independent Czecho-Slovak state, declare the Russian port of Vladivostok, on the Pacific Ocean, to be an Allied protectorate, having gained control of the port and overthrown the local Bolshevik administration a week earlier.

When World War I broke out in the summer of 1914, the countries now known as the Czech Republic and Slovakia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now fighting with Germany against the Allies—Russia, France and Great Britain. Czechs who enlisted in the Austro-Hungarian army found themselves fighting against their countrymen—many Czechs had emigrated to Russia near the turn of the century, mostly settling in and around Kiev, the capital of Ukraine—and began to bristle under Austro-Hungarian rule and in many cases to surrender voluntarily to the Russian enemy. In 1917, Thomas Masaryk, a professor of philosophy, pan-Slavist and ardent Czech nationalist, began lobbying the Russian government to let him raise a full Czecho-Slovak army in Russia to fight against the Central Powers. After the abdication of Czar Nicholas II in March, the provisional government allowed Masaryk to go ahead with his plan, and the Czech Legion was formed.

Over the next year, however, the Russian war effort collapsed, amid crushing losses to Germany on the Eastern Front and inner turmoil, culminating in November, when the radical socialist Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, seized power from the provisional government and almost immediately called for an armistice with the Central Powers. The Czech Legion, finding itself abandoned by its Russian comrades, decided to keep up the fight. Blocked by German forces from joining the other Allies on the Western Front in France, they headed east, coming into conflict with Bolshevik forces along the way.

By the summer of 1918, the Czech Legion had reached the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok, where they overthrew the local Bolshevik administration on June 29. On July 6, the legion declared the port to be an Allied protectorate. That same day, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson lauded the Czecho-Slovak contribution to the war effort, suggesting that some 12,000 Japanese troops be dispatched to Vladivostok in order to relieve the Czech Legion and allow them to proceed to the battlefields of France, a suggestion the Japanese accepted. On the following day, more Czech troops toppled Red army units and occupied the city of Irkutsk, in Siberia, spreading Allied control of the Russian Far East and Siberia just as Germany was consolidating its holds in southern Russia and the Caucasus.

In a statement issued on July 27, 1918, Masaryk, in his position as chairman of the Czecho-Slovak National Council, pointed to his countrymen currently fighting in Russia as a further argument for Allied recognition of their independence. In Masaryk's words: The Czecho-Slovak Army is one of the allied armies, and it is as much under the orders of the Versailles War Council as the French or American Army. No doubt the Czecho-Slovak boys in Russia are anxious to avoid participation in a possible civil war in Russia, but they realize at the same time that by staying where they are they may be able to render far greater services, both to Russia and the Allied cause, than if they were transported to France. They are at the orders of the Supreme War Council of the Allies.

The following September, with World War I in its last months, U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing declared de facto recognition of the Czecho-Slovak republic as an independent state, with Masaryk as its leader. Based on the fighting in Russia by Czecho-Slovak forces against the Central Powers, Lansing wrote that The Government of the United States further declares that it is prepared to enter formally into relations with the de facto government thus recognized for the purpose of prosecuting the war against the common enemy, the empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The republic of Czechoslovakia—made up of the former Austro-Hungarian territories of Bohemia, Moravia, part of Silesia, Slovakia and sub-Carpathian Ruthenia—was subsequently proclaimed at Prague in October 1918.

Jul 6, 1933:
Major League Baseball's first All-Star Game is held

On this day in 1933, Major League Baseball’s first All-Star Game took place at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The brainchild of a determined sports editor, the event was designed to bolster the sport and improve its reputation during the darkest years of the Great Depression. Originally billed as a one-time “Game of the Century,” it has now become a permanent and much-loved fixture of the baseball season.

Between 1930 and 1933, attendance at major league baseball games, which had skyrocketed during the 1920s, plummeted 40 percent, while the average player’s salary fell by 25 percent. Fans who could still afford tickets migrated from the more expensive box seats to the bleachers, which cost 50 cents. Owners of baseball teams across the country economized by shrinking their rosters, firing their coaches and slashing wages. Many teams also experimented with discounts and other innovations designed to woo back fans, including free admission for women, grocery giveaways and the first night games in baseball history.

Surprisingly, the most enduring promotional event to emerge during this period—the midseason All-Star Game between the American and National Leagues—was the brainchild of several people with no direct connection to baseball. In 1933, Chicago hosted a World’s Fair known as the Century of Progress International Exposition, an event devised to celebrate the city’s centennial while cultivating a sense of optimism during the depths of the Depression. Mayor Edward Kelly, newly elected and intent on making the fair a success, approached Colonel Robert McCormick, the powerful publisher of the Chicago Tribune, with the idea of holding a major athletic event in conjunction with it.

McCormick turned the matter over to his sports editor, Arch Ward, who proposed a one-time “Game of the Century” that would pit the finest players of the American and National Leagues against each other at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. As an added twist, fans would have the opportunity to vote on the lineup. Ward was so certain the game would be a hit that he told McCormick to take any losses out of Ward’s own paycheck. With his boss on board, Ward made his case to the presidents of both leagues and the various team owners, assuring the skeptics among them that the event would help pull baseball out of its slump. By donating all proceeds to a charity for retired players, he argued, they could show the country that Major League Baseball was not, as some had suggested, embracing a culture of “decadence” while ordinary Americans suffered financial ruin. Eventually, the persuasive editor’s lobbying won over the baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, and the game was set for July 6, 1933.

As the date drew near, Ward wrote story after story in the Tribune, hyping the game and encouraging the public to participate. Ballots were printed in 55 newspapers across the country, and fans cast several hundred thousand votes for their favorite players, with Babe Ruth drawing 100,000. Along with the Bambino, fans elected the likes of Lefty Grove, Jimmy Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin to the roster.

On July 6, 47,595 fans packed into Comiskey Park, where some of baseball’s most historic moments had taken place. This would be another. The game, which ended in a 4-2 victory by the American League, did not disappoint, thrilling the crowd with its star-studded roster, built-in drama and unprecedented matchups. Indeed, for many of the players, this was their first chance to meet and compete with their counterparts from the other league.

Arch Ward’s All-Star Game proved so popular that its organizers held another “midsummer classic” the following year. Since then, it has become an annual fixture of the baseball season, bringing together the sport’s most talented and beloved players every year with the exception of 1945, when it was cancelled due to wartime travel restrictions.

Jul 6, 1935:
Dalai Lama, leader of Tibet and bestselling author, is born

On this day, an infant named Tenzin Gyatso, future leader of Tibet and bestselling author, is born to a peasant family in Takster, Tibet. At age two, he will be declared the Dalai Lama. In 1999, he will have two bestsellers on the nonfiction lists.

In 1937, the child was declared the reincarnation of a great Buddhist spiritual leader and named the 14th Dalai Lama. His leadership rights were exercised by a regency until 1950. That same year, he was forced to flee by the Chinese but negotiated an agreement and returned to lead Tibet for the next eight years. In 1959, an unsuccessful Tibetan nationalist uprising led to a crackdown by China, and the Dalai Lama fled to Punjab, India, where he established his democratic government in exile. In 1989, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment to the nonviolent liberation of Tibet.

In 1998, his book The Art of Happiness, written with psychiatrist Howard Cutler, became a bestseller. His next book, Ethics for the New Millennium (1999), cracked the bestseller lists in August 1999, giving him two titles in the Top 10. Both books offered guidance for happy, simple living. Although drawing on Buddhist teachings, the books argue that spiritual faith is not necessary to live a contented, peaceful life.

He has since written several more books and, in 2005, was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.

Jul 6, 1942:
Frank family takes refuge

In Nazi-occupied Holland, 13-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family are forced to take refuge in a secret sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse. The day before, Anne's older sister, Margot, had received a call-up notice to be deported to a Nazi "work camp."

Born in Germany on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank fled to Amsterdam with her family in 1933 to escape Nazi persecution. In the summer of 1942, with the German occupation of Holland underway, 12-year-old Anne began a diary relating her everyday experiences, her relationship with her family and friends, and observations about the increasingly dangerous world around her. On July 6, fearing deportation to a Nazi concentration camp, the Frank family took shelter in a factory. During the next two years, under the threat of murder by the Nazi officers patrolling just outside the warehouse, Anne kept a diary that is marked by poignancy, humor, and insight.

On August 4, 1944, just two months after the successful Allied landing at Normandy, the Nazi Gestapo discovered the Frank's "Secret Annex." The Franks were sent to the Nazi death camps along with another Jewish family and a single Jewish man with whom they had shared the hiding place. Anne and most of the others ended up at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Anne's diary was left behind, undiscovered by the Nazis.

In early 1945, with the Soviet liberation of Poland underway, Anne was moved with her sister, Margot, to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Suffering under the deplorable conditions of the camp, the two sisters caught typhus and died in early March. After the war, Anne's diary was discovered undisturbed in the Amsterdam hiding place and in 1947 was translated into English and published. An instant best-seller and eventually translated into more than 30 languages, The Diary of Anne Frank has served as a literary testament to the six million Jews, including Anne herself, who were silenced in the Holocaust.

Jul 6, 1944:
The Hartford Circus Fire

In Hartford, Connecticut, a fire breaks out under the big top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, killing 167 people and injuring 682. Two-thirds of those who perished were children. The cause of the fire was unknown, but it spread at incredible speed, racing up the canvas of the circus tent. Scarcely before the 8,000 spectators inside the big top could react, patches of burning canvas began falling on them from above, and a stampede for the exits began. Many were trapped under fallen canvas, but most were able to rip through it and escape. However, after the tent's ropes burned and its poles gave way, the whole burning big top came crashing down, consuming those who remained inside. Within 10 minutes it was over, and some 100 children and 60 of their adult escorts were dead or dying.

An investigation revealed that the tent had undergone a treatment with flammable paraffin thinned with three parts of gasoline to make it waterproof. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus eventually agreed to pay $5 million in compensation, and several of the organizers were convicted on manslaughter charges. In 1950, in a late development in the case, Robert D. Segee of Circleville, Ohio, confessed to starting the Hartford circus fire. Segee claimed that he had been an arsonist since the age of six and that an apparition of an Indian on a flaming horse often visited him and urged him to set fires. In November 1950, Segee was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 22 years in prison, the maximum penalty in Ohio at the time.
06 July Births

1580 – Johann Stobäus, German lute player and composer (d. 1646)
1623 – Jacopo Melani, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1676)
1678 – Nicola Francesco Haym, Italian cellist and composer (d. 1729)
1686 – Antoine de Jussieu, French biologist (d. 1758)
1736 – Daniel Morgan, American general and politician (d. 1802)
1747 – John Paul Jones, Scottish-American captain (d. 1792)
1766 – Alexander Wilson, Scottish-American poet, ornithologist, and illustrator (d. 1813)
1781 – Stamford Raffles, English politician, founded Singapore (d. 1826)
1782 – Maria Luisa of Spain (d. 1824)
1785 – William Hooker, English botanist and academic (d. 1865)
1789 – María Isabella of Spain (d. 1846)
1796 – Nicholas I of Russia (d. 1855)
1817 – Albert von Kölliker, Swiss anatomist and physiologist (d. 1905)
1818 – Adolf Anderssen, German chess player (d. 1879)
1832 – Maximilian I of Mexico (d. 1867)
1837 – R. G. Bhandarkar, Indian orientalist and scholar (d. 1925)
1838 – Vatroslav Jagić, Croatian philologist and scholar (d. 1923)
1840 – José María Velasco Gómez, Mexican painter (d. 1912)
1859 – Verner von Heidenstam, Swedish poet and author, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1940)
1865 – Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, Swiss composer and educator (d. 1950)
1868 – Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom (d. 1935)
1875 – Charles Perrin, French rower (d. 1954)
1878 – Eino Leino, Finnish poet and journalist (d. 1926)
1884 – Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, American businessman and sailor (d. 1970)
1885 – Ernst Busch, German field marshal (d. 1945)
1886 – Marc Bloch, French historian and academic (d. 1944)
1887 – Marc Chagall, Belarussian-French painter (d. 1985)
1887 – Annette Kellerman, Australian swimmer (d. 1975)
1889 – Paul Rinne, Estonian chess player (d. 1946)
1890 – Dhan Gopal Mukerji, Indian-American author and scholar (d. 1936)
1892 – Will James, American author and illustrator (d. 1942)
1897 – Richard Krautheimer, German-American historian and scholar (d. 1994)
1898 – Hanns Eisler, German-Austrian composer (d. 1962)
1900 – Frederica Sagor Maas, American author and screenwriter (d. 2012)
1903 – Hugo Theorell, Swedish biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1982)
1904 – Erik Wickberg, Swedish General of the Salvation Army (d. 1996)
1907 – Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter (d. 1954)
1907 – George Stanley, Canadian soldier, historian, and author, designed the flag of Canada (d. 2002)
1908 – Anton Muttukumaru, Ceylonese general (d. 2001)
1912 – Heinrich Harrer, Austrian geographer and mountaineer (d. 2006)
1914 – Vince McMahon, Sr., American wrestling promoter, founded WWE (d. 1984)
1916 – Harold Norse, American poet and author (d. 2009)
1917 – Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand runner and coach (d. 2004)
1918 – Sebastian Cabot, English-Canadian actor and singer (d. 1977)
1919 – Ernst Haefliger, Swiss tenor (d. 2007)
1921 – Allan MacEachen, Canadian economist and politician, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
1921 – Nancy Reagan, American actress, 42nd First Lady of the United States
1921 – F. Michael Rogers, American general (d. 2014)
1922 – William Schallert, American actor and singer
1923 – Wojciech Jaruzelski, Polish general and politician, 1st President of Poland (d. 2014)
1924 – Louie Bellson, American drummer, composer, and bandleader (d. 2009)
1925 – Merv Griffin, American actor, singer, and producer, created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (d. 2007)
1925 – Bill Haley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Bill Haley & His Comets) (d. 1981)
1925 – Gazi Yaşargil, Turkish neurosurgeon
1926 – Sulev Vahtre, Estonian historian and academic (d. 2007)
1927 – Jan Hein Donner, Dutch chess player (d. 1988)
1927 – Alan Freeman, Australian-English radio host (d. 2006)
1927 – Janet Leigh, American actress and singer (d. 2004)
1927 – Pat Paulsen, American comedian and actor (d. 1997)
1927 – Nilo Soruco, Bolivian singer-songwriter (d. 2004)
1930 – George Armstrong, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
1930 – M. Balamuralikrishna, Indian singer-songwriter
1930 – Gloria Skurzynski, American author
1931 – Jean Campeau, Canadian businessman and politician
1931 – Antonella Lualdi, Lebanese-Italian actress and singer
1931 – Della Reese, American actress and singer
1931 – László Tábori, Hungarian runner and coach
1932 – P. Ganeshalingam, Sri Lankan politician
1932 – Herman Hertzberger, Dutch architect and educator
1933 – Frank Austin, English footballer (d. 2004)
1935 – Candy Barr, American model, dancer, and actress (d. 2005)
1935 – 14th Dalai Lama
1935 – Robert Hunt, English police officer (d. 2013)
1936 – Dave Allen, Irish comedian and actor (d. 2005)
1937 – Vladimir Ashkenazy, Russian-Icelandic pianist and conductor
1937 – Ned Beatty, American actor
1937 – Gene Chandler, American singer-songwriter and producer
1937 – Caroline Cox, Baroness Cox, English nurse and politician
1938 – Gordon Conway, English ecologist
1938 – Luana Patten, American actress (d. 1996)
1939 – Jet Harris, English bass player (The Shadows, The Jeff Beck Group, and The Vipers Skiffle Group) (d. 2011)
1939 – John Makepeace, English furniture designer
1939 – Mary Peters, English pentathlete and shot putter
1940 – Rex Cawley, American hurdler
1940 – Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakh politician, 1st President of Kazakhstan
1940 – Jeannie Seely, American singer-songwriter and actress
1941 – David Crystal, Irish linguist, author, and academic
1941 – Charles Powell, Baron Powell of Bayswater, English politician and diplomat
1941 – Reinhard Roder, German footballer and manager
1943 – Tamara Sinyavskaya, Russian soprano
1944 – Byron Berline, American fiddler (The Flying Burrito Brothers)
1944 – Pierre Creamer, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
1944 – Gunhild Hoffmeister, German runner
1945 – Rodney Matthews, English painter and illustrator
1945 – Burt Ward, American actor
1946 – George W. Bush, American lieutenant and politician, 43rd President of the United States
1946 – Fred Dryer, American football player and actor
1946 – Peter Singer, Australian philosopher and academic
1946 – Sylvester Stallone, American actor, director, and screenwriter
1947 – Richard Beckinsale, English actor (d. 1979)
1947 – Lance Clemons, American baseball player (d. 2008)
1947 – Shelley Hack, American actress
1948 – Nathalie Baye, French actress
1948 – Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Canadian politician, 26th Canadian Minister of Veterans Affairs
1948 – Tom Curley, American journalist
1948 – Peter Mansbridge, English-Canadian journalist
1948 – Brad Park, Canadian-American ice hockey player and coach
1949 – Noli de Castro, Filipino journalist and politician, 14th Vice President of the Philippines
1949 – Phyllis Hyman, American singer-songwriter and actress (d. 1995)
1950 – John Byrne, English-American author and illustrator
1950 – Geraldine James, English actress
1950 – Jonathon Porritt, English environmentalist and academic
1950 – Hélène Scherrer, Canadian politician
1951 – Geoffrey Rush, Australian actor and producer
1952 – George Athans, Canadian skier
1952 – Grant Goodeve, American actor
1952 – Hilary Mantel, English author and critic
1953 – Nanci Griffith, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1953 – Kaiser Kalambo, Zambian footballer and manager (d. 2014)
1953 – Mike Riley, American football player and coach
1954 – Allyce Beasley, American actress and singer
1954 – Willie Randolph, American baseball player and manager
1955 – William Wall, Irish author and poet
1956 – Casey Sander, American actor
1957 – Ron Duguay, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
1958 – Mark Benson, English cricketer and umpire
1958 – Jennifer Saunders, English actress, singer, and screenwriter
1959 – Richard Dacoury, French basketball player
1959 – Mike Hallett, English snooker player and sportscaster
1960 – Valerie Brisco-Hooks, American sprinter
1960 – Jozef Pribilinec, Slovakian race walker
1960 – Asahifuji Seiya, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 63rd Yokozuna
1960 – Maria Wasiak, Polish businessman
1961 – Robin Antin, American dancer, choreographer, and businesswoman
1961 – Benita Fitzgerald-Brown, American hurdler
1961 – Rick Price, Australian singer-songwriter and producer
1962 – Todd Bennett, English runner (d. 2013)
1962 – Peter Hedges, American author, screenwriter, and director
1963 – Todd Burns, American baseball player
1963 – Lance Johnson, American baseball player
1963 – Sorin Matei, Romanian high jumper
1964 – Cristina D'Avena, Italian singer and actress
1964 – Lillie Leatherwood, American sprinter
1965 – Anthony Marwood, English violinist
1966 – Brian Posehn, American comedian, actor, and screenwriter
1967 – James Hannon, American author, director, and producer
1967 – Heather Nova, Bermudian singer-songwriter and guitarist
1967 – Omar Olivares, Puerto Rican-American baseball player
1968 – Gaspare Manos, Thai-Italian painter and sculptor
1969 – Brian Van Holt, American actor
1970 – Inspectah Deck, American rapper, producer, and actor (Wu-Tang Clan)
1970 – Martin Smith, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Delirious?)
1971 – Josh Elliott, American journalist
1972 – Isabelle Boulay, Canadian singer
1972 – Fabrice Colin, French author
1972 – Mark Gasser, English pianist and educator
1972 – Laurent Gaudé, French author
1972 – Greg Norton, American baseball player and coach
1972 – Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, Ukrainian sprinter
1973 – Bradley Dredge, Welsh golfer
1974 – Zé Roberto, Brazilian footballer
1974 – Babi Xavier, Brazilian actress and singer
1975 – 50 Cent, American rapper, producer, and actor (G-Unit)
1975 – Amir-Abbas Fakhravar, Iranian journalist and activist
1975 – Sebastián Rulli, Argentinian-Mexican actor
1977 – Con Blatsis, Australian footballer
1977 – Craig Handley, Welsh director, producer, and screenwriter
1977 – Max Mirnyi, Belarusian tennis player
1977 – Makhaya Ntini, South African cricketer
1978 – Adam Busch, American actor
1978 – Tamera Mowry, German-American actress and producer
1978 – Tia Mowry, German-American actress and producer
1978 – Kevin Senio, New Zealand rugby player
1979 – Matthew Barnson, American viola player and composer
1979 – Nic Cester, Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist (Jet and The Wrights)
1979 – Kevin Hart, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter
1979 – C. J. Hobgood, American surfer
1979 – Damien Hobgood, American surfer
1979 – Abdul Salis, English actor
1980 – Kenny Deuchar, Scottish footballer
1980 – Pau Gasol, Spanish basketball player
1980 – Joell Ortiz, American rapper (Slaughterhouse)
1980 – Demorrio Williams, American football player
1981 – Nnamdi Asomugha, American football player
1981 – Mike Karney, American football player
1981 – Emily West, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1982 – Brandon Jacobs, American football player
1982 – Bree Robertson, Australian gymnast and actress
1982 – Misty Upham, American actress
1982 – Tay Zonday, American actor and singer
1983 – Brady Bluhm, American actor
1983 – Christine Firkins, Canadian actress
1983 – Gregory Smith, Canadian actor, director, and producer
1983 – D. Woods, American singer, dancer, and actress (Danity Kane)
1984 – Zhang Hao, Chinese figure skater
1984 – Lauren Harris, English singer and actress
1984 – Natasha Zlobina, Uzbek-French actress and model
1985 – Maria Arredondo, Norwegian singer
1985 – Diamond Rings, Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Matters)
1985 – Ranveer Singh, Indian actor and singer
1985 – Melisa Sözen, Turkish actress
1986 – Leon Frierson, American actor
1986 – Sarah Gronert, German tennis player
1986 – David Karp, American businessman, founded Tumblr
1986 – Derrick Williams, American football player
1987 – Sophie Auster, American singer-songwriter and actress
1987 – Manteo Mitchell, American runner
1987 – Kate Nash, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress
1987 – Matt O'Leary, American actor
1987 – Caroline Trentini, Brazilian model
1988 – Kevin Fickentscher, Swiss footballer
1988 – Brittany Underwood, American actress and singer
1990 – Ajoo, South Korean singer and dancer
1990 – Magaye Gueye, French footballer
1990 – Jamal Idris, Australian rugby player
1990 – Jeremy Suarez, American actor
1991 – Ashley Lloyd, English actor and dancer
1991 – Victoire Thivisol, French actress
1991 – Julian Wruck, Australian discus thrower
1992 – Manny Machado, American baseball player
1993 – Jeremiah Godby, American runner
1994 – Camilla Rosso, English actress
1994 – Rebecca Rosso, English actress
1996 – Robert Naylor, Canadian actor
1996 – Sigrid Schjetne, Norwegian homicide victim (d. 2012)
1996 – Sun Ziyue, Chinese tennis player

