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Today In History

Today is Tuesday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2019. There are 182 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.

On this date:

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 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September.

In 1892, the Populist Party (also known as the People’s Party) opened its first national convention in Omaha, Nebraska