Today In History, July 2nd


Today is Thursday, July 2, the 184th day of 2020. There are 182 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 2, 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau (gee-TOH’) at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)
On this date:
In 1566, French astrologer, physician and professed prophesier Nostradamus died in Salon (sah-LOHN’).
In 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”
In 1917, rioting erupted in East St. Louis, Illinois, as white mobs attacked Black residents; nearly 50 people, mostly Blacks, are believed to have died in the violence.
In 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight along the equator.
In 1961, author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, the first meeting between a Catholic U.S. chief executive and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.
In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gregg v. Georgia, ruled 7-2 the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.
In 1986, ruling in a pair of cases, the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action as a remedy for past job discrimination.
In 1987, 18 Mexican immigrants were found dead inside a locked boxcar near Sierra Blanca, Texas, in what authorities called a botched smuggling attempt; a 19th man survived.
In 2009, federal marshals took possession of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff’s $7 million Manhattan penthouse, forcing Madoff’s wife, Ruth, to move elsewhere.
In 2018, rescue divers in Thailand found 12 boys and their soccer coach, who had been trapped by flooding as they explored a cave more than a week earlier.
Ten years ago: Gen. David Petraeus arrived in Afghanistan to assume command of U.S. and NATO forces after his predecessor, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, was fired for intemperate remarks he’d made about Obama administration figures in Rolling Stone magazine. The United States defeated Japan 7-2 to win its seventh consecutive world softball championships. British novelist Beryl Bainbridge, 77, died in London.
Five years ago: Trying to close the books on the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, BP agreed to provide billions of dollars in new money to five Gulf Coast states in a deal the company said would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion. A Philippine ferry, the Kim Nirvana, capsized after leaving port in Ormoc City, killing about 60 people.
One year ago: Lee Iacocca, the automobile executive who helped launch some of Detroit’s best-selling vehicles at Ford and then Chrysler, died in California at the age of 94. Fire erupted at a Jim Beam warehouse in Kentucky that was filled with about 45,000 barrels of aging bourbon; the warehouse and bourbon were a total loss and the bourbon leaked into nearby creeks and rivers. A decorated Navy SEAL, Edward Gallagher, was acquitted of murder in the killing of a wounded Islamic State captive in Iraq but was convicted of posing with the corpse. (Gallagher would be sentenced to four months’ confinement, but was set free since he had spent more time in custody awaiting trial; the case led to a conflict between President Donald Trump and armed services leaders over military discipline and forced the ouster of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.)
Today’s Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 91. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 90. Actor Robert Ito is 89. Actress Polly Holliday is 83. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 83. Former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu is 81. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is 78. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 73. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, is 73. Actor Saul Rubinek is 72. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 71. Rock musician Gene Taylor is 68. Actress Wendy Schaal is 66. Actress-model Jerry Hall is 64. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 59. Country singer Guy Penrod is 57. Rock musician Dave Parsons (Bush) is 55. Actress Yancy Butler is 50. Contemporary Christian musician Melodee DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 44. Actor Owain (OH’-wyn) Yeoman is 42. Race car driver Sam Hornish Jr. is 41. NHL center Joe Thornton is 41. Singer Michelle Branch is 37. Actress Vanessa Lee Chester is 36. Figure skater Johnny Weir is 36. Actor Nelson Franklin is 35. Actress-singer Ashley Tisdale is 35. Actress Lindsay Lohan (LOH’-uhn) is 34. Actress Margot Robbie is 30.