Jul 6, 1944:
Georges Mandel, French patriot, is executed

On this day in 1944, Georges Mandel, France's minister of colonies and vehement opponent of the armistice with Germany, is executed in a wood outside Paris by collaborationist French.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family (his given name was Louis-Georges Rothschild, though no relation to the banking family) in 1885, Mandel's political career began at age 21 as a member of the personal staff of French Premier Georges Clemenceau. He went on to serve in the National Assembly from 1919 to 1924, and then again from 1928 to 1940. Although a political conservative, he fell into conflict with fellow conservatives over their too-often pro-German sympathies, especially during the two world wars.

In 1940, he was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior by then French Premier Paul Reynaud, with whom he shared the conviction that no armistice should be made with the German invaders, and that the battle should continue, even if only from France's colonies in Africa. After the resignation of Reynaud and the establishment of the Petain/Vichy government, Mandel sailed to Morocco, where he was arrested and sent back to France and imprisoned. He was then handed over to the Germans, and put in concentration camps in Oranienburg and Buchenwald. On July 4, 1944, he was shipped back to Paris, where the French security police, the Milice, took him out to a wood and shot him. As he was being handed over to his countrymen by the German SS, he said: "To die is nothing. What is sad is to die without seeing the liberation of the country and the restoration of the Republic."

Jul 6, 1946:
George "Bugs" Moran is arrested

FBI agents arrest George "Bugs" Moran, along with fellow crooks Virgil Summers and Albert Fouts, in Kentucky. Once one of the biggest organized crime figures in America, Moran had been reduced to small bank robberies by this time. He died in prison 11 years later.

Bugs Moran's criminal career took an abrupt downturn after the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929, in which his top gunmen were slaughtered by rival Al Capone's henchmen. (A lasting feud had been established after Capone's men killed Moran's friend and mentor, Deanie O'Banion, in 1924.) Moran, who just missed the massacre by a couple of minutes, was visibly shaken when reporters talked to him days later. He shouted at them, "Only Capone kills like that!"

Al "Scarface" Capone established his alibi by vacationing in Florida at the time of the Valentine's Day murders. Sitting poolside, he mocked Moran, chuckling as he told reporters, "The only man who kills like that is Bugs Moran." Later, while Capone was serving time for tax evasion, Moran may have earned a measure of revenge by killing Jack McGurn, one of the men who had carried out the massacre.

A bank robbery charge conviction eventually landed Moran in Leavenworth federal prison. He was released in 1956, but was then re-arrested for an earlier bank robbery. He died in prison of lung cancer on February 2, 1957.

Jul 6, 1955:
Diem says South Vietnam not bound by Geneva Agreements

South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem declares in a broadcast that since South Vietnam had not signed the Geneva Agreements, South Vietnam was not bound by them. Although Diem did not reject the "principle of elections," he said that any proposals from the communist Viet Minh were out of the question "if proof is not given us that they put the higher interest of the national community above those of communism."

The Geneva Conference had begun on April 26, 1954, to negotiate an end to the First Indochina War between the French and the Viet Minh forces of Ho Chi Minh. The negotiations resulted in the signing of a truce on July 20. The agreement fixed a provisional demarcation line roughly along the 17th parallel (which would eventually be called the Demilitarized Zone), pending countrywide elections to be held in July 1956. It also allowed the evacuation of French forces north of that line, and Viet Minh forces south of it. Freedom of movement from either zone was allowed for 300 days, and restrictions were imposed on future military alliances. An International Control Commission was formed with representatives from India, Canada, and Poland to supervise implementation of the agreement, including the scheduled elections. The whole package of agreements became known as the Geneva Accords.

The agreement was reached over the objections of South Vietnam, which refused to sign it. Likewise, the United States did not concur with the accords, but pledged that it would refrain from use of force or the threat of force to disturb their provisions. However, United States representatives declared that the U.S. would look upon renewed aggression in violation of the agreement "with grave concern."

The Geneva Accords ended the war between the French and Viet Minh, but set the stage for renewed conflict. When Diem, realizing the strength of Ho Chi Minh's support in South Vietnam, blocked the elections that were called for in the accords, the United States, citing alleged North Vietnamese truce violation, supported him. No longer able to use the elections as a means to reunify Vietnam, the communists turned to force of arms to defeat South Vietnam. This war lasted until 1975, when the North Vietnamese launched their final offensive. South Vietnam, no longer supported by the United States, which had departed in 1973, fell to the communists in 55 days.

Jul 6, 1957:
Althea Gibson is first African American to win Wimbledon

On this day in 1957, Althea Gibson claims the women's singles tennis title at Wimbledon and becomes the first African American to win a championship at London's All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Gibson was born on August 25, 1927, in Silver, South Carolina, and raised in the Harlem section of New York City. She began playing tennis as a teenager and went on to win the national black women's championship twice. At a time when tennis was largely segregated, four-time U.S. Nationals winner Alice Marble advocated on Gibson's behalf and the 5'11" player was invited to make her U.S. Open debut in 1950. In 1956, Gibson's tennis career took off and she won the singles title at the French Open--the first African American to do so--as well as the doubles' title there. In July 1957, Gibson won Wimbledon, defeating Darlene Hard, 6-3, 6-2. (In 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first African-American man to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon, when he defeated Jimmy Connors.) In September 1957, she won the U.S. Open, and the Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958. During the 1950s, Gibson won 56 singles and doubles titles, including 11 major titles.

After winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open again in 1958, Gibson retired from amateur tennis. In 1960, she toured with the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, playing exhibition tennis matches before their games. In 1964, Gibson joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the first black woman to do so. The trailblazing athlete played pro golf until 1971, the same year in which she was voted into the National Lawn Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

After serving as New Jersey's commissioner of athletics from 1975 to 1985, Althea Gibson died at age 76 from respiratory failure on September 28, 2003, at a hospital in East Orange, New Jersey.

Jul 6, 1957:
John meets Paul for the first time

The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, 1957, read "MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES," in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect.

It's easy to assume that John and Paul would eventually have met on some other day had a mutual friend not chosen that hot and humid Saturday to make the introduction. But as much as they had in common, the two boys lived in different neighborhoods, went to different schools and were nearly two years apart in age.

Only John was scheduled to perform publicly on July 6, 1957. The occasion was the annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, a parade and outdoor fair at which John and his Quarry Men Skiffle Group had been invited to play. The main attractions were a dog show and a brass band, but a family connection had helped get the Quarry Men added to the bill as a nod to the hundreds of teenagers in attendance. Midway through their first set, 15-year-old Paul McCartney showed up and watched, transfixed, as John, despite his rudimentary guitar skills and his tendency to ad-lib in place of forgotten lyrics, held the crowd with charm and swagger. After the show, it was Paul's turn to impress John.

A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium, where John and his bandmates slouched on folding chairs and barely acknowledged the younger boy. Then Paul pulled out the guitar he was carrying on his back and began playing Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock," then Gene Vincent's "Be Bop A Lula," then a medley of Little Richard numbers. As Jim O'Donnell writes in The Day John Met Paul, his book-length account of this historic moment in music history, "A young man not easily astonished, Lennon is astonished." Paul's musicianship far outstripped the older Lennon's, but more than that, John recognized in Paul the same passion Paul had detected in John during his earlier onstage performance. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he'd just played.

Later that evening, walking home with one of his bandmates, John announced his intentions toward their new acquaintance. Two weeks later, John Lennon invited Paul McCartney to join the Quarry Men.

Jul 6, 1958:
Juan Manuel Fangio bids goodbye to Grand Prix racing in France

The great Argentine race car driver Juan Manuel Fangio, winner of five Formula One driver's world championships, competes in his last Grand Prix race--the French Grand Prix held outside Reims, France--on this day in 1958.

Fangio left school at the age of 11 and worked as an automobile mechanic in his hometown of San Jose de Balcarce, Argentina before beginning his driving career. He won his first major victory in the Gran Premio Internacional del Norte of 1940, racing a Chevrolet along the often-unpaved roads from Buenos Aires to Lima, Peru. In 1948, Fangio was invited to race a Simca-Gordini in the French Grand Prix, also at Reims, which marked his European racing debut. After a crash during a road race in Peru that fall killed his co-driver and friend Daniel Urrutia, Fangio considered retiring from racing, but in the end returned to Europe for his first full Formula One season the following year.

In Formula One, the top level of racing as sanctioned by the Fédération International de l'Automobile (FIA), drivers compete in single-seat, open-wheel vehicles typically built by large automakers (or "constructors," in racing world parlance) and capable of achieving speeds of more than 230 mph. Individual Formula One events are known as Grands Prix. Fangio signed on in 1948 with Alfa Romeo, and won his first Formula One championship title with that team in 1951. Over the course of his racing career, he would drive some of the best cars Alfa-Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Maserati ever produced. Capturing four more Formula One titles by 1957, Fangio won an impressive 24 of 51 total Grand Prix races.

Reims, famous for its 13th-century cathedral, hosted the oldest Grand Prix race, the French Grand Prix, at its Reims-Gueux course a total of 14 times (the last time in 1966). In the race on July 6, 1958, the British driver Mike Hawthorn--who would win the driver's world championship that season, but die tragically in a (non-racing) car accident the following January, at the age of 29--took the lead from the start in his 2.4-liter Ferrari Dino 246 and held on for the win. Fangio, driving a Maserati, finished fourth, in what would be the last race before announcing his retirement at the age of 47. The 1958 French Grand Prix also marked the Formula One debut of Phil Hill, who in 1960 would become the first American driver to win the world championship.

Jul 6, 1963:
U.S. policymakers express optimism

In the light of a deepening ideological rift between the Soviet Union and China, U.S. officials express their belief that Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev will seek closer relations with the United States. Unfortunately, the optimism was somewhat misplaced. Although China and the Soviet Union announced a serious split in mid-July 1963, Khrushchev's days in office were numbered.

Officials in the U.S. government watched with tremendous interest the developing rift between the Soviet Union and China in the early 1960s. The ideological split centered around the Chinese perception that the Russians were becoming too "soft" in their revolutionary zeal and too accommodating to Western capitalist powers. In mid-1963, Chinese and Soviet representatives met in Moscow to try to mend the damage. U.S. diplomats were convinced that the rift was irreversible. As a consequence, they believed Khrushchev would become much more receptive to better relations with the United States in order to isolate further the communist Chinese. Thus, on July 6, 1963, the New York Times carried several related stories, based on statements from "responsible" figures in the administration of President John F. Kennedy, about the hopes for a meaningful "peaceful coexistence" between the Soviet Union and United States. Khrushchev himself had coined the term "peaceful coexistence" in the late 1950s, indicating that the hope for better U.S.-Soviet relations was not entirely one-sided. Kennedy obviously hoped to build on these feelings to prepare the way for the success of arms control talks with the Soviets scheduled for later in the month. This hope was realized when the Soviet Union and United States signed a treaty banning the aboveground testing of nuclear weapons in August 1963.

Just a few days after the newspaper stories concerning improved U.S.-Soviet relations, the Russians and Chinese officially announced their ideological split. Any benefits the United States hoped would accrue from this development in terms of a closer working relationship with Khrushchev, however, were swept away in 1964 when the Russian leader was removed from power by more hard-line elements of the Soviet government. Almost overnight, talk of "peaceful coexistence" disappeared and the Cold War divisions once again hardened.
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06 July Deaths

371 BC – Cleombrotus I, Spartan king
649 – Goar of Aquitaine, French-German bishop and saint (b. 585)
918 – William I, Duke of Aquitaine (b. 875)
1017 – Genshin, Japanese monk and scholar (b. 942)
1189 – Henry II of England (b. 1133)
1218 – Odo III, Duke of Burgundy (b. 1166)
1249 – Alexander II of Scotland (b. 1198)
1415 – Jan Hus, Czech priest, philosopher, and reformer (b. 1369)
1476 – Regiomontanus, German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer (b. 1436)
1480 – Antonio Squarcialupi, Italian organist and composer (b. 1416)
1533 – Ludovico Ariosto, Italian poet and playwright (b. 1474)
1535 – Thomas More, English lawyer and politician, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (b. 1478)
1553 – Edward VI of England (b. 1537)
1583 – Edmund Grindal, English archbishop (b. 1519)
1585 – Thomas Aufield, English priest and martyr (b. 1552)
1684 – Peter Gunning, English bishop (b. 1614)
1758 – George Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe, English general and politician (b. 1725)
1768 – Conrad Beissel, German-American religious leader (b. 1690)
1802 – Daniel Morgan, American general and politician (b. 1736)
1809 – Antoine Charles Louis de Lasalle, French general (b. 1775)
1813 – Granville Sharp, English activist (b. 1735)
1835 – John Marshall, American captain and politician, 4th United States Secretary of State (b. 1755)
1854 – Georg Ohm, German physicist and mathematician (b. 1789)
1863 – Ernst Merck, German businessman and politician (d. 1811)
1868 – Harada Sanosuke, Japanese captain (b. 1840)
1893 – Guy de Maupassant, French author and poet (b. 1850)
1901 – Chlodwig, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (b. 1819)
1902 – Maria Goretti, Italian martyr and saint (b. 1890)
1904 – Abai Qunanbaiuli, Kazakh poet and philosopher (b. 1845)
1907 – August Johann Gottfried Bielenstein, German linguist and theologian (b. 1826)
1916 – Odilon Redon, French painter and illustrator (b. 1840)
1922 – Maria Teresia Ledóchowska, Polish-Austrian nun and missionary (b. 1863)
1930 – Cormic Cosgrove, American soccer player (b. 1869)
1932 – Kenneth Grahame, Scottish author (b. 1859)
1934 – Nestor Makhno, Ukrainian commander (b. 1888)
1952 – Louis-Alexandre Taschereau, Canadian lawyer and politician, 14th Premier of Quebec (b. 1867)
1952 – Gertrud Wolle, German actress (b. 1891)
1959 – George Grosz, German painter and illustrator (b. 1893)
1960 – Aneurin Bevan, Welsh-English politician, Secretary of State for Health (b. 1897)
1961 – Scott LaFaro, American bassist (b. 1936)
1961 – Woodall Rodgers, American lawyer and politician, Mayor of Dallas (b. 1890)
1962 – Paul Boffa, Maltese politician, 5th Prime Minister of Malta (b. 1890)
1962 – William Faulkner, American author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897)
1962 – Archduke Joseph August of Austria (b. 1872)
1963 – George, Duke of Mecklenburg (b. 1899)
1964 – Claude V. Ricketts, American admiral (b. 1906)
1966 – Sad Sam Jones, American baseball player and manager (b. 1892)
1967 – Hilda Taba, Estonian architect and educator (b. 1902)
1968 – Johnny Indrisano, American boxer and actor (b. 1906)
1971 – Louis Armstrong, American singer and trumpet player (b. 1901)
1972 – Brandon deWilde, American actor and singer (b. 1942)
1973 – Otto Klemperer, German conductor and composer (b. 1885)
1974 – Francis Blanche, French actor (b. 1921)
1976 – Zhu De, Chinese general and politician (b. 1886)
1976 – Fritz Lenz, German geneticist and physician (b. 1887)
1977 – Ödön Pártos, Hungarian-Israeli viola player and composer (b. 1907)
1979 – Van McCoy, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1940)
1980 – Mart Raud, Estonian poet and author (b. 1903)
1982 – Bob Johnson, American baseball player and manager (b. 1905)
1986 – Jagjivan Ram, Indian politician, 4th Deputy Prime Minister of India (b. 1908)
1989 – János Kádár, Hungarian politician, Minister of the Interior of Hungary (b. 1912)
1991 – Mudashiru Lawal, Nigerian footballer (b. 1954)
1992 – Mary Q. Steele, American author (b. 1922)
1994 – Geoff McQueen, English screenwriter (b. 1947)
1995 – Aziz Nesin, Turkish author and poet (b. 1915)
1996 – Kathy Ahern, American golfer (b. 1949)
1997 – Chetan Anand, Indian director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1921)
1998 – Roy Rogers, American actor and singer (b. 1911)
1999 – Carl Gunter, Jr., American politician (b. 1938)
1999 – Gary M. Heidnik, American murderer (b. 1943)
1999 – Joaquín Rodrigo, Spanish pianist and composer (b. 1901)
1999 – Barry Winchell, American soldier (b. 1977)
2000 – Władysław Szpilman, Polish pianist and composer (b. 1911)
2002 – Dhirubhai Ambani, Indian businessman, founded Reliance Industries (b. 1932)
2002 – John Frankenheimer, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1930)
2003 – Buddy Ebsen, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1908)
2004 – Thomas Klestil, Austrian politician, 10th President of Austria (b. 1932)
2004 – Syreeta Wright, American singer-songwriter (b. 1946)
2004 – Jimmie F. Skaggs, American actor (b. 1944)
2005 – Bruno Augenstein, German-American mathematician and physicist (b. 1923)
2005 – L. Patrick Gray, American FBI director (b. 1916)
2005 – Ed McBain, American author and screenwriter (b. 1926)
2005 – Claude Simon, Malagasy-French author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1913)
2005 – Richard Verreau, Canadian tenor (b. 1926)
2006 – Kasey Rogers, American actress (b. 1926)
2006 – Tom Weir, Scottish climber, author and television host (b. 1914)
2007 – Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, American author (b. 1939)
2008 – Bobby Durham, American drummer (b. 1937)
2009 – Vasily Aksyonov, Russian author and academic (b. 1932)
2009 – Johnny Collins, English singer (b. 1938)
2009 – Robert McNamara, American businessman and politician, 8th United States Secretary of Defense (b. 1916)
2010 – Tilly Armstrong, English author (b. 1927)
2010 – Harvey Fuqua, American singer-songwriter and producer (The Moonglows and New Birth) (b. 1929)
2011 – George Edward Kimball, American journalist and author (b. 1945)
2011 – Karthigesu Sivathamby, Sri Lankan academic (b. 1932)
2012 – Hani al-Hassan, Palestinian engineer and politician (b. 1939)
2012 – Charles Drake American football player (b. 1981)
2012 – James McKinley, American football player and coach (b. 1945)
2012 – Bill Norrie, Canadian politician, 39th Mayor of Winnipeg (b. 1929)
2012 – Angelo Paternoster, American football player (b. 1919)
2012 – Anthony Sedlak, Canadian chef (b. 1983)
2013 – Lo Hsing Han, Burmese businessman, co-founded Asia World (b. 1935)
2013 – Rudy Keeling, American basketball player and coach (b. 1947)
2013 – Leland Mitchell, American basketball player (b. 1941)
2013 – Hamilton Nichols, American football player (b. 1924)
2013 – Ruben J. Villote, Filipino priest and activist (b. 1932)
2014 – Dave Bickers, English motorcross racer and stuntman (b. 1938)
2014 – Alan J. Dixon, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 34th Illinois Secretary of State (b. 1927)
2014 – Andrew Mango, Turkish-English historian and author (b. 1926)

