Today in History
Today is Monday, July 3, the 184th day of 2023. There are 181 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 3, 1976, Israel launched its daring mission to rescue 106 passengers and Air France crew members being held at Entebbe (en-TEH’-bee) Airport in Uganda (yoo-GAHN’-dah) by pro-Palestinian hijackers; the commandos succeeded in rescuing all but four of the hostages.
On this date:
In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1863, the pivotal three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.
In 1944, during World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk from the Germans.
In 1950, the first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.
In 1971, singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.
In 1979, Dan White, convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee) and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison. (White served only 5 years of his sentence and killed himself in October 1985.)
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan presided over a gala ceremony in New York Harbor that saw the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.
In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
In 1996, Russians went to the polls to re-elect Boris Yeltsin president over his Communist challenger, Gennady Zyuganov (geh-NAH’-dee zhoo-GAH’-nahf), in a runoff.
In 2011, Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) won his first Wimbledon, beating defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
In 2020, speaking at the foot of Mount Rushmore on the eve of Independence Day, President Donald Trump asserted that protesters pushing for racial justice were engaging in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history.”
Ten years ago: Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown by the military after just one year by the same kind of Arab Spring uprising that had brought the Islamist leader to power. The death toll rose to 16 from a United States drone strike on a militants camp in Pakistan’s North Waziristan area. Pakistan condemned the strike as a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Five years ago: The Trump administration said it would not encourage schools to use race as a factor in the admissions process, rescinding guidance from the Obama era that was meant to promote diversity. Authorities in Indonesia called off a search for 164 missing people two weeks after the sinking of a ferry in Lake Toba. All were presumed dead. The bodies of three others were recovered, and 21 were rescued alive.
One year ago: A large chunk of a glacier in Italy’s Alps broke loose, killing at least six hikers and injuring eight others. Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, was remembered at a memorial for his courage, humility and selflessness. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin announced during the service that Williams would lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. Officials closed a Long Island beach to swimming after what they described as an unprecedented shark attack that injured a lifeguard.
Today’s Birthdays: Playwright Tom Stoppard is 86. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 84. Actor Michael Cole (TV: “The Mod Squad”) is 83. Attorney Gloria Allred is 82. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 80. Country singer Johnny Lee is 77. Humorist Dave Barry is 76. Actor Betty Buckley is 76. Actor Jan Smithers is 74. Actor Bruce Altman is 68. Talk show host Montel Williams is 67. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 65. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yaz, Erasure) is 63. Actor Tom Cruise is 61. Actor Thomas Gibson is 61. Actor Hunter Tylo is 61. Actor Connie Nielsen is 59. Actor Yeardley Smith is 59. TV chef Sandra Lee is 57. Singer Ishmael Butler is 54. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 54. Actor-singer Shawnee Smith is 54. Actor-singer Audra McDonald is 53. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 52. Actor Patrick Wilson is 50. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 48. Actor Andrea Barber is 47. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 47. Actor Ian Anthony Dale is 45. Actor/comedian Julie Klausner is 45. Actor Elizabeth Hendrickson is 44. Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is 43. Actor Olivia Munn is 43. Actor Shoshannah Stern is 43. Rock singer-songwriter Elle King is 34. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer is 32.
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