Jul 6, 1964:
Viet Cong attack Special Forces at Nam Dong

At Nam Dong in the northern highlands of South Vietnam, an estimated 500-man Viet Cong battalion attacks an American Special Forces outpost. During a bitter battle, Capt. Roger C. Donlon, commander of the Special Forces A-Team, rallied his troops, treated the wounded, and directed defenses although he himself was wounded several times. After five hours of fighting, the Viet Cong withdrew. The battle resulted in an estimated 40 Viet Cong killed; two Americans, 1 Australian military adviser, and 57 South Vietnamese defenders also lost their lives. At a White House ceremony in December 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Captain Donlon with the first Medal of Honor of the Vietnam War

Jul 6, 1967:
Civil war in Nigeria

Five weeks after its secession from Nigeria, the breakaway Republic of Biafra is attacked by Nigerian government forces.

In 1960, Nigeria gained independence from Britain. Six years later, the Muslim Hausas in northern Nigeria began massacring the Christian Igbos in the region, prompting tens of thousands of Igbos to flee to the east, where their people were the dominant ethnic group. The Igbos doubted that Nigeria's oppressive military government would allow them to develop, or even survive, so on May 30, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu and other non-Igbo representatives of the area established the Republic of Biafra, comprising several states of Nigeria.

After diplomatic efforts by Nigeria failed to reunite the country, war between Nigeria and Biafra broke out in July 1967. Ojukwu's forces made some initial advances, but Nigeria's superior military strength gradually reduced Biafran territory. The state lost its oil fields--its main source of revenue--and without the funds to import food, an estimated one million of its civilians died as a result of severe malnutrition. On January 11, 1970, Nigerian forces captured the provincial capital of Owerri, one of the last Biafran strongholds, and Ojukwu was forced to flee to the Ivory Coast. Four days later, Biafra surrendered to Nigeria.

Jul 6, 1971:
Satchmo dies

Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, dies in New York City at the age of 69. A world-renowned jazz trumpeter and vocalist, he pioneered jazz improvisation and the style known as swing.

Louis Daniel Armstrong was born in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, in 1901. He grew up in poverty and from a young age was interested in music. In 1912, he was incarcerated in the Colored Waif's Home for Boys, allegedly for firing a gun into the air on New Year's Eve. While there, he played cornet in the home's band. Upon his release, he dedicated himself to becoming a professional musician and soon was mastering local jazz styles on the cornet. He attracted the attention of cornetist Joe "King" Oliver, and when Oliver moved to Chicago in 1919 he took his place in trombonist Kid Ory's band, a leading group in New Orleans at the time. He later teamed up with pianist Fate Marable and performed on riverboats that traveled the Mississippi.

In 1922, King Oliver invited Armstrong to Chicago to play second cornet in his Creole Jazz Band, and Armstrong made his first recordings with Oliver the following year. In 1924, he moved to New York City and demonstrated his emerging improvisational style in the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. In 1925, Armstrong returned to Chicago and formed his own band--the Hot Five--which included Kid Ory, clarinetist Johnny Dodds, and pianist Lil' Hardin, Armstrong's second wife.

This band, which later grew into the Hot Seven, recorded some of the seminal pieces in the history of jazz, including "Savoy Blues," "Potato Head Blues," and "West End Blues." In these recordings, Armstrong abandoned the collective improvisation of New Orleans-style jazz and placed the emphasis on individual soloists. He switched from cornet to trumpet during this time and played the latter with unprecedented virtuosity and range. In the 1926 recording "Heebie Jeebies," he popularized "scat singing," a style in which jazz vocalists sing musical lines of nonsensical syllables in emulation of instrumental improvisation. His joyous voice, both coarse and exuberant, was one of the most distinctive in popular music.

In 1929, Armstrong returned to New York City and made his first Broadway appearance. His recordings, many of which were jazz interpretations of popular songs, were international hits, and he toured the United States and Europe with his big band. His music had a major effect on the swing and big band sound that dominated popular music in the 1930s and '40s. A great performer, Armstrong appeared regularly on radio and in American films, including Pennies from Heaven (1936), Cabin in the Sky (1943), and New Orleans (1947). In 1947, he formed a smaller ensemble, the All-Stars, which he led until 1968.

Louis Armstrong had many nicknames, including Satchmo, short for "Satchelmouth"; "Dippermouth"; and "Pops." Because he spread jazz around the world through his extensive travels and hit songs, many called him "Ambassador Satch." Although in declining health in his later years, he continued to perform until his death on July 6, 1971.

Jul 6, 1976:
Women inducted into U.S. Naval Academy

In Annapolis, Maryland, the United States Naval Academy admits women for the first time in its history with the induction of 81 female midshipmen. In May 1980, Elizabeth Anne Rowe became the first woman member of the class to graduate. Four years later, Kristine Holderied became the first female midshipman to graduate at the top of her class.

The U.S. Naval Academy opened in Annapolis in October 1845, with 50 midshipmen students and seven professors. Known as the Naval School until 1850, the curriculum included mathematics, navigation, gunnery, steam, chemistry, English, natural philosophy, and French. The Naval School officially became the U.S. Naval Academy in 1850, and a new curriculum went into effect requiring midshipmen to study at the Academy for four years and to train aboard ships each summer--the basic format that remains at the academy to this day.

Jul 6, 1988:
Explosion on North Sea oil rig

On this day in 1988, an explosion rips through an oil rig in the North Sea, killing 167 workers. It was the worst offshore oil-rig disaster in history.

The Piper Alpha rig, which was the largest in the North Sea, was owned by Occidental Oil and had approximately 225 workers onboard at the time of the explosion. It was located about 120 miles off the northeast coast of Scotland. On the evening of July 6, a gas leak led to a massive explosion and fire on the rig. A fireball 350 feet high erupted from the platform.

The fire emitted toxic fumes that overwhelmed and killed many of the workers. Others jumped more than 100 feet to the sea below to escape the flames and fumes, even though they knew that the fall would most likely be fatal. A couple of workers managed to survive the jump; others somehow avoided death by sliding down pipes into the treacherous waters below, where burning oil was floating on the cold sea. They were then rescued by helicopters and nearby boats.

Oil drilling in the North Sea began in the 1970s and has had a mixed safety record. This disaster was by far the largest single incident; most other deaths on the 120 rigs in the sea have been due to bad weather.

A 1990 inquiry into the disaster was critical of the safety procedures on the Occidental rig before the disaster, but did not identify the direct cause of the explosion itself. A civil action was resolved in 1997 with a finding that two deceased workers were negligent, but that decision has not been generally accepted.

Jul 6, 1994:
Forrest Gump opens, wins Hanks a second Oscar

On this day in 1994, the movie Forrest Gump opens in U.S. theaters. A huge box-office success, the film starred Tom Hanks in the title role of Forrest, a good-hearted man with a low I.Q. who winds up at the center of key cultural and historical events of the second half of the 20th century.

Forrest Gump was based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, who (like his main character) grew up in Alabama and served in the Army during Vietnam. In the film--which included now-famous lines like “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”--Forrest is a star runner and ping-pong prodigy who inadvertently rubs elbows with the key figures in a number of landmark events, from Elvis to the Civil Rights Movement to Watergate to the rise of Apple computers. He pursues and eventually marries his childhood friend Jenny, played by Robin Wright Penn, who veered from Forrest’s conservative path and became a hippie in the 1960s. Some commentators argued that Jenny’s eventual demise was a statement about the counter-culture movement in America.

Forrest Gump received 13 Academy Award nominations and took home six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Hanks) and Best Director (Robert Zemeckis). The film also won an Oscar for its then-cutting-edge computer-generated imagery (CGI) special effects, which incorporated Forrest Gump into existing news footage with famous world figures including John F. Kennedy, John Lennon and Richard Nixon.

The win was Hanks’ second in the Best Actor category. A year earlier, the actor had nabbed an Oscar for his starring role as a lawyer with AIDS in Philadelphia (1993). With Forrest Gump, Hanks became only the second actor, after Spencer Tracy, to win back-to-back Oscars. In addition to his Oscar wins, he was nominated for Academy Awards in the Best Actor category for his performances in Big (1988), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Cast Away (2000).
07 July Events

1456 – A retrial verdict acquits Joan of Arc of heresy 25 years after her death.
1520 – Spanish conquistadores defeat a larger Aztec army at the Battle of Otumba.
1534 – European colonization of the Americas: first known exchange between Europeans and natives of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in New Brunswick.
1543 – French troops invade Luxembourg.
1575 – Raid of the Redeswire, the last major battle between England and Scotland.
1585 – The Treaty of Nemours abolishes tolerance to Protestants in France.
1770 – The Battle of Larga between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire takes place.
1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces retreating from Fort Ticonderoga are defeated in the Battle of Hubbardton.
1798 – Quasi-War: the U.S. Congress rescinds treaties with France sparking the "war".
1807 – Napoleonic Wars: the Peace of Tilsit between France, Prussia and Russia ends the War of the Fourth Coalition.
1834 – In New York City, four nights of rioting against abolitionists began.
1846 – Mexican–American War: American troops occupy Monterey and Yerba Buena, thus beginning the U.S. acquisition of California.
1863 – United States begins its first military draft; exemptions cost $300.
1865 – American Civil War: four conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln are hanged.
1892 – Katipunan: the Revolutionary Philippine Brotherhood is established, contributing to the fall of the Spanish Empire in Asia.
1898 – U.S. President William McKinley signs the Newlands Resolution annexing Hawaii as a territory of the United States.
1907 – Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. staged his first Follies on the roof of the New York Theater in New York City.
1911 – The United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia sign the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention of 1911 banning open-water seal hunting, the first international treaty to address wildlife preservation issues.
1915 – World War I: end of First Battle of the Isonzo.
1915 – An International Railway trolley with an extreme overload of 157 passengers crashes near Queenston, Ontario, killing 15.
1915 – Militia officer Henry Pedris executed by firing squad at Colombo, Ceylon - an act widely regarded as a miscarriage of justice by the British colonial authorities.
1928 – Sliced bread is sold for the first time (on the inventor's 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.
1930 – Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser begins construction of the Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam).
1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Lugou Bridge – Japanese forces invade Beijing, China.
1941 – World War II: U.S. forces land in Iceland, taking over from an earlier British occupation.
1941 – World War II: Beirut is occupied by Free France and British troops.
1944 – World War II: Largest Banzai charge of the Pacific War at the Battle of Saipan.
1946 – Mother Francesca S. Cabrini becomes the first American to be canonized.
1946 – Howard Hughes nearly dies when his XF-11 reconnaissance aircraft prototype crashes in a Beverly Hills neighborhood.
1947 – The Roswell incident, the (supposed) crash of an alien spaceship near Roswell in New Mexico.
1952 – The ocean liner SS United States passes Bishop Rock on her maiden voyage, breaking the transatlantic speed record to become the fastest passenger ship in the world.
1953 – Ernesto "Che" Guevara sets out on a trip through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador.
1954 – Elvis Presley makes his radio debut when WHBQ Memphis played his first recording for Sun Records, "That's All Right."
1956 – Fritz Moravec and two other Austrian mountaineers make the first ascent of Gasherbrum II (8,035 m).
1958 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into law.
1959 – Venus occults the star Regulus. This rare event is used to determine the diameter of Venus and the structure of the Venusian atmosphere.
1963 – Buddhist crisis: The police of Ngô Đình Nhu, brother and chief political adviser of President Ngô Đình Diệm, attacked a group of American journalists who were covering a protest.
1978 – The Solomon Islands becomes independent from the United Kingdom
1980 – Institution of sharia in Iran.
1980 – During the Lebanese Civil War, 83 Tiger militants are killed during what will be known as the Safra massacre.
1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan appoints Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States.
1983 – Cold War: Samantha Smith, a U.S. schoolgirl, flies to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Secretary General Yuri Andropov.
1985 – Boris Becker becomes the youngest player ever to win Wimbledon at age 17
1991 – Yugoslav Wars: the Brioni Agreement ends the ten-day independence war in Slovenia against the rest of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
1997 – The Turkish Armed Forces withdraw from northern Iraq after assisting the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the Iraqi Kurdish Civil War.
2003 – NASA Opportunity rover, MER-B or Mars Exploration Rover – B, was launched into space aboard a Delta II rocket.
2005 – A series of four explosions occurs on London's transport system killing 56 people including four alleged suicide bombers and injuring over 700 others.

Jul 7, 1777:
Battle of Hubbardton

On this day in 1777, British and Patriot forces in the Saratoga campaign engage in the only battle fought in Vermont territory during the War for Independence, at Hubbardton, near Ticonderoga. Hessians and British under the command of German General Friedrich Adolph Riedesel, Freiherr zu Eisenbach, and British Brigadier General Simon Fraser surprised the Americans, from Major General Arthur St. Clair's command, in retreat from Fort Ticonderoga, in New York. St. Clair had left behind Colonel Seth Warner's Green Mountain Boys, Colonel Ebenezer Francis' 11th Massachusetts Regiment and Colonel Nathan Hale's 2nd New Hampshire Regiment in Hubbardton to cover the rest of his army's retreat to the southeast. On the morning of July 7, the British launched a surprise attack on the Patriot rear guard at Hubbardton led by Simon Fraser's Advance Corps. The Patriots managed to hold their position at nearby Monument Hill for over an hour until Baron Riedesel led his hymn-singing Brunswick Grenadiers into the fray. The disciplined German force gained the field, and Colonel Francis lost his life to wounds inflicted during the conflict.

Nonetheless, the rear guard succeeded in its goal of covering St. Clair's retreat to Castleton, Vermont, and successfully joined the retreat themselves, despite heavy losses: 41 killed, 96 wounded and 234 captured. Simon Fraser died exactly three months later at the Battle of Bemis Heights, where Riedesel's wife nursed his wounds. After British General John Burgoyne's formal surrender at Saratoga on October 17, 1777, the Patriots captured both Riedesels. Later, Luise Charlotte Riedesel's memoirs of her experiences during the War for Independence were published in German and English.

Jul 7, 1797:
The impeachment of Senator Blount

For the first time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives exercises its constitutional power of impeachment and votes to charge Senator William Blount of Tennessee with "a high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public duty and trust as a Senator."

In 1790, President George Washington appointed Blount, who had fought in the American Revolution, as governor of the "Territory South of the River Ohio," now known as Tennessee. Although he was a successful territorial governor, personal financial problems led him to enter into a conspiracy with British officers to enlist frontiersmen and Cherokee Indians to assist the British in conquering parts of Spanish Florida and Louisiana. Before the conspiracy was uncovered, Blount presided over the Tennessee Constitutional Convention and in 1796 became the state's first U.S. senator.

The plot was revealed in 1797, and on July 7 the House of Representatives voted to impeach Senator Blount. The next day, the Senate voted by a two-thirds majority to expel him from its ranks. On December 17, 1798, the Senate exercised its "sole power to try all impeachments," as granted by the Constitution, and initiated a Senate trial against Blount. As vice president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was president of the Senate and thus presided over the impeachment trial proceedings. After two months, Jefferson and the Senate decided to dismiss the charges against Blount, determining that the Senate had no jurisdiction over its own members beyond its constitutional right to expel members by a two-thirds majority vote. By the time of the dismissal, Blount had already been elected as a senator to the Tennessee state legislature, where he was appointed speaker. The constitutional conundrum of conducting a trial of an impeached senator has not yet been resolved.

Jul 7, 1852:
Birthday of Sherlock Holmes' sidekick, Dr. Watson

According to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, Dr. John H. Watson is born on this day. Coincidentally, the author died on this day in England at the age of 71.

Conan Doyle was born in Scotland in 1859 and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. At the University, he studied with Dr. Joseph Bell, whose extraordinary deductive powers were said to be the inspiration for Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes.

After medical school, Conan Doyle moved to London, where he practiced medicine and wrote. His first Sherlock Holmes story, "A Study in Scarlet," was published in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887. Starting in 1891, a series of Holmes stories appeared in The Strand magazine.

The popularity of the stories enabled Conan Doyle to leave his medical practice in 1891 and devote himself to writing. But he grew tired of his character and had him hurled off a cliff, to his presumed death, in "The Final Problem". He later resuscitated Holmes due to popular demand. In 1902, Conan Doyle was knighted for his work with a field hospital in South Africa. After his son died in World War I, Conan Doyle became a dedicated spiritualist, attempting to contact his late son through the help of a medium. He died in 1930.

Jul 7, 1863:
Kit Carson's campaign against the Indians

On this day, the Union's Lt. Colonel Christopher "Kit" Carson leaves Santa Fe with his troops, beginning his campaign against the Indians of New Mexico and Arizona. A famed mountain man before the Civil War, Carson was responsible for waging a destructive war against the Navajo that resulted in their removal from the Four Corners area to southeastern New Mexico.

Carson was perhaps the most famous trapper and guide in the West. He traveled with the expeditions of John C. Fremont in the 1840s, leading Fremont through the Great Basin. Fremont's flattering portrayal of Carson made the mountain man a hero when the reports were published and widely read in the east. Later, Carson guided Stephen Watts Kearney to New Mexico during the Mexican-American War. In the 1850s he became the Indian agent for New Mexico, a position he left in 1861 to accept a commission as lieutenant colonel in the 1st New Mexico Volunteers.

Although Carson's unit saw action in the New Mexico battles of 1862, he was most famous for his campaign against the Indians. Despite his reputation for being sympathetic and accommodating to tribes such as the Mescaleros, Kiowas, and Navajo, Carson waged a brutal campaign against the Navajo in 1863. When bands of Navajo refused to accept confinement on reservations, Carson terrorized the Navajo lands--burning crops, destroying villages, and slaughtering livestock. Carson rounded up some 8,000 Navajo and marched them across New Mexico for imprisonment on the Bosque Redondo Reservation, over 300 miles from their homes, where they remained for the duration of the war.

Jul 7, 1865:
Mary Surratt is first woman executed by U.S. federal government

Mary Surratt is executed by the U.S. government for her role as a conspirator in Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Surratt, who owned a tavern in Surrattsville (now Clinton), Maryland, had to convert her row house in Washington, D.C., into a boardinghouse as a result of financial difficulties. Located a few blocks from Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was murdered, this house served as the place where a group of Confederate supporters, including John Wilkes Booth, conspired to assassinate the president. It was Surratt's association with Booth that ultimately led to her conviction, though debate continues as to the extent of her involvement and whether it really warranted so harsh a sentence.

On the day of the assassination, Booth asked Surratt to deliver a package, which was later discovered to contain firearms, to her old tavern in Maryland. On her way home, Surratt ran into John Lloyd, a former Washington police officer who currently leased the tavern. When authorities first questioned Lloyd about their encounter, he did not mention anything significant and denied that Booth and David Herold had visited his tavern. Yet when questioned later, he claimed that Surratt had told him to have whiskey and weapons ready for Booth and Herold, who would be stopping by that night.

Louis Weichmann, one of the alleged conspirators who delivered the package with Surratt, was released after he testified against her. He later claimed that the government had forced him to testify, and that it plagued his conscience for the rest of his life. Furthermore, Lewis Powell, a conspirator who was hanged with Surratt, proclaimed her innocence to his executioner minutes before his death.

Many expected President Andrew Johnson to pardon Surratt because the U.S. government had never hanged a woman. The execution was delayed until the afternoon, and soldiers were stationed on every block between the White House and Fort McNair, the execution site, to relay the expected pardon. But the order never came.

Ever since her death, numerous sightings of Mary Surratt's ghost and other strange occurrences have been reported around Fort McNair. A hooded figure in black, bound at the hands and feet as Surratt had been at the time of her execution, has allegedly been seen moving about. Several children of soldiers have reported a "lady in black" who plays with them.

Jul 7, 1900:
Warren Earp killed in Arizona

Warren Earp, the youngest of the famous clan of gun fighting brothers, is murdered in an Arizona saloon.

Nicholas and Virginia Earp raised a family of five sons and four daughters on a series of farms in Illinois and Iowa. Three of the Earps' sons grew up to win lasting infamy. On October 26, 1881, Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan Earp fought a brief shoot-out with the Clantons and McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. The Earp brothers, along with their friend Doc Holliday, managed to kill all three of their opponents. The gun battle—which was named after a nearby livery stable called the O.K. Corral—later became a favorite topic of sensationalistic dime novel writers and moviemakers. Ever since, Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan have been icons of the Old West.

The youngest Earp brother, however, did not share in the fame of his older brothers. Warren Earp was probably in Tombstone on the day of the famous gunfight, but for reasons that remain unclear, Warren did not join in the gunfight (the eldest Earp brother, James, did not participate either). Warren, however, was involved in the bloody series of revenge killings that followed the shoot-out.

Within six months of the first gunfight, Morgan Earp was assassinated and Virgil Earp was badly wounded. Wyatt presumed the Clantons and McLaurys were behind the attacks. Determined to strike back, Wyatt turned for help to his little brother, Warren. Together with Doc Holliday, the two brothers took their vengeance, killing two men suspected of having been behind Morgan's murderer. In danger now of being arrested for murder, the three men fled to Colorado.

After he parted ways with Wyatt in Colorado, the record of Warren's life becomes obscure. He apparently traveled around the West for several years before finally returning to Arizona. On this day in 1900, Warren reportedly had too much to drink at the Headquarters Saloon in Willcox, Arizona. He began to abuse some of the customers, and a man named John Boyett killed him in a gunfight. Later, Boyett was tried for murder and found innocent on the grounds that he had acted in self-defense.

Jul 7, 1912:
Jim Thorpe begins Olympic triathlon

On this day in 1912, Jim Thorpe wins the pentathlon at the fifth modern Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. At the time, Thorpe, a Native American who attended Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian School, was only beginning to establish his reputation as the greatest all-around athlete in the world.

Born May 28, 1887, in Prague, Oklahoma, on a Sac-and-Fox Indian reservation, James Francis Thorpe was given the name Wa-Ho-Thuck by his mother, meaning "bright path." In 1908, Thorpe matriculated at the Carlisle Indian School, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and joined the school’s track team. Two years later, Thorpe tried out for the Carlisle football team, coached by the legendary Pop Warner. At one practice, Warner challenged the inexperienced Thorpe to run the ball against the entire Carlisle team. Thorpe dodged, weaved and out-ran all 30 of the Carlisle players to score a touchdown. Warner was incredulous, and asked Thorpe to do it again. Thorpe did, and then joined the team as a running back. He was named an All-American in 1911 and 1912.

In the spring of 1912, Thorpe returned his focus to track to train for that summer’s Olympics. On July 7, competing against the best athletes in the world in the Olympic pentathlon, Thorpe placed first in the broad jump, 200-meter sprint, discuss throw and the 1,500 meters, and third in the javelin throw to win the gold easily. Later in the day Thorpe failed to medal in the high jump and long jump competitions, placing fourth and seventh, respectively. His second medal of the games would come in the decathlon, which he won nearly as easily as he had won the pentathlon, breaking the world record in the event. At the closing ceremonies, where the medals were presented, Thorpe was introduced to King Gustaf V of Sweden. According to legend, the king said, while shaking Thorpe’s hand, "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world," to which Thorpe replied "Thanks, king."

Thorpe returned to a ticker-tape parade in New York City. In 1913, though, he was stripped of his Olympic medals because he had played minor league baseball professionally in 1909 and 1910. While he was not the only amateur athlete of his era to play for money to pay his bills, he naively did so using his real name and was easily caught. Also in 1913, Thorpe was recruited by New York Giants manager John McGraw to play baseball, which he did on and off with middling success at the plate in six of the next eight years. In 1920, Thorpe used his fame to help launch the American Professional Football Association (APFA), which eventually morphed into the NFL. Thorpe served as the APFA’s first president and played for the league professionally from 1921 to 1926 and again in 1928. During his playing career, it was said that Thorpe could punt a ball with full force, and then sprint down the field and catch it himself.

In 1950, the Associated Press named Thorpe the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century. Before his death from a heart attack in 1953, Thorpe was known to entertain fans at NFL games by punting balls between the uprights in the end zone from the 50-yard line. The two gold medals stripped from Thorpe in 1913 were returned to him in 1982, 30 years after his death.

Jul 7, 1917:
British Women's Auxiliary Army Corps is officially established

On this day in 1917, British Army Council Instruction Number 1069 formally establishes the British Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), authorizing female volunteers to serve alongside their male counterparts in France during World War I.

By 1917, large numbers of women were already working in munitions factories throughout Britain, serving the crucial function of supplying sufficient shells and other munitions for the Allied war effort. The harsh conditions in the factories were undeniable, with long hours spent working with noxious chemicals such as the explosive TNT; a total of 61 female munitions workers died of poisoning, while 81 others died in accidents at work. An explosion at a munitions factory in Silvertown, East London, when an accidental fire ignited 50 tons of TNT, killed 69 more women and severely injured 72 more.

In early 1917, a campaign began to allow women to more directly support the war effort by enlisting in the army to perform labors such as cookery, mechanical and clerical work and other miscellaneous tasks that would otherwise be done by men who could better serve their country in the trenches. By March 11, 1917, even Sir Douglas Haig, the British commander in chief, had come around to the idea, writing to the British War Office that "the principle of employing women in this country [France] is accepted and they will be made use of wherever conditions admit."

The establishment of the WAAC in the summer of 1917 meant that, for the first time, women were to be put in uniform and sent to France to serve as clerks, telephone operators, waitresses and in other positions on the war front. Women were paid less than their male counterparts: 24 shillings per week for unskilled labor and up to twice that for more skilled labor, such as shorthand typing. As the stated purpose behind the WAAC was to release British soldiers doing menial work in Britain and France for active service at the front, the War Office set the restriction that for every woman given a job through the WAAC, a man had to be released for frontline duties. None of the female volunteers could become officers–according to traditions in the British army–but those who rose in the ranks were given the status of "controllers" or "administrators." By the end of World War I, approximately 80,000 women had served in the three British women's forces–the WAAC, the Women's Relief Defense Corps and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry–as non-combatants, but full-fledged contributors to the Allied war effort.
07 July Births

1053 – Emperor Shirakawa of Japan (d. 1129)
1119 – Emperor Sutoku of Japan (d. 1164)
1207 – Elizabeth of Hungary (d. 1231)
1528 – Archduchess Anna of Austria (d. 1590)
1586 – Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, English courtier and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland (d. 1646)
1656 – Guru Har Krishan, Indian 8th Sikh Gurus (d. 1664)
1752 – Joseph Marie Jacquard, French merchant, invented the Jacquard loom (d. 1834)
1766 – Guillaume Philibert Duhesme, French general (d. 1815)
1833 – Félicien Rops, Belgian painter and illustrator (d. 1898)
1843 – Camillo Golgi, Italian physician and pathologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1926)
1846 – Heinrich Rosenthal, Estonian physician and author (d. 1916)
1848 – Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves, Brazilian politician, 5th President of Brazil (d. 1919)
1851 – Charles Albert Tindley, American minister and composer (d. 1933)
1855 – Ludwig Ganghofer, German author and playwright (d. 1920)
1860 – Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer and conductor (d. 1911)
1874 – Erwin Bumke, Polish-German jurist (d. 1945)
1880 – Otto Frederick Rohwedder, American engineer, invented sliced bread (d. 1960)
1884 – Lion Feuchtwanger, German author and playwright (d. 1958)
1891 – Tadamichi Kuribayashi, Japanese general (d. 1945)
1891 – Virginia Rappe, American model and actress (d. 1921)
1893 – Herbert Feis, American historian and author (d. 1972)
1893 – Miroslav Krleža, Croatian author, poet, and playwright (d. 1981)
1898 – Arnold Horween, American football player and coach (d. 1985)
1899 – George Cukor, American director (d. 1983)
1900 – Earle E. Partridge, American general (d. 1990)
1901 – Vittorio De Sica, Italian actor and director (d. 1974)
1901 – Sam Katzman, American director and producer (d. 1973)
1901 – Eiji Tsuburaya, Japanese cinematographer and producer (d. 1970)
1903 – Ralph Tarrant, English super-centenarian (d. 2013)
1902 – Ted Radcliffe, American baseball player (d. 2005)
1904 – Simone Beck, French chef and author (d. 1991)
1906 – William Feller, Croatian-American mathematician and academic (d. 1970)
1906 – Anna Marie Hahn, German-American serial killer (d. 1938)
1906 – Anton Karas, Austrian zither player and composer (d. 1985)
1906 – Satchel Paige, American baseball player (d. 1982)
1907 – Robert A. Heinlein, American author and screenwriter (d. 1988)
1908 – Revilo P. Oliver, American author and academic (d. 1994)
1910 – Doris McCarthy, Canadian painter (d. 2010)
1911 – Gretchen Franklin, English actress (d. 2005)
1911 – Gian Carlo Menotti, Italian-American composer (d. 2007)
1913 – Pinetop Perkins, American singer and pianist (d. 2011)
1915 – Margaret Walker, American author and poet (d. 1998)
1917 – Fidel Sánchez Hernández, Salvadoran general and politician, President of El Salvador (d. 2003)
1919 – Jon Pertwee, English actor (d. 1996)
1921 – Ezzard Charles, American boxer (d. 1975)
1921 – Adolf von Thadden, German politician (d. 1996)
1922 – Alan Armer, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2010)
1923 – Liviu Ciulei, Romanian actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 2011)
1923 – Eduardo Falú, Argentinian guitarist and composer (d. 2013)
1924 – Mary Ford, American singer and guitarist (d. 1977)
1924 – Eddie Romero, Filipino director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2013)
1925 – Abdul Razak Abdul Hamid, Malaysian academic (d. 2013)
1925 – Gely Korzhev, Russian painter (d. 2012)
1925 – Wally Phillips, American radio host (d. 2008)
1927 – Alan J. Dixon, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 34th Illinois Secretary of State (d. 2014)
1927 – Charlie Louvin, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Louvin Brothers) (d. 2011)
1927 – Doc Severinsen, American trumpet player (The Tonight Show Band)
1929 – Hasan Abidi, Pakistani journalist and poet (d. 2005)
1930 – John Little, Canadian-Scottish footballer
1930 – Hamish MacInnes, Scottish mountaineer and author
1930 – Theodore Edgar McCarrick, American cardinal
1930 – Hank Mobley, American saxophonist and composer (d. 1986)
1931 – David Eddings, American author (d. 2009)
1932 – T. J. Bass, American physician and author (d. 2011)
1932 – Joe Zawinul, Austrian-American keyboard player and composer (Weather Report) (d. 2007)
1933 – Murray Halberg, New Zealand runner
1933 – David McCullough, American historian and author
1933 – Bruce Wells, English boxer and actor (d. 2009)
1936 – Egbert Brieskorn, German mathematician and academic (d. 2013)
1936 – Christopher Mallaby, English diplomat, British Ambassador to France
1936 – Jo Siffert, Swiss race car driver (d. 1971)
1936 – Nikos Xilouris, Greek singer-songwriter (d. 1980)
1937 – Tung Chee Hwa, Hong Kong businessman and politician, 1st Chief Executive of Hong Kong
1940 – Ringo Starr, English singer-songwriter, drummer, and actor (The Beatles, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, and Plastic Ono Band)
1941 – Christopher Beeny, English actor
1941 – Marco Bollesan, Italian rugby player and coach
1941 – Nancy Farmer, American author
1941 – Michael Howard, Welsh politician, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
1941 – Bill Oddie, English comedian, actor, and singer
1941 – Jim Rodford, English bass player (The Kinks, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Zombies, The Kast Off Kinks, and Argent)
1942 – Carmen Duncan, Australian actress
1943 – Toto Cutugno, Italian singer-songwriter
1943 – Joel Siegel, American journalist and critic (d. 2007)
1944 – Tony Jacklin, English golfer and sportscaster
1944 – Glenys Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, English educator and politician, Minister of State for Europe
1944 – Emanuel Steward, American boxer and trainer (d. 2012)
1944 – Sir David Philip Tweedie, Scottish accountant
1944 – Michael Walker, Baron Walker of Aldringham, Zimbabwean-English field marshal
1944 – Ian Wilmut, English-Scottish embryologist and academic
1945 – Michael Ancram, English lawyer and politician, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
1945 – Matti Salminen, Finnish opera singer
1946 – Joe Spano, American actor
1947 – David Hodo, American singer and actor (Village People)
1947 – Víctor Manuel, Spanish singer-songwriter
1947 – Gyanendra of Nepal
1947 – Howard Rheingold, American author and critic
1947 – Felix Standaert, Belgian diplomat
1947 – Rob Townsend, English drummer (Family, The Blues Band, The Manfreds, and Axis Point)
1948 – Jean Leclerc, Canadian actor
1948 – Alison Wilding, English sculptor
1949 – Shelley Duvall, American actress and producer
1949 – Bob Stewart, English colonel and politician
1951 – Tom Fox, American activist (d. 2006)
1952 – Mando Guerrero, Mexican-American wrestler and stuntman
1954 – Pam Bricker, American singer and guitarist (d. 2005)
1954 – Sandy Johnson, American model and actress
1954 – Rami Fortis, Israeli singer (Minimal Compact)
1955 – Len Barker, American baseball player
1957 – Jonathan Dayton, American director and producer
1957 – Berry Sakharof, Turkish-Israeli singer-songwriter and guitarist (Minimal Compact)
1958 – Alexander Svinin, Russian figure skater and coach
1958 – John Vickers, English economist and academic
1959 – Billy Campbell, American actor
1959 – Jessica Hahn, American model and actress
1959 – Kerstin Knabe, German hurdler
1959 – Ben Linder, American engineer (d. 1987)
1960 – Kevin A. Ford, American colonel and astronaut
1960 – Ralph Sampson, American basketball player and coach
1961 – Eric Jerome Dickey, American author and poet
1963 – Vonda Shepard, American singer-songwriter and actress
1964 – Robert Newman, English comedian, actor, and author
1965 – Mo Collins, American actress
1965 – Paula Devicq, Canadian actress
1965 – Jeremy Guscott, English rugby player and sportscaster
1965 – Sam Holbrook, American baseball player and umpire
1965 – Jeremy Kyle, English talk show host
1966 – Jim Gaffigan, American comedian and actor
1966 – Gundula Krause, German-American violinist
1966 – Neil Tobin, American magician
1967 – Tom Kristensen, Danish race car driver
1967 – Jackie Neal, American singer (d. 2005)
1968 – Amy Carlson, American actress
1968 – Jorja Fox, American actress
1968 – Allen Payne, American actor
1968 – Jeff VanderMeer, American author and educator
1969 – Sylke Otto, German luger
1969 – Joe Sakic, Canadian ice hockey player
1969 – Nathalie Simard, Canadian singer
1969 – Cree Summer, American-Canadian singer-songwriter and actress (Subject to Change)
1969 – Robin Weigert, American actress
1970 – Robia LaMorte, American actress and dancer
1970 – Wayne McCullough, Irish boxer
1970 – Zoë Tyler, English singer and actress
1970 – Erik Zabel, German cyclist
1971 – Christian Camargo, American actor
1971 – Alistair Potts, English rower
1972 – Lisa Leslie, American basketball player and actress
1972 – Manfred Stohl, Austrian race car driver
1972 – Kirsten Vangsness, American actress
1973 – Troy Garity, American actor
1973 – José Jiménez, Dominican baseball player
1973 – Kailash Kher, Indian singer-songwriter and director
1973 – Matt Mantei, American baseball player
1973 – Tina Paulino, Mozambican runner
1973 – Kārlis Skrastiņš, Latvian ice hockey player (d. 2011)
1973 – Natsuki Takaya, Japanese illustrator
1974 – Patrick Lalime, Canadian ice hockey player and sportscaster
1974 – E.D.I. Mean, American rapper and producer (Outlawz)
1975 – Tony Benshoof, American luger
1975 – Adam Nelson, American shot putter
1975 – Michael Voss, Australian footballer and coach
1976 – Natasha Collins, English actress (d. 2008)
1976 – Dominic Foley, Irish footballer
1976 – Bérénice Bejo, Argentinian-French actress
1976 – Vasily Petrenko, Russian conductor
1978 – Chris Andersen, American basketball player
1978 – Davor Kraljević, Croatian footballer
1979 – Carl Breeze, English race car driver
1979 – Anastasios Gousis, Greek sprinter
1980 – John Buck, American baseball player
1980 – Fyfe Dangerfield, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Guillemots and Senseless Prayer)
1980 – Deidre Downs, American model, Miss America 2005
1980 – Michelle Kwan, American figure skater
1980 – Dan Whitesides, American drummer (The Used and The New Transit Direction)
1981 – Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Indian cricketer
1981 – Synyster Gates, American guitarist (Avenged Sevenfold and Pinkly Smooth)
1982 – Cassidy, American rapper, producer, and actor (Larsiny Family)
1982 – Mike Glita, American singer-songwriter, bass player, and drummer (Senses Fail and Tokyo Rose)
1982 – Nick Karner, American actor and director
1982 – Jan Laštůvka, Czech footballer
1982 – George Owu, Ghanaian footballer
1983 – Justin Davies, Australian footballer
1983 – Ciara Newell, Irish singer (Bellefire)
1984 – Marie-Mai, Canadian singer
1984 – Minas Alozidis, Greek hurdler
1984 – Alberto Aquilani, Italian footballer
1984 – Mohammad Ashraful, Bangladeshi cricketer
1985 – Marc Stein, German footballer
1986 – Shweta Pandit, Indian singer-songwriter and actress
1986 – Ana Kasparian, American journalist and producer
1986 – Udo Schwarz, German rugby player
1987 – Julianna Guill, American actress
1987 – Lena Ma, Chinese-Canadian model, Miss World Canada 2009
1987 – Carly Telford, English footballer
1988 – Kaci Brown, American singer-songwriter
1988 – Lukas Rosenthal, German rugby player
1988 – Ilan Rubin, American drummer (Angels & Airwaves, Nine Inch Nails, Lostprophets, Denver Harbor, and Fenix TX)
1988 – Jack Whitehall, English comedian and actor
1989 – Bii, Taiwanese singer
1989 – Kim Bum, South Korean actor and singer
1989 – Landon Cassill, American race car driver
1989 – Miina Kallas, Estonian footballer
1990 – Lee Addy, Ghanaian footballer
1990 – Pascal Stöger, Austrian footballer
1992 – Ellina Anissimova, Estonian hammer thrower
1992 – Toni Garrn, German model
1997 – Erina Ikuta, Japanese singer and actress (Morning Musume)
2000 – Princess Purnika of Nepal

Jul 7, 1930:
Building of Hoover Dam begins

On this day in 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam begins. Over the next five years, a total of 21,000 men would work ceaselessly to produce what would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest manmade structures in the world.

Although the dam would take only five years to build, its construction was nearly 30 years in the making. Arthur Powell Davis, an engineer from the Bureau of Reclamation, originally had his vision for the Hoover Dam back in 1902, and his engineering report on the topic became the guiding document when plans were finally made to begin the dam in 1922.

Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States and a committed conservationist, played a crucial role in making Davis’ vision a reality. As secretary of commerce in 1921, Hoover devoted himself to the erection of a high dam in Boulder Canyon, Colorado. The dam would provide essential flood control, which would prevent damage to downstream farming communities that suffered each year when snow from the Rocky Mountains melted and joined the Colorado River. Further, the dam would allow the expansion of irrigated farming in the desert, and would provide a dependable supply of water for Los Angeles and other southern California communities.

Even with Hoover's exuberant backing and a regional consensus around the need to build the dam, Congressional approval and individual state cooperation were slow in coming. For many years, water rights had been a source of contention among the western states that had claims on the Colorado River. To address this issue, Hoover negotiated the Colorado River Compact, which broke the river basin into two regions with the water divided between them. Hoover then had to introduce and re-introduce the bill to build the dam several times over the next few years before the House and Senate finally approved the bill in 1928.

In 1929, Hoover, now president, signed the Colorado River Compact into law, claiming it was "the most extensive action ever taken by a group of states under the provisions of the Constitution permitting compacts between states."

Once preparations were made, the Hoover Dam's construction sprinted forward: The contractors finished their work two years ahead of schedule and millions of dollars under budget. Today, the Hoover Dam is the second highest dam in the country and the 18th highest in the world. It generates enough energy each year to serve over a million people, and stands, in Hoover Dam artist Oskar Hansen's words, as "a monument to collective genius exerting itself in community efforts around a common need or ideal."

Jul 7, 1941:
U.S. occupies Iceland

The neutral United States moves closer to war with Germany when U.S. forces land on Iceland to take over its garrisoning from the British. From thereon, the U.S. Navy had the responsibility of protecting convoys in the nearby sea routes from attack by German submarines. With Iceland and its nearby sea routes under U.S. protection, the British Royal Navy was more free to defend its embattled Mediterranean positions.

The occupation of Iceland came less than a month after President Franklin D. Roosevelt froze all German and Italian assets in the United States and expelled the countries' diplomats in response to the German torpedoing of the American destroyer Robin Moor. Much of the North Atlantic was now in the American sphere, and U.S. warships patrolled the area for German submarines, notifying London of all enemy activity. The United States officially entered World War II after Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii in December 1941.

Jul 7, 1942:
Himmler decides to begin medical experiments on Auschwitz prisoners

On this day in 1942, Heinrich Himmler, in league with three others, including a physician, decides to begin experimenting on women in the Auschwitz concentration camps and to investigate extending this experimentation on males.

Himmler, architect of Hitler's program to exterminate Europe's Jewish population, convened a conference in Berlin to discuss the prospects for using concentration camp prisoners as objects of medical experiments. The other attendees were the head of the Concentration Camp Inspectorate, SS General Richard Glueks (hospital chief), SS Major-General Gebhardt and Professor Karl Clauberg (one of Germany's leading gynecologists). The result of the conference was that a major program of medical experimentation on Jewish women at Auschwitz was agreed upon. These experiments were to be carried out in such a way as to ensure that the prisoners were not aware of what was being done to them. (The experimentation would take the form of sterilization via massive doses of radiation or uterine injections.) It was also decided to consult with an X-ray specialist about the prospects of using X rays to castrate men and demonstrating this on male Jewish prisoners. Adolf Hitler endorsed this plan on the condition that it remained top secret.

That Heinrich Himmler would propose such a conference or endorse such a program should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his resume. As head of the Schutzstaffel ("Armed Black Shirts or Protection Squad"), the SS, the military arm of the Nazi Party, and assistant chief of the Gestapo (the secret police), Himmler was able over time to consolidate his control over all police forces of the Reich. This power grab would prove highly effective in carrying out the Fuhrer's Final Solution. It was Himmler who organized the creation of death camps throughout Eastern Europe and the creation of a pool of slave laborers.

Jul 7, 1946:
Future President Jimmy Carter marries

On this day in 1946, James Earl "Jimmy" Carter marries Eleanor Rosalynn Smith at the Plains Methodist Church in Plains, Georgia. When the couple met, she was 18 and working in a hair salon. He was 21 and a recent graduate of the Annapolis Naval Academy.

During the first seven years of their marriage, Jimmy and Rosalynn, as she was called, lived in a variety of places, as he was given different assignments with the Navy. Though he had hoped to make the Navy his career, his plans changed when his father died in 1953. Jimmy took over the family peanut farm in Plains, Georgia, while Rosalynn ran the financial end of the business and raised the couple's four children. She supported her husband's first two failed political campaigns--for state senator in 1962 and for governor in 1966-- and shared in his success in 1970 when he won the governor's race. The couple moved to Atlanta and, as Georgia's first lady, Rosalynn began a lifelong commitment to improving services for the mentally ill.

When Carter won the presidency in 1976, Rosalynn took advantage of her position to advocate for new legislation to protect the rights of the mentally ill, senior citizens and women. She even traveled as Carter's representative to meetings in Central and South America and liaised with policy leaders on issues such as human rights, arms reduction and trade. She set up an office in the East Wing of the White House, from which she conducted White House business and her own personal projects. Both she and her husband projected a casual profile of accessibility during his term in the White House. Carter liked to wear cardigan sweaters instead of suits while at work and he and Rosalynn eschewed the traditional limousine ride from the Capitol to the White House in favor of walking at his inauguration. Although they presented a low-key, down-to-earth image, the couple kept up busy schedules and rarely took vacations. Still, they managed to arrange to regularly meet for meals with their young daughter Amy in the White House residential quarters.

By 1980, Carter had become embroiled in the Iranian hostage crisis and was struggling to lead the nation out of an ongoing energy crisis complicated by high inflation. As he chose not to spend too much time away from the White House to pursue a second presidential campaign, Rosalynn stepped in and appeared at many campaign rallies on his behalf. Although Carter failed to win a second term, losing to Ronald Reagan, he and Rosalynn stayed active in national and international affairs. In 1982, they founded the Carter Center in Atlanta to advocate for human rights and to alleviate "unnecessary human suffering" around the world. Since 1984, the Carters have given their time each year to build homes and raise awareness of homelessness with the international charitable organization Habitat for Humanity.

In 2002, Carter won the prestigious Nobel Prize for his efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights and to promote economic and social development. The couple currently lives in Plains, Georgia, where former President Carter can sometimes be found teaching a Sunday School class at Maranatha Baptist Church.

Jul 7, 1955:
China announces it will provide aid to Hanoi

Officials in China and Hanoi announce that Beijing will extend 800 million yuan (about $200 million) in economic aid to Hanoi. This announcement followed a trip to Beijing by Ho Chi Minh and his ministers of finance, industry, agriculture, education and health. On July 18, the Soviet Union announced that it would grant Hanoi 400 million rubles (about $100 million) in economic aid. This aid from fellow communist nations helped sustain North Vietnam in its war against the South Vietnamese and their American allies until 1975, when they defeated the South Vietnamese forces and reunified the country.

Jul 7, 1962:
"The Stripper," by David Rose, becomes the #1 pop hit in America

As points of shared cultural reference, certain pieces of movie and television soundtrack music have become nearly indispensable to our modern existence. The theme from The Twilight Zone, for instance, is used to indicate the occurrence of a spooky coincidence. Or the theme from Jaws is hummed just as one person sneaks up behind another in a pool. When people sing the familiar themes from famous movies like Psycho or Deliverance, they make an instantly understandable shorthand reference to a specific idea or emotion, without having to speak a single word. The same is true for a snippet of soundtrack from a very obscure 1950s television program called Burlesque. That piece of music by David Rose is to acts of old-fashioned striptease roughly what the theme from Rocky is to early-morning winter jogs. Composed in 1958 and released as a single four years later, the hammy tune called "The Stripper" became a #1 pop hit in the United States on July 7, 1962.

David Rose was a composer and arranger who had a huge hit record back in 1944 with "Holiday For Strings," but who is better known as a prolific composer for television from the 1950s to the 1980s. While working on the short-lived television show Burlesque in 1958, Rose decided to score a dressing-room scene with music playing softly in the background as if barely audible from backstage. "So I wrote eight measures of strip music and forgot about it," Rose later told Billboard magazine.

Purely as a joke, Rose used a few spare minutes of studio time shortly thereafter to have the brass, the clarinets and the percussion section of his orchestra record a slightly extended version of what he still regarded as a silly throwaway. Rose had a handful of copies of the untitled number pressed on vinyl and handed out to orchestra members as novelty gifts, and that was the end of that. Until four years later, that is, when someone at his label, MGM Records, pulled the one-minute-and-55-second master recording out of the archives and had it put on the "B" side of Rose's string-orchestra version of "Ebb Tide." When a Los Angeles disc jockey flipped "Ebb Tide" and heard the piece now entitled "The Stripper," he thought it was so funny that he played it almost continuously during his program one day. Soon "The Stripper" was a regional, then a national #1 hit, and well on its way to becoming a permanent piece of American pop culture.

Jul 7, 1964:
New ambassador arrives in Saigon

Gen. Maxwell Taylor, the new ambassador to South Vietnam, arrives in Saigon. As a military man with considerable experience in Vietnam, he was viewed by the South Vietnamese government, the U.S. military establishment, and the Johnson administration as the ideal individual to coordinate and invigorate the war effort. Presumably because of his arrival, a bomb was thrown at the U.S. Embassy and two grenades exploded elsewhere in Saigon; no one was injured and only slight damage was caused.

Jul 7, 1969:
First U.S. troops withdrawn from South Vietnam

A battalion of the U.S. 9th Infantry Division leaves Saigon in the initial withdrawal of U.S. troops. The 814 soldiers were the first of 25,000 troops that were withdrawn in the first stage of the U.S. disengagement from the war. There would be 14 more increments in the withdrawal, but the last U.S. troops did not leave until after the Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973.
07 July Deaths

1304 – Pope Benedict XI (b. 1240)
1307 – Edward I of England (b. 1239)
1537 – Madeleine of Valois (b. 1520)
1572 – Sigismund II Augustus, Polish king (b. 1520)
1573 – Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, Italian architect, designed the Church of the Gesu and Villa Farnese (b. 1507)
1593 – Mohammed Bagayogo, Malian scholar and academic (b. 1523)
1647 – Thomas Hooker, English minister, founded the Colony of Connecticut (b. 1586)
1701 – William Stoughton, American judge and politician, Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (b. 1631)
1713 – Henry Compton, English bishop (b. 1632)
1718 – Alexei Petrovich, Tsarevich of Russia (b. 1690)
1730 – Olivier Levasseur, French pirate (b. 1690)
1764 – William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath, English politician, Secretary at War (b. 1683)
1776 – Jeremiah Markland, English scholar and academic (b. 1693)
1790 – François Hemsterhuis, Dutch philosopher (b. 1721)
1816 – Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Irish playwright and poet (b. 1751)
1865 – conspirators in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln – George Atzerodt (b. 1833)
– David Herold (b. 1842)
– Lewis Payne (b. 1844)
– Mary Surratt (b. 1823)

1890 – Henri Nestlé, German businessman, founded Nestlé (b. 1814)
1901 – Johanna Spyri, Swiss author (b. 1827)
1913 – Edward Burd Grubb, Jr., American general (b. 1841)
1922 – Cathal Brugha, Irish soldier and politician, 1st President of Dáil Éireann (b. 1874)
1925 – Clarence Hudson White American photographer and educator (b. 1871)
1927 – Émile Coste, French fencer (b. 1862)
1927 – Gösta Mittag-Leffler, Swedish mathematician and academic (b. 1846)
1930 – Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish physician and author, created Sherlock Holmes (b. 1859)
1932 – Alexander Grin, Russian author (b. 1880)
1932 – Henry Eyster Jacobs, American theologian and educator (b. 1844)
1937 – Nikolajs Švedrēvics, Latvian javelin thrower (b. 1891)
1939 – Deacon White, American baseball player and manager (b. 1847)
1942 – Thomas Xenakis, Greek gymnast (b. 1875)
1949 – Bunk Johnson, American trumpet player (b. 1879)
1950 – Fats Navarro, American trumpet player and composer (b. 1923)
1954 – Idabelle Smith Firestone, American composer and songwriter (b. 1874)
1956 – Gottfried Benn, German author and poet (b. 1886)
1960 – Francis Browne, Irish photographer (b. 1880)
1964 – Lillian Copeland, American discus thrower (b. 1904)
1965 – Moshe Sharett, Ukrainian-Israeli politician, 2nd Prime Minister of Israel (b. 1894)
1967 – Vivien Leigh, Indian-English actress and singer (b. 1913)
1968 – Jo Schlesser, French race car driver (b. 1928)
1971 – Claude Gauvreau, Canadian poet and playwright (b. 1925)
1971 – Ub Iwerks, American animator and director (b. 1901)
1972 – Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople (b. 1886)
1972 – Talal of Jordan (b. 1909)
1973 – Max Horkheimer, German philosopher and sociologist (b. 1895)
1973 – Veronica Lake, American actress and singer (b. 1919)
1975 – Ruffian, American race horse (b. 1972)
1976 – Walter Giesler, American soccer player and referee (b. 1910)
1978 – Francisco Mendes, Guinea-Bissau politician, 1st Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau (b. 1933)
1980 – Dore Schary, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1905)
1981 – Peace Pilgrim, American mystic and activist (b. 1908)
1984 – Carl Boenish, American BASE jumper and cinematographer (b. 1941)
1984 – Alexander Fu Sheng, Hong Kong actor (b. 1954)
1984 – George Oppen, American poet (b. 1908)
1984 – Ricky Kasso, American murderer (b. 1967)
1987 – Germaine Thyssens-Valentin, Dutch-French pianist (b. 1902)
1987 – Hannelore Schroth, German actress (b. 1922)
1990 – Cazuza, Brazilian singer-songwriter (Barão Vermelho) (b. 1958)
1990 – Bill Cullen, American game show host (b. 1920)
1993 – Mia Zapata, American singer-songwriter (The Gits) (b. 1965)
1994 – Carlo Chiti, Italian engineer (b. 1924)
1994 – Cameron Mitchell, American actor (b. 1918)
1994 – Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte, German general (b. 1907)
1998 – Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, Nigerian businessman and politician (b. 1937)
1999 – Vikram Batra, Indian captain (b. 1974)
1999 – Julie Campbell Tatham, American author (b. 1908)
2000 – Kenny Irwin, Jr., American race car driver (b. 1969)
2001 – Fred Neil, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1936)
2003 – Izhak Graziani, Bulgarian conductor (b. 1924)
2003 – Vlado Kristl, Croatian painter, animator, and director (b. 1923)
2006 – Syd Barrett, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Pink Floyd and Stars) (b. 1946)
2006 – Juan de Ávalos, Spanish sculptor (b. 1911)
2006 – John Money, New Zealand-American psychologist and author (b. 1921)
2008 – Bruce Conner, American sculptor, painter, and photographer (b. 1933)
2008 – Dorian Leigh, American model (b. 1917)
2011 – Allan W. Eckert, American historian and author (b. 1931)
2011 – Dick Williams, American baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1929)
2012 – Ronaldo Cunha Lima, Brazilian poet and politician (b. 1936)
2012 – Mouss Diouf, Senegalese-French actor (b. 1964)
2012 – Dennis Flemion, American drummer (The Frogs) (b. 1955)
2012 – Doris Neal, American baseball player (b. 1928)
2012 – Jerry Norman, American sinologist and linguist (b. 1936)
2012 – Leon Schlumpf, Swiss politician (b. 1927)
2013 – Joe Conley, American actor (b. 1928)
2013 – MC Daleste, Brazilian rapper (b. 1992)
2013 – Artur Hajzer, Polish mountaineer (b. 1962)
2013 – Robert Hamerton-Kelly, South African-American pastor, theologian, and author (b. 1938)
2013 – Donald J. Irwin, American politician, 32nd Mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut (b. 1926)
2013 – Ben Pucci, American football player and sportscaster (b. 1925)
2013 – Anna Wing, English actress (b. 1914)
2014 – Lammtarra, American race horse (b. 1992)
2014 – Alfredo Di Stéfano, Argentinian-Spanish footballer and coach (b. 1926)
2014 – Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgian general and politician, 2nd President of Georgia (b. 1928)
2014 – Peter Underwood, Australian lawyer and politician, 27th Governor of Tasmania (b. 1937)

Jul 7, 1976:
Female cadets enrolled at West Point

For the first time in history, women are enrolled into the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. On May 28, 1980, 62 of these female cadets graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants.

The United States Military Academy--the first military school in America--was founded by Congress in 1802 for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. Established at West Point, New York, the U.S. Military Academy is often simply known as West Point.

Located on the high west bank of New York's Hudson River, West Point was the site of a Revolutionary-era fort built to protect the Hudson River Valley from British attack. In 1780, Patriot General Benedict Arnold, the commander of the fort, agreed to surrender West Point to the British in exchange for 6,000 English pounds. However, the plot was uncovered before it fell into British hands, and Arnold fled to the British for protection.

Ten years after the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy in 1802, the growing threat of another war with Great Britain resulted in Congressional action to expand the academy's facilities and increase the West Point corps. Beginning in 1817, the U.S. Military Academy was reorganized by superintendent Sylvanus Thayer--later known as the "father of West Point"--and the school became one of the nation's finest sources of civil engineers. During the Mexican-American War, West Point graduates filled the leading ranks of the victorious U.S. forces, and with the outbreak of the Civil War former West Point classmates regretfully lined up against one another in the defense of their native states.

In 1870, the first African American cadet was admitted into the U.S. Military Academy, and in 1976, the first female cadets. The academy is now under the general direction and supervision of the department of the U.S. Army and has an enrollment of more than 4,000 students.

Jul 7, 1981:
O'Connor nominated to Supreme Court

President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O'Connor, an Arizona court of appeals judge, to be the first woman Supreme Court justice in U.S. history. On September 21, the Senate unanimously approved her appointment to the nation's highest court, and on September 25 she was sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger.

Sandra Day was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1930. She grew up on her family's cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona and attended Stanford University, where she studied economics. A legal dispute over her family's ranch stirred her interest in law, and in 1950 she enrolled in Stanford Law School. She took just two years to receive her law degree and was ranked near the top of her class. Upon graduation, she married John Jay O'Connor III, a classmate.

Because she was a woman, no law firm she applied to would hire her for a suitable position, so she turned to the public sector and found work as a deputy county attorney for San Mateo, California. In 1953, her husband was drafted into the U.S. Army as a judge, and the O'Connors lived for three years in West Germany, with Sandra working as a civilian lawyer for the army. In 1957, they returned to the United States and settled down in Phoenix, Arizona, where they had three children in the six years that followed. During this time, O'Connor started a private law firm with a partner and became involved in numerous volunteer activities.

In 1965, she became an assistant attorney general for Arizona and in 1969 was appointed to the Arizona State Senate to occupy a vacant seat. Subsequently elected and reelected to the seat, she became the first woman in the United States to hold the position of majority leader in a state senate. In 1974, she was elected a superior court judge in Maricopa County and in 1979 was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals by Governor Bruce Babbitt, a Democrat.

Two years later, on July 7, 1981, President Reagan nominated her to the Supreme Court to fill the seat of retiring justice Stewart Potter, an Eisenhower appointee. In his 1980 presidential campaign, Reagan had promised to appoint a woman to the high court at one of his earliest opportunities, and he chose O'Connor out of a group of some two dozen male and female candidates to be his first appointee to the high court.

O'Connor, known as a moderate conservative, faced opposition from anti-abortion groups who criticized her judicial defense of legalized abortion on several occasions. Liberals celebrated the appointment of a woman to the Supreme Court but were critical of some of her views. Nevertheless, at the end of her confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill, the Senate voted unanimously to endorse her nomination. On September 25, 1981, she was sworn in as the 102nd justice—and first woman justice—in Supreme Court history.

Initially regarded as a member of the court's conservative faction, she later emerged from William Rehnquist's shadow (chief justice from 1986 to 2005) as a moderate and pragmatic conservative. On social issues, she often voted with liberal justices, and in several cases she upheld abortion rights. During her time on the bench, she was known for her dispassionate and carefully researched opinions and was regarded as a prominent justice because of her tendency to moderate the sharply divided Supreme Court.

O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court on July 1, 2005. Her decision sparked dismay among pro-choice groups who worried that President George W. Bush would choose a replacement likely to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a woman's right to an abortion. She was replaced by Samuel Alito, who became the court's 110th justice in January 2006.

Jul 7, 1983:
Samantha Smith leaves for visit to the USSR

Samantha Smith, an 11-year-old American girl, begins a two-week visit to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Soviet leader Yuri Andropov. Some American observers believed that Smith was merely being used by the Soviets for their own propaganda purposes, while others saw her visit as a positive step toward improving U.S.-Russian relations.

In April 1983, the Soviet government released a letter written by Smith to Andropov as part of a school project. In the letter, Smith asked Andropov about his country and whether he wanted peace with the United States. Surprisingly, Andropov answered the letter personally, assuring Smith that he had the greatest friendliness toward America and wished only for peace and mutual understanding. He ended by inviting Smith to come see the Soviet Union for herself. The fifth grader accepted Andropov's offer and the trip was set for July 1983. Almost immediately, Smith's family was flooded with letters from Americans, most of whom supported Samantha's decision. Many, however, sharply criticized her upcoming visit, claiming that it was merely a propaganda ploy by the communists. To some extent, they were right: Andropov clearly saw the Smith visit as an opportunity to try to dispel some negative impressions of the Soviet Union. On the other hand, Andropov also was clear about wanting closer relations with the West, and his invitation to the small girl was one way of indicating this desire.

During her two weeks in Russia, Smith was treated as a VIP and given a carefully arranged tour of the Soviet Union. However, she also found time to speak to groups of Soviet citizens who made no attempt to hide some of the problems facing their nation, particularly food shortages. For her part, Smith absolutely charmed her hosts and became a famous figure almost overnight. Arriving back in the United States two weeks later, she indicated that she firmly believed that the Soviets "want no harm to the world, just like us." When asked whether she would like to live in Russia, she praised her communist hosts but declared that she would "rather live in my own country."

Jul 7, 1987:
Tanker accident causes deadly fire

A gasoline tanker truck crashes into an ice cream parlor in Herborn, Germany, on this day in 1987. The resulting explosion and fire killed 50 people.

The truck was carrying a full load of gasoline, nearly 7,000 gallons, when it exited the Frankfurt-Rhur autobahn, a major highway in Germany. It was about 8:30 in the evening as the truck came through the center of Herborn. When its brakes overheated and failed, the truck plowed straight into a building containing an ice cream parlor and pizzeria. There was no immediate explosion and the truck's driver managed to escape with only minor injuries.

As gasoline poured from the ruptured tanker, though, nearly 50 people were trapped in the ice cream parlor; fortunately, the pizzeria had already closed. When the gasoline exploded, the building was completely destroyed and all those inside died. A chain reaction of explosions caused gas pipes in neighboring homes to ignite and manhole covers to fly into the air on a nearby street.

Meanwhile, gasoline continued to flow out of the truck and began to flood the town's underground sewage system. Deadly fumes also permeated the town center. Twenty-thousand homes in the vicinity were evacuated while firefighters fought to contain the damage. Approximately 25 people were seriously injured but could not be evacuated by cars because people coming to view the enormous fire had crowded the roads. Helicopters were used to take them to area hospitals.

Jul 7, 2000:
Stock car driver Kenny Irwin Jr. dies in crash

On this day in 2000--eight weeks to the day after the fourth-generation NASCAR driver Adam Petty was killed during practice at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire--the driver Kenny Irwin Jr. dies at the same speedway, near the exact same spot, after his car slams into the wall at 150 mph during a practice run.

At 19, Adam Petty was in his second season in the Busch Series and was planning to move to the Winston Cup circuit full time the following year. He finished 40th in his first Winston Cup race in April 2000, three days before the death of his great-grandfather, Lee Petty, a pioneer of NASCAR (the acronym stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing). On May 12, during a practice session to qualify for the following day's Busch 200 in Loudon, the youngest Petty's car crashed head-on into a wall while traveling at 130 miles per hour. He was airlifted to Concord Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of head trauma.

A native of Indianapolois, Indiana, Kenny Irwin Jr. won Rookie of the Year honors for the NASCAR Winston Cup series in 1998, earning one fifth-place finish and four top-10s while driving the famous No. 28 Texaco Havoline Ford for the Robert Yates Racing team. (Among the celebrated previous drivers of the No. 28 were Ernie Irvan and Davey Allison.) After Irwin racked up three more top-five finishes in 1999, including third place in the Daytona 500, he Irwin left the Yates organization and joined a team owned by Felix Sabates. In a car sponsored by BellSouth, he ran a total of 17 races, still seeking a win.

On July 7, 2000, the 30-year-old Irwin was killed instantly when his car hit the wall on Turn 3 of the New Hampshire International Speedway; it flipped over and landed on its roof before coming to a halt. As in the case of Petty's crash, speculation as to the cause focused on a stuck accelerator, which would have prevented both drivers from slowing enough to make the turn. As The Chicago Tribune reported, some drivers pointed out that the track was one of the slickest on the NASCAR circuit, with no margin for error on the tight turns. On the other hand, Petty's grandfather, the NASCAR icon Richard Petty, dismissed those charges, attributing the two similar crashes to "circumstances beyond human control...circumstances with the way you stop that thing so quick. Your body just can't stand it."

Jul 7, 2005:
Terrorists attack London transit system at rush hour

On the morning of July 7, 2005, bombs are detonated in three crowded London subways and one bus during the peak of the city's rush hour. The synchronized suicide bombings, which were thought to be the work of al-Qaida, killed 56 people including the bombers and injured another 700. It was the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II. No warning was given.

The train bombings targeted the London Underground, the city's subway system. Nearly simultaneous explosions, at about 8:50 a.m., occurred on trains in three locations: between the Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations on the Circle Line; between the Russell Square and King's Cross stations on the Piccadilly Line; and at the Edgware Road station, also on the Circle Line. Almost an hour later, a double-decker bus on Upper Woburn Place near Tavistock Square was also hit; the bus's roof was ripped off by the blast.

The attacks took place as world leaders, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, were meeting at the G8 summit in nearby Scotland. In his remarks after learning of the blasts, Blair called the attacks barbaric and pointed out that their taking place at the same time as the G8 summit was most likely purposeful. Later, he vowed to see those responsible brought to justice and that Great Britain, a major partner with the U.S. in the war in Iraq, would not be intimidated by terrorists.

Of the four suicide bombers, three were born in Great Britain and one in Jamaica. Three lived in or near Leeds in West Yorkshire; one resided in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Al-Qaida officially claimed responsibility for the attacks on September 1, 2005, in a videotape released to the al-Jazeera television network.

Two weeks later, on July 21, 2005, a second set of four bombings was attempted, also targeting the city's transit system, but failed when the explosives only partially detonated. The four men alleged to be responsible for the failed attacks were arrested in late July.

An estimated 3 million people ride the London Underground every day, with another 6.5 million using the city's bus system.

Jul 7, 2006:
Johnny Depp stars in second Pirates of the Caribbean movie

On this day in 2006, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, an adventure film starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, opens in theaters across America. The movie, the second in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, was part of a multi-billion dollar Disney franchise that included theme park rides, video games and books.

The first film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, premiered at California’s Disneyland theme park on June 28, 2003, and went on to become a surprise box-office hit and the recipient of five Academy Award nominations, including a Best Actor nod for Johnny Depp. Curse of the Black Pearl, the first-ever Disney picture to earn a PG-13 rating, followed the adventures of the eccentric pirate captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) and the blacksmith Will Turner (Bloom) who rescue Elizabeth Swann (Knightley), Turner’s love and the daughter of a colonial governor, after she is kidnapped by the villainous Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) of the pirate ship The Black Pearl.

The second movie in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, featured the same three lead actors and the same director, Gore Verbinksi, whose previous credits included 2001’s The Mexican and 2002’s The Ring. Dead Man’s Chest was shot back-to-back with the third film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which was released in 2007. Dead Man’s Chest was a box-office success and garnered four Academy Award nominations; it won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects. The third film, At World’s End, was one of the top-grossing films of 2007 and won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Johnny Depp, who was born June 9, 1963, first rose to fame in the television series 21 Jump Street and later became known for his offbeat performances, including the title roles in Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Ed Wood (1994) and the role of Willie Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). In addition to Depp’s Best Actor Academy Award nomination for Curse of the Black Pearl, he received Oscar nominations for Finding Neverland (2004) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).
08 July Events

1099 – First Crusade: Fifteen thousand starving Christian soldiers march in a religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders look on.
1283 – War of the Sicilian Vespers: Roger of Lauria, commanding the Aragonese fleet defeats an Angevin fleet sent to put down a rebellion on Malta in the Battle of Malta.
1497 – Vasco da Gama sets sail on the first direct European voyage to India.
1579 – Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, is discovered underground in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan.
1663 – Charles II of England grants John Clarke a Royal charter to Rhode Island.
1709 – Great Northern War: Battle of Poltava – Peter I of Russia defeats Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava thus effectively ending Sweden's role as a major power in Europe.
1716 – Great Northern War: The naval Battle of Dynekilen takes place.
1730 – An estimated magnitude 8.7 earthquake causes a tsunami that damages more than 1,000 km (620 mi) of Chile's coastline.
1758 – French forces hold Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, New York.
1760 – French and Indian War: Battle of Restigouche – British forces defeat French forces in last naval battle in New France.
1775 – The Olive Branch Petition is signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies.
1808 – Joseph Bonaparte approves the Bayonne Statute, a royal charter intended as the basis for his rule as king of Spain.
1822 – Chippewas turn over a huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom.
1853 – U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Edo bay with a treaty requesting trade.
1859 – King Charles XV & IV accedes to the throne of Sweden–Norway.
1864 – Ikedaya Incident: The Choshu Han shishi's planned Shinsengumi sabotage on Kyoto, Japan at Ikedaya.
1874 – The Mounties begin their March West.
1876 – White supremacists kill five Black Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina.
1879 – Sailing ship USS Jeannette departs San Francisco carrying an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole.
1889 – The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published.
1892 – St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada is devastated in the Great Fire of 1892.
1898 – The death of crime boss Soapy Smith, killed in the Shootout on Juneau Wharf, releases Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip.
1912 – Henrique Mitchell de Paiva Couceiro leads an unsuccessful royalist attack against the First Portuguese Republic in Chaves.
1932 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22.
1933 – The first rugby union test match between the Wallabies of Australia and the Springboks of South Africa is played at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
1937 – Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan sign the Treaty of Saadabad.
1947 – Reports are broadcast that a UFO crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico in what became known as the Roswell UFO incident.
1948 – The United States Air Force accepts its first female recruits into a program called Women in the Air Force (WAF).
1960 – Francis Gary Powers is charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union.
1962 – Ne Win besieges and dynamites the Rangoon University Student Union building to crush the Student Movement.
1966 – King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi is deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi.
1968 – The Chrysler wildcat strike begins in Detroit, Michigan.
1970 – Richard Nixon delivers a special congressional message enunciating Native American self-determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975.
1982 – Assassination attempt against Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Dujail.
1994 – Kim Jong-il begins to assume supreme leadership of North Korea upon the death of his father, Kim Il-sung.
2011 – Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program.
2014 – Israel launches an offensive on Gaza amidst rising tensions following the killing of Israeli teenagers.

Jul 8, 1776:
Liberty Bell tolls to announce Declaration of Independence

On this day in 1776, a 2,000-pound copper-and-tin bell now known as the “Liberty Bell” rings out from the tower of the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Four days earlier, the historic document had been adopted by delegates to the Continental Congress, but the bell did not ring to announce the issuing of the document until the Declaration of Independence returned from the printer on July 8.

In 1751, to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Pennsylvania's original constitution, the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly ordered the bell to be constructed. After being cracked during a test, and then recast twice, the bell was hung from the State House steeple in June 1753. Rung to call the Pennsylvania Assembly together and to summon people for special announcements and events, it was also rung on important occasions, such as King George III’s 1761 ascension to the British throne and, in 1765, to call the people together to discuss Parliament's controversial Stamp Act. With the outbreak of the American Revolution in April 1775, the bell was rung to announce the battles of Lexington and Concord. Its most famous tolling, however, was on July 8, 1776, when it summoned Philadelphia citizens for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.

As the British advanced toward Philadelphia in the fall of 1777, the bell was removed from the city and hidden in Allentown to save it from being melted down by the British and used to make cannons. After the British defeat in 1781, the bell was returned to Philadelphia, which served as the nation's capital from 1790 to 1800. In addition to marking important events, the bell tolled annually to celebrate George Washington's birthday on February 22 and Independence Day on July 4. The name "Liberty Bell" was first coined in an 1839 poem in an abolitionist pamphlet.

The question of when the Liberty Bell acquired its famous fracture has been the subject of a good deal of historical debate. In the most commonly accepted account, the bell suffered a major break while tolling for the funeral of the chief justice of the United States, John Marshall, in 1835, and in 1846 the crack expanded to its present size while in use to mark Washington's birthday. After that date, it was regarded as unsuitable for ringing, but it was still ceremoniously tapped on occasion to commemorate important events. On June 6, 1944, when Allied forces invaded France, the sound of the bell's dulled ring was broadcast by radio across the United States.

In 1976, the Liberty Bell was moved to a new pavilion about 100 yards from Independence Hall in preparation for America's bicentennial celebrations. It remains there today and is visited by more than 1 million people each year.

Jul 8, 1853:
Commodore Perry sails into Tokyo Bay

Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, representing the U.S. government, sails into Tokyo Bay, Japan, with a squadron of four vessels. For a time, Japanese officials refused to speak with Perry, but under threat of attack by the superior American ships they accepted letters from President Millard Fillmore, making the United States the first Western nation to establish relations with Japan since it had been declared closed to foreigners two centuries before. Only the Dutch and the Chinese were allowed to continue trade with Japan after 1639, but this trade was restricted and confined to the island of Dejima at Nagasaki.

After giving Japan time to consider the establishment of external relations, Commodore Perry returned to Tokyo with nine ships in March 1854. On March 31, he signed the Treaty of Kanagawa with the Japanese government, opening the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate to American trade and permitting the establishment of a U.S. consulate in Japan. In April 1860, the first Japanese diplomats to visit a foreign power in over 200 years reached Washington, D.C., and remained in the U.S. capital for several weeks, discussing expansion of trade with the United States. Treaties with other Western powers followed soon after, contributing to the collapse of the shogunate and ultimately the modernization of Japan.

Jul 8, 1863:
Confederates surrender Port Hudson, Louisiana

Port Hudson, the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River in Louisiana, falls to Nathaniel Banks' Union force. Less than a week after the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Confederate garrison's surrender at Port Hudson cleared another obstacle for the Federals on the Mississippi River.

In late 1862, Banks was given orders to clear the river as far north as possible. He seemed hesitant, however, even with David Farragut's naval forces at his disposal. After much prodding, Banks finally began to move in February 1863. But by March, Farragut had failed to move past Port Hudson; he lost one ship and the others retreated back down the river. So Banks delayed action against Port Hudson until May. At first unsure whether to join Ulysses S. Grant's force up at Vicksburg or attack Port Hudson, Banks opted to attack the fort. On May 27, Federal cannons and riverboats opened fire on Port Hudson, but Banks directed a poorly coordinated attack against the stronghold, which was defended by General Franklin Gardner and a force of 3,500 men.

Although the tiny Confederate force was able to hold off the Union assault in May, Banks had Port Hudson surrounded. The garrison held out through June, but word of Vicksburg's surrender convinced Gardner that further resistance was futile.

Jul 8, 1891:
Warren Harding marries Florence Mabel Kling DeWolfe

On this day in 1891, future President Warren G. Harding marries a spunky divorcee named Florence Mabel Kling DeWolfe in Marion, Ohio.

Although she would become a very public and influential first lady with Harding's election to the presidency in 1921, Florence Kling endured private and very painful tragedies throughout her life. According to the National First Ladies Library, Florence was 30, divorced, estranged from her abusive father and the mother of a young son when she caught the eye of Warren Harding, the editor and publisher of the Marion Star newspaper. At the time, she was teaching piano lessons to support herself; her father had taken custody of her son. The handsome Harding fell in love with Florence, a plain-looking, but intelligent, independent and vivacious woman. They were married in a small house that they built together with their own finances.

The Hardings never had any children of their own. In 1905, she came close to dying from kidney failure and had chronic health problems thereafter. During their marriage, Harding had two affairs, one with a friend's wife and another that resulted in the birth of a child. Florence learned of the first affair in 1911 and, although she was deeply hurt and forever mistrustful of her husband, she stayed in the marriage and continued to support him throughout his political career. Harding, who tended to be unorganized and lacked ambition, relied on his wife's confidence and tenacity. She was once quoted as saying, "I know what's best for the President. I put him in the White House. He does well when he listens to me and poorly when he does not."

For Florence, Harding's election to the U.S. Senate in 1915 was overshadowed by her 35-year-old son's death from alcoholism and tuberculosis. The victory, however, initiated Harding's rise to political prominence, which would culminate in his winning the presidency in 1920. He acknowledged that his success was due in a large part to his strong-willed and supportive wife, who he affectionately called "the Duchess." Florence was a very popular first lady and used her time in the White House to promote a variety of issues, including women's rights, veterans' benefits and the protection of animals.

Harding's presidency ended in scandal when members of his administration were accused of corruption in the Teapot Dome Scandal. During a tour of the country in defense of his presidency, Harding died suddenly from a heart attack. When Florence refused to allow an autopsy, rumors flew that she had actually poisoned him. The accusations were unfounded and Florence remained loyal to Harding even after his death, working hard to establish his memorial foundation until her death from kidney disease in 1927.

Jul 8, 1898:
Soapy Smith killed in Skagway, Alaska

A disgruntled city engineer in Skagway, Alaska, murders "Soapy" Smith, one of the most notorious con men in the history of the West.

Born in Georgia in 1860, Jefferson Randolph Smith went west while still a young man, finding work as a cowboy in Texas. Smith eventually tired of the hard work and low wages offered by the cowboy life, though, and discovered that he could make more money with less effort by convincing gullible westerners to part with their cash in clever confidence games.

One of Smith's earliest swindles was the "prehistoric man" of Creede, Colorado. Smith somehow obtained a 10-foot statue of a primitive looking human that he secretly buried near the town of Creede. A short time later, he uncovered the statue with much fanfare and publicity and began charging exorbitant fees to see it. Wisely, he left town before the curious turned suspicious.

Smith earned his nickname "Soapy" with a more conventional confidence game. Traveling around the Southwest, Smith would briefly set up shop in the street selling bars of soap wrapped in blue tissue paper. He promised the credulous crowds that a few lucky purchasers would find a $100 bill wrapped inside a few of the $5 bars of soap. Inevitably, one of the first to buy a bar would shout with pleasure and happily display a genuine $100 bill. Sales were generally brisk afterwards. The lucky purchaser, of course, was a plant.

In 1897, Smith joined the Alaskan gold rush and eventually landed in the rough frontier town of Skagway. Short on law and long on gold dust, Skagway was the perfect place for Smith to perfect his con games. He soon became the head of an ambitious criminal underworld, and he and his partners fleeced thousands of gullible miners.

Smith's success eventually angered the honest citizens of Skagway, who were trying to build an upstanding community. They formed a vigilante "Committee of 101" in an attempt to bring law and order to the town. Undaunted, Smith formed his own gang into a "Committee of 303" to oppose them.

On this day in 1898, Smith tried to crash a vigilante meeting on the Skagway wharf, apparently hoping to use his con-man skills to persuade them that he posed no threat to the community. Smith, however, had failed to realize just how angry the vigilantes were. When he tried to break through the crowd, a Skagway city engineer named Frank Reid confronted him. The men exchanged harsh words and then bullets. Reid shot Smith dead on the spot, but not before Smith had badly wounded him. The engineer died 12 days later.

The funeral services for Soapy Smith were held in a Skagway church he had donated funds to help build. The minister chose as the text for his sermon a line from Proverbs XIII: "The way of transgressors is hard."

Jul 8, 1918:
Ernest Hemingway wounded on the Italian front

On this day in 1918, Ernest Hemingway, an 18-year-old ambulance driver for the American Red Cross, is struck by a mortar shell while serving on the Italian front, along the Piave delta, in World War I.

A native of Oak Park, Illinois, Hemingway was working as a reporter for the Kansas City Star when war broke out in Europe in 1914. He volunteered for the Red Cross in France before the American entrance into the war in April 1917 and was later transferred to the Italian front, where he was on hand for a string of Italian successes along the Piave delta in the first days of July 1918, during which 3,000 Austrians were taken prisoner.

On the night of July 8, 1918, Hemingway was struck by an Austrian mortar shell while handing out chocolate to Italian soldiers in a dugout. The blow knocked him unconscious and buried him in the earth of the dugout; fragments of shell entered his right foot and his knee and struck his thighs, scalp and hand. Two Italian soldiers standing between Hemingway and the shell's point of impact were not so lucky, however: one was killed instantly and another had both his legs blown off and died soon afterwards. Hemingway's friend Ted Brumbach, who visited him in the hospital, wrote to Hemingway's parents that: A third Italian was badly wounded and this one Ernest, after he had regained consciousness, picked up on his back and carried to the first aid dugout. He says he did not remember how he got there, nor that he carried the man, until the next day, when an Italian officer told him all about it and said that it had been voted to give him a valor medal for the act. As Brumbach reported, Hemingway was awarded an Italian medal of valor, the Croce de Guerra, for his service. As he wrote in his own letter home after the incident: Everything is fine and I am very comfortable and one of the best surgeons in Milan is looking after my wounds.

Hemingway's experiences in Italy during World War I would become an integral part of his larger-than-life persona, as well as the material for one of his best-loved novels, A Farewell to Arms, which chronicles the love of a young American ambulance driver for a beautiful English nurse on the Italian front during the Great War.

Jul 8, 1928:
A spiteful son kills four in a fit of rage

Rose Booher, her son Fred, and two hired workers are all shot to death on a secluded farm in Mannville, Alberta, Canada, while the rest of the Booher family is away. Although nothing appeared to be stolen from the house and few clues were found, authorities determined that a rifle had caused the gunshot wounds. Not coincidentally, a rifle had been taken from a neighbor's farm just prior to the killings.

The investigation centered on the Booher family-Rose's son Vernon, in particular. Vernon was known to have had problems with his mother, but he denied any involvement in the murders. After persistent interrogation failed to crack Vernon, Max Langsner, who had reputedly solved crimes all over Europe by picking up "mind signals" from criminals, was summoned from Vienna, Austria.

Using his alleged psychic powers, Langsner sketched a scene that included a rifle hidden under some bushes. Using the sketch as a makeshift map, the police discovered the murder weapon near the Booher home.

With this new evidence, Vernon confessed to the crime. He had planned to kill his mother because he despised her. The other three were killed only because they had stumbled on to the scene. Vernon expressed remorse only for killing his brother, Fred.

Langsner went on to conduct psychic research with the Eskimos in Northern Canada and Alaska. However, there is no record of his involvement in allegedly solving any additional crimes through psychic measures.
08 July Births

1528 – Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy (d. 1580)
1545 – Carlos, Prince of Asturias (d. 1568)
1593 – Artemisia Gentileschi, Italian painter (d. 1653)
1604 – Heinrich Albert, German composer and poet (d. 1651)
1621 – Jean de La Fontaine, French author and poet (d. 1695)
1760 – Christian Kramp, French mathematician and academic (d. 1826)
1766 – Dominique Jean Larrey, French surgeon (d. 1842)
1792 – Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (d. 1854)
1819 – Francis Leopold McClintock, Irish admiral and explorer (d. 1907)
1830 – Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg (d. 1911)
1830 – Frederick W. Seward, American lawyer and politician, 6th United States Assistant Secretary of State (d. 1915)
1831 – John Pemberton, American chemist and pharmacist, invented Coca-Cola (d. 1888)
1836 – Joseph Chamberlain, English politician, Secretary of State for the Colonies (d. 1914)
1838 – Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and businessman, founded the Zeppelin Airship Company (d. 1917)
1839 – John D. Rockefeller, American businessman and philanthropist, founded the Standard Oil Company (d. 1937)
1851 – Arthur Evans, English archaeologist (d. 1941)
1857 – Alfred Binet, French psychologist and graphologist (d. 1911)
1867 – Käthe Kollwitz, German painter and sculptor (d. 1945)
1878 – Jimmy Quinn, Scottish footballer (d. 1945)
1882 – Percy Grainger, Australian-American pianist and composer (d. 1961)
1883 – Oszkár Gerde, Hungarian fencer (d. 1944)
1885 – Ernst Bloch, German philosopher, author, and academic (d. 1977)
1885 – Hugo Boss, German fashion designer, founded Hugo Boss (d. 1948)
1892 – Richard Aldington, English author and poet (d. 1962)
1892 – Pavel Korin, Russian painter (d. 1967)
1893 – R. Carlyle Buley, American historian and author (d. 1968)
1894 – Pyotr Kapitsa, Russian physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1984)
1895 – Igor Tamm, Russian physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1971)
1897 – Johannes Kaiv, Estonian diplomat (d. 1965)
1898 – Melville Ruick, American actor (d. 1972)
1900 – George Antheil, American pianist, composer, and author (d. 1959)
1904 – Henri Cartan, French mathematician and academic (d. 2008)
1905 – Leonid Amalrik, Russian animator and director (d. 1997)
1906 – Philip Johnson, American architect, designed the IDS Center and PPG Place (d. 2005)
1907 – George W. Romney, American businessman and politician, 43rd Governor of Michigan (d. 1995)
1908 – Louis Jordan, American singer-songwriter, saxophonist, and actor (Tympany Five) (d. 1975)
1908 – Nelson Rockefeller, American businessman and politician, 41st Vice President of the United States (d. 1979)
1914 – Jyoti Basu, Indian politician, 6th Chief Minister of West Bengal (d. 2010)
1914 – Billy Eckstine, American singer and trumpet player (d. 1993)
1917 – Pamela Brown, English actress (d. 1975)
1917 – Faye Emerson, American-Spanish actress and singer (d. 1983)
1917 – J. F. Powers, American author (d. 1999)
1918 – Paul B. Fay, American businessman, soldier, and diplomat, 12th United States Secretary of the Navy (d. 2009)
1918 – Irwin Hasen, American illustrator
1918 – Craig Stevens, American actor and singer (d. 2000)
1919 – Walter Scheel, German politician, 4th President of West Germany
1919 – Mickey Carroll, American actor (d. 2009)
1920 – Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, Danish businessman (d. 1995)
1920 – Chandrika Prasad Srivastava, Indian civil servant (d. 2013)
1923 – Harrison Dillard, American sprinter and hurdler
1924 – Johnnie Johnson, American pianist and songwriter (d. 2005)
1924 – Edward Cornelius Reed Jr., American sergeant and judge (d. 2013)
1925 – Marco Cé, Italian cardinal (d. 2014)
1926 – David Malet Armstrong, Australian philosopher and author (d. 2014)
1926 – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-American psychiatrist and author (d. 2004)
1927 – Maurice Hayes, Irish politician
1929 – Shirley Ann Grau, American author
1930 – Jerry Vale, American singer and actor (d. 2014)
1931 – Roone Arledge, American sportscaster (d. 2002)
1932 – Franca Raimondi, Italian singer (d. 1988)
1932 – Brian Walden, English journalist and politician
1933 – Antonio Lamer, Canadian lawyer and politician, 16th Chief Justice of Canada (d. 2007)
1933 – Peter Orlovsky, American poet and actor (d. 2010)
1934 – Raquel Correa, Chilean journalist (d. 2012)
1934 – Marty Feldman, English actor and screenwriter (d. 1982)
1934 – Alice Gerrard, American singer and banjo player
1934 – Ed Lumley, Canadian businessman and politician
1935 – Steve Lawrence, American singer and actor (Steve and Eydie)
1935 – Vitaly Sevastyanov, Russian engineer and astronaut
1938 – Diane Clare, English actress (d. 2013)
1940 – Ben Chapman, English politician
1941 – Martin Carver, English archaeologist and academic
1941 – Dario Gradi, Italian-English footballer, coach, and manager
1942 – Phil Gramm, American economist and politician
1942 – Janice Pennington, American model and actress, co-founded the Hollywood Film Festival
1944 – Jai Johanny Johanson, American drummer (The Allman Brothers Band)
1944 – Jeffrey Tambor, American actor and singer
1945 – Micheline Calmy-Rey, Swiss politician, 91st President of the Swiss Confederation
1947 – Kim Darby, American actress
1947 – Jenny Diski, English author and screenwriter
1947 – Luis Fernando Figari, Peruvian religious leader, founded the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae
1947 – Janice Kent, American actress and director
1948 – Raffi, Egyptian-Canadian singer-songwriter
1949 – Frank De Lima, American comedian
1949 – Dale Hoganson, Canadian ice hockey player
1949 – Jim Miklaszewski, American journalist
1949 – Wolfgang Puck, Austrian chef and actor
1949 – Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Indian politician, 14th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (d. 2009)
1950 – Sarah Kennedy, English television and radio host
1950 – Mary Ellen Trainor, American actress
1951 – Alan Ashby, American baseball player, manager, and sportscaster
1951 – Anjelica Huston, American actress and director
1952 – Larry Garner, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1952 – Jack Lambert, American football player and sportscaster
1952 – Anna Quindlen, American journalist and author
1952 – Marianne Williamson, American author and activist
1954 – David Aaronovitch, English journalist and author
1955 – Monty Don, German-English television host
1955 – Mihaela Mitrache, Romanian actress (d. 2008)
1956 – Terry Puhl, Canadian baseball player and coach
1957 – Alan Campbell, English politician
1957 – Carlos Cavazo, Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter (Quiet Riot and Ratt)
1957 – Aleksandr Gurnov, Russian journalist and author
1958 – Kevin Bacon, American actor and singer (The Bacon Brothers)
1958 – Andreas Carlgren, Swedish educator and politician
1958 – Tzipi Livni, Israeli politician, 18th Justice Minister of Israel
1958 – Neetu Singh, Indian actress and costume designer
1959 – Robert Knepper, American actor
1959 – Billy Kimball, American screenwriter and producer
1959 – Pauline Quirke, English actress
1960 – Mal Meninga, Australian rugby player and coach
1960 – Russell Taylor, English journalist and illustrator
1961 – Andrew Fletcher, English keyboard player (Depeche Mode)
1961 – Toby Keith, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor
1962 – Joan Osborne, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Dead and Trigger Hippy)
1963 – Mark Christopher, American director and screenwriter
1963 – Whilce Portacio, Filipino-American author and illustrator
1964 – Linda de Mol, Dutch actress and screenwriter
1964 – Alexei Gusarov, Russian ice hockey player and manager
1964 – Joe Rogers, American politician, 45th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado (d. 2013)
1965 – Dan Levinson, American clarinet player, saxophonist, and bandleader
1965 – Lee Tergesen, American actor
1966 – Ralf Altmeyer, German-Chinese virologist and academic
1966 – Shadlog Bernicke, Nauruan politician
1966 – Suzanne Krull, American actress (d. 2013)
1966 – Mike Nawrocki, American voice actor, animator, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded Big Idea Entertainment
1967 – Jordan Chan, Hong Kong actor and singer
1968 – Billy Crudup, American actor
1968 – Thom Fitzgerald, American-Canadian director, producer, and screenwriter
1968 – Shane Howarth, New Zealand rugby player and coach
1968 – Akio Suyama, Japanese voice actor
1968 – Michael Weatherly, American actor, director, and screenwriter
1969 – Sugizo, Japanese singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (Luna Sea, X Japan, Juno Reactor, and S.K.I.N.)
1969 – George Fisher, American singer-songwriter (Cannibal Corpse, Monstrosity, and Paths of Possession)
1970 – Beck, American singer-songwriter and producer
1970 – Sylvain Gaudreault, Canadian educator and politician
1970 – Todd Martin, American tennis player and coach
1971 – Neil Jenkins, Welsh rugby player and coach
1971 – John Juanda, Indonesian poker player
1971 – Amanda Peterson, American actress
1972 – Karl Dykhuis, Canadian ice hockey player
1972 – Sourav Ganguly, Indian cricketer and sportscaster
1972 – Shōsuke Tanihara, Japanese actor
1973 – Kathleen Robertson, Canadian actress and producer
1974 – Tami Erin, American actress
1974 – Jeanna Friske, Russian actress and singer
1974 – Rene Reinmann, Estonian politician
1975 – Elias Viljanen, Finnish singer and guitarist (Sonata Arctica)
1975 – Jamal Woolard, American actor and rapper
1976 – Talal El Karkouri, Moroccan footballer
1976 – David Kennedy, American guitarist and songwriter (Angels & Airwaves, Box Car Racer, Hazen Street, and Over My Dead Body)
1976 – Ellen MacArthur, English sailor
1977 – Paolo Tiralongo, Italian cyclist
1977 – Milo Ventimiglia, American actor, director, and producer
1977 – Wang Zhizhi, Chinese basketball player
1978 – Rachael Lillis, American voice actress
1978 – Urmas Rooba, Estonian footballer
1979 – Mat McBriar, American football player
1980 – Eric Chouinard, American-Canadian ice hockey player
1980 – Robbie Keane, Irish footballer
1981 – Iyari Limon, Mexican-American actress
1981 – Anastasia Myskina, Russian tennis player
1981 – Wolfram Müller, German runner
1981 – Dagmar Oja, Estonian singer
1982 – Joshua Alba, American actor
1982 – Sophia Bush, American actress and director
1982 – Pendleton Ward, American animator, screenwriter, and voice actor
1982 – Hakim Warrick, American basketball player
1983 – John Bowker, American baseball player
1983 – Jaroslav Janiš, Czech race car driver
1983 – Daniel Navarro, Spanish cyclist
1983 – Rich Peverley, Canadian ice hockey player
1984 – Alexis Dziena, American actress
1984 – Daniella Sarahyba, Brazilian model
1985 – Triin Aljand, Estonian swimmer
1985 – Jamie Cook, English guitarist and songwriter (Arctic Monkeys)
1986 – Renata Costa, Brazilian footballer
1986 – Kenza Farah, Algerian-French singer-songwriter
1986 – Jake McDorman, American actor
1987 – Vlada Roslyakova, Russian model
1988 – Jesse Sergent, New Zealand cyclist
1988 – Dave Taylor, Australian rugby player
1988 – Miki Roqué, Spanish footballer (d. 2012)
1989 – Yarden Gerbi, Israeli martial artist
1989 – Tor Marius Gromstad, Norwegian footballer (d. 2012)
1992 – Sky Ferreira, American singer-songwriter and actress
1992 – Benjamin Grosvenor, English pianist
1998 – Jaden Smith, American actor and rapper
2000 – Sophie Nyweide, American actress

Jul 8, 1941:
Splendid Splinter homers to win All-Star Game

On this day in 1941, with his team trailing 5-4 with two outs in the ninth inning, Ted Williams hits a three-run home run to lead the American League to a 7-5 victory in the All-Star Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.

The summer of 1941 provided two of the biggest storylines in the history of baseball: In New York City, Joe DiMaggio was assembling a hitting streak that is considered by many to be unbreakable. In Boston, Ted Williams was on his way to hitting .400 for the season. He was the first player to do so since 1925, and the only player since.

By July 8, 1941, DiMaggio, the American League batting champ in 1939 and 1940 and sterling center fielder for the New York Yankees, was through game 48 of his eventual 56-game hitting streak. Ted Williams, the third-year Red Sox outfielder who had led the American League in runs in 1940, was hitting .405.

The early star of the 1941 All-Star Game, though, was Cleveland Indians pitcher "Bullet" Bob Feller, a six-year veteran at 22 years old, who faced the minimum nine batters in his allotted three innings to cement his status as the premier pitcher in the game. Another notable performance was turned in by Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Arky Vaughn, who hit a two-run homer to the upper deck in the seventh inning to give the National League a 3-2 lead. Vaughn followed that with another two-run shot in the eighth.

The American League trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. With one out and the bases loaded and Chicago Cub Claude Passeau on the mound, Joe DiMaggio came to the plate. DiMaggio hit a hard line-drive to Boston Braves shortstop Eddie Miller, who flipped the ball to Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman Billy Herman. Though it looked to be a tailor-made double play, Herman threw wide to first, allowing the American League to score a run and bring another man to the plate. Ted Williams promptly hit a three-run home run to win the game for the American League, 7-5.

Jul 8, 1941:
German general's diary reveals Hitler's plans for Russia

On this day in 1943, upon the German army's invasion of Pskov, 180 miles from Leningrad, Russia, the chief of the German army general staff, General Franz Halder, records in his diary Hitler's plans for Moscow and Leningrad: "To dispose fully of their population, which otherwise we shall have to feed during the winter."

On June 22, the Germans had launched a massive invasion of the Soviet Union, with over 3 million men. Enormous successes were enjoyed, thanks in large part to a disorganized and unsuspecting Russian army. By July 8, more than 280,000 Soviet prisoners had been taken and almost 2,600 tanks destroyed. The Axis power was already a couple of hundred miles inside Soviet territory. Stalin was in a panic, even executing generals who had failed to stave off the invaders.

Franz Halder, as chief of staff, had been keeping a diary of the day-to-day decision-making process. As Hitler became emboldened by his successes in Russia, Halder recorded that the "Fuhrer is firmly determined to level Moscow and Leningrad to the ground." Halder also records Hitler's underestimation of the Russian army's numbers and the bitter infighting between factions within the military about strategy. Halder, among others, wanted to make straight for the capital, Moscow; Hitler wanted to meet up with Field Marshal Wilhelm Leeb's army group, which was making its way toward Leningrad. The advantage Hitler had against the Soviets would not last. Winter was approaching and so was the advantage such conditions would give the Russians.

Jul 8, 1949:
Official Oscars chef Wolfgang Puck born

On this day in 1949, Wolfgang Puck, the celebrity chef and official caterer for the Academy Awards Governors Ball, is born in Austria.

Puck, whose mother was a hotel chef, began his culinary training as a teenager and worked in top restaurants in France before moving to the United States at age 24 in 1973. After a stint at a restaurant in Indiana, Puck relocated to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s and became chef and co-owner of the popular Ma Maison. In 1981, he published his first cookbook, Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen, and the following year opened his restaurant Spago, on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Spago became famous for its gourmet pizza (which featured such toppings as caviar and smoked salmon) and its celebrity clientele. Puck went on to open Spago restaurants in locations such as Chicago, Tokyo, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. His empire grew to include non-Spago restaurants, as well as a line of frozen foods, soups, cooking products and cookbooks.

A winner of the prestigious James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef of the Year, Puck has also been a frequent presence on TV, demonstrating cooking techniques on talk shows like Good Morning, America and making cameo appearances on programs such as Las Vegas. His eponymous cooking show on the Food Network won two consecutive Emmy Awards. In Hollywood, Puck is famous for catering the Governors Ball, the star-studded official post-Oscars party that is attended by Academy Award winners, nominees, presenters and performers. The first Governors Ball was held on March 26, 1958, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, following the 30th annual Oscars. Since 2002, the festivities have been hosted in the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center, a shopping, hotel and entertainment complex that includes the Kodak Theatre, which opened in November 2001 as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards show. Puck’s company is also the official provider of food and beverage services for the Kodak Theatre. In the past, his lavish menus for the Governors Ball have included such items as gold-dusted chocolate Oscars.

Jul 8, 1950:
MacArthur named Korean commander

The day after the U.N. Security Council recommended that all U.N. forces in Korea be placed under the command of the U.S. military, General Douglas MacArthur, the hero of the war against Japan, is appointed head of the United Nations Command by President Harry S. Truman.

MacArthur, the son of a top-ranking army general who fought in the Civil War, was commissioned as an army lieutenant in 1903. During World War I, MacArthur served as a commander of the famed 84th Infantry Brigade. During the 1920s, he was stationed primarily in the Philippines, a U.S. commonwealth, and in the first half of the 1930s he served as U.S. Army chief of staff. In 1935, with Japanese expansion underway in the Pacific, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed MacArthur military adviser to the government of the Philippines. In 1941, five months before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, he was named commander of all U.S. armed forces in the Pacific.

After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, he conducted the defense of the Philippines against great odds. In March 1942, with Japanese victory imminent, Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to Australia, but the American general famously promised the Philippines "I shall return." Five months later, the great U.S. counteroffensive against Japan began. On October 20, 1944, after advancing island by island across the South Pacific, MacArthur waded onto the Philippines' shores. Eleven months later, he officiated the Japanese surrender and then served as the effective ruler of Japan during a productive five-year occupation.

After North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, MacArthur was appointed supreme commander of the U.S.-led U.N. force sent to aid the South. In September, he organized a risky but highly successful landing at Inchon, and by October North Korean forces had been driven back across the 38th parallel. With President Truman's approval, U.N. forces crossed into North Korea and advanced all the way to the Yalu River--the border between North Korea and communist China--despite warnings that this would provoke Chinese intervention. When China did intervene, forcing U.N. forces into a desperate retreat, MacArthur pressed for permission to bomb China. President Truman, fearing the Cold War implications of an expanded war in the Far East, refused. MacArthur then publicly threatened to escalate hostilities with China in defiance of Truman's stated war policy, leading Truman to fire him on April 11, 1951.

For his action against General MacArthur, the celebrated hero of the war against Japan, Truman was subjected to a torrent of attacks, and some Republicans called for his impeachment. On April 17, MacArthur returned to U.S. soil for the first time since before World War II and was given a hero's welcome. Two days later, he announced the end of his military career before a joint meeting of Congress, declaring, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." After unsuccessfully running for the Republican presidential nomination in 1952, MacArthur did indeed fade from public view. He died in 1964.

Jul 8, 1951:
Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday

On this day in 1951, Paris, the capital city of France, celebrates turning 2,000 years old. In fact, a few more candles would've technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C.

The history of Paris can be traced back to a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii, who sometime around 250 B.C. settled an island (known today as Ile de la Cite) in the Seine River, which runs through present-day Paris. By 52 B.C., Julius Caesar and the Romans had taken over the area, which eventually became Christianized and known as Lutetia, Latin for "midwater dwelling." The settlement later spread to both the left and right banks of the Seine and the name Lutetia was replaced with "Paris." In 987 A.D., Paris became the capital of France. As the city grew, the Left Bank earned a reputation as the intellectual district while the Right Bank became known for business.

During the French Renaissance period, from the late 15th century to the early 17th century, Paris became a center of art, architecture and science. In the mid-1800s, Napoleon III hired civic planner Georges-Eugene Hausmann to modernize Paris. Hausmann's designs gave the city wide, tree-lined boulevards, large public parks, a new sewer system and other public works projects. The city continued to develop as an important hub for the arts and culture. In the 1860s, an artistic movement known as French Impression emerged, featuring the work of a group of Paris-based artists that included Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Today, Paris is home to some 2 million residents, with an additional 10 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area. The city retains its reputation as a center for food, fashion, commerce and culture. Paris also continues to be one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, renowned for such sights as the Eiffel Tower (built in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral (built in 1163), Luxembourg Gardens and the Louvre Museum, home to Leonardo da Vinci's painting "Mona Lisa."

Jul 8, 1954:
Colonel Castillo Armas takes power in Guatemala

Col. Carlos Castillo Armas is elected president of the junta that overthrew the administration of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman in late June 1954. The election of Castillo Armas was the culmination of U.S. efforts to remove Arbenz and save Guatemala from what American officials believed to be an attempt by international communism to gain a foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1944, Guatemala went through a revolution that saw the removal of a long-time dictator and the establishment of the first democratically elected government in the nation's history. In 1950, Guatemala witnessed another first with the peaceful transfer of power to the newly elected president, Arbenz. Officials in the United States had watched the developments in Guatemala with growing concern and fear. The Guatemalan government, particularly after Arbenz came to power in 1950, had launched a serious effort at land reform and redistribution to Guatemala's landless masses. When this effort resulted in the powerful American-owned United Fruit Company losing many acres of land, U.S. officials began to believe that communism was at work in Guatemala.

By 1953 and into 1954, the U.S. government was intent on removing Arbenz from power and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was given this task by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The CIA established a multifaceted covert operation (code named PBSUCCESS). Beginning in June 1954, the CIA saturated Guatemala with propaganda over the radio and through leaflets dropped over the country, and also began small bombing raids using unmarked airplanes. It also organized and armed a small force of "freedom fighters"--mostly Guatemalan refugees and mercenaries--headed by Castillo Armas. This force, which never numbered more than a few hundred men, had little impact on subsequent events.

By late June, the Arbenz government, diplomatically and economically isolated by the United States, came to the conclusion that resistance against the "giant of the north" was futile, and Arbenz resigned on June 27. A short time later, Castillo Armas and his "army" marched into Guatemala City and established a ruling junta. On July 8, 1954, Castillo Armas was elected president of the junta.

For the United States, the election of Castillo Armas was the culmination of a successful covert operation against international communism. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles declared that Guatemala had been saved from "communist imperialism." The overthrow of Arbenz had added "a new and glorious chapter to the already great tradition of the American states." Many Guatemalans came to have a different perspective. The new regime rounded up thousands of suspected communists, and executed hundreds of prisoners. Labor unions, which had flourished since 1944, were crushed, and United Fruit's lands were restored. Castillo Armas, however, did not long enjoy his success. He was assassinated in 1957. Guatemalan politics then degenerated into a series of coups and countercoups, coupled with brutal repression of the country's people.

Jul 8, 1959:
First Americans killed in South Vietnam

Maj. Dale R. Ruis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand become the first Americans killed in the American phase of the Vietnam War when guerrillas strike a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) compound in Bien Hoa, 20 miles northeast of Saigon. The group had arrived in South Vietnam on November 1, 1955, to provide military assistance. The organization consisted of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps personnel who provided advice and assistance to the Ministry of Defense, Joint General Staff, corps and division commanders, training centers, and province and district headquarters.
08 July Deaths

810 – Pepin of Italy (b. 773)
901 – Grimbald, French-English monk and saint (b. 827)
975 – Edgar the Peaceful, English king (b. 943)
1153 – Pope Eugene III (b. 1087)
1538 – Diego de Almagro, Spanish general and explorer (b. 1475)
1623 – Pope Gregory XV (b. 1554)
1689 – Edward Wooster, English-American settler (b. 1622)
1695 – Christiaan Huygens, Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (b. 1629)
1716 – Robert South, English preacher (b. 1634)
1721 – Elihu Yale, American-English merchant and philanthropist (b. 1649)
1726 – John Ker, Scottish spy (b. 1673)
1784 – Torbern Bergman, Swedish chemist and mineralogist (b. 1735)
1794 – Richard Mique, French architect (b. 1728)
1822 – Percy Bysshe Shelley, English author, poet, and playwright (b. 1792)
1850 – Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge (b. 1774)
1859 – Oscar I of Sweden (b. 1799)
1873 – Franz Xaver Winterhalter, German painter and lithographer (b. 1805)
1887 – Ben Holladay, American businessman (b. 1819)
1895 – Johann Josef Loschmidt, Austrian chemist and physicist (b. 1821)
1898 – Soapy Smith, American gangster (b. 1860)
1905 – Walter Kittredge, American violinist and composer (b. 1834)
1913 – Louis Hémon, French-Canadian author (b. 1880)
1917 – Tom Thomson, Canadian painter (b. 1877)
1930 – Joseph Ward, Australian-New Zealand politician, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1856)
1933 – Anthony Hope, English author and playwright (b. 1863)
1934 – Benjamin Baillaud, French astronomer and academic (b. 1848)
1939 – Havelock Ellis, English psychologist and author (b. 1859)
1941 – Moses Schorr, Polish rabbi, historian, and politician (b. 1874)
1942 – Louis Franchet d'Espèrey, French general (b. 1856)
1943 – Jean Moulin, French soldier (b. 1899)
1950 – Othmar Spann, Austrian sociologist, economist, and philosopher (b. 1878)
1956 – Giovanni Papini, Italian journalist, author, and critic (b. 1881)
1957 – Grace Coolidge, American wife of Calvin Coolidge, 37th First Lady of the United States (b. 1879)
1965 – Thomas Sigismund Stribling, American lawyer and author (b. 1881)
1968 – Désiré Mérchez, French swimmer and water polo player (b. 1882)
1971 – Charlie Shavers, American trumpet player (b. 1920)
1973 – Gene L. Coon, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1924)
1973 – Ben-Zion Dinur, Russian-Israeli educator and politician, 4th Education Minister of Israel (b. 1884)
1973 – Wilfred Rhodes, English cricketer and coach (b. 1877)
1979 – Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Japanese physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1906)
1979 – Michael Wilding, English actor (b. 1912)
1979 – Robert Burns Woodward, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)
1981 – Bill Hallahan, American baseball player (b. 1902)
1985 – Phil Foster, American actor and screenwriter (b. 1913)
1985 – Jean-Paul Le Chanois, French actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1909)
1986 – Skeeter Webb, American baseball player and manager (b. 1909)
1987 – Lionel Chevrier, Canadian lawyer and politician, 27th Canadian Minister of Justice (b. 1903)
1987 – Gerardo Diego, Spanish poet (b. 1896)
1988 – Ray Barbuti, American runner and football player (b. 1905)
1990 – Howard Duff, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1913)
1991 – James Franciscus, American actor and producer (b. 1934)
1994 – Christian-Jaque, French director and screenwriter (b. 1904)
1994 – Kim Il-sung, North Korean commander and politician, President of North Korea (b. 1912)
1994 – Lars-Eric Lindblad, Swedish-American businessman and explorer (b. 1927)
1994 – Dick Sargent, American actor (b. 1930)
1999 – Pete Conrad, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930)
2001 – John O'Shea, New Zealand director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1920)
2002 – Ward Kimball, American animator and trombonist (Firehouse Five Plus Two) (b. 1914)
2003 – Ladan and Laleh Bijani, Iranian conjoined twins (b. 1974)
2004 – Paula Danziger, American author (b. 1944)
2004 – Jean Lefebvre, French actor (b. 1922)
2006 – June Allyson, American actress and singer (b. 1917)
2006 – Peter Hawkins, English voice actor (b. 1924)
2007 – Chandra Shekhar, Indian politician, 9th Prime Minister of India (b. 1927)
2007 – Jack B. Sowards, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1929)
2008 – John Templeton, American-English businessman and philanthropist (b. 1912)
2009 – Midnight, American singer-songwriter (Crimson Glory) (b. 1962)
2011 – Roberts Blossom, American actor and poet (b. 1924)
2011 – Mary Fenech Adami, Maltese wife of Eddie Fenech Adami (b. 1933)
2011 – Betty Ford, American wife of Gerald Ford, 40th First Lady of the United States (b. 1918)
2012 – Muhammed bin Saud Al Saud, Saudi Arabian politician (b. 1934)
2012 – Lionel Batiste, American singer (Treme Brass Band) (b. 1931)
2012 – Ernest Borgnine, American actor and singer (b. 1917)
2012 – Gyang Dalyop Datong, Nigerian politician (b. 1959)
2012 – Martin Pakledinaz, American costume designer (b. 1953)
2012 – John Williams, American football player (b. 1947)
2013 – Chase, American dog (b. 2000)
2013 – Dick Gray, American baseball player (b. 1931)
2013 – Dave Hickson, English footballer (b. 1929)
2013 – Edmund Morgan, American historian and author (b. 1916)
2013 – Claudiney Ramos, Brazilian footballer (b. 1980)
2013 – Rubby Sherr, American physicist and academic (b. 1913)
2013 – Sundri Uttamchandani, Indian author (b. 1924)
2013 – Brett Walker, American songwriter and producer (b. 1961)
2014 – Plínio de Arruda Sampaio, Brazilian lawyer and politician (b. 1930)
2014 – John V. Evans, American soldier and politician, 27th Governor of Idaho (b. 1925)
2014 – Tom Veryzer, American baseball player (b. 1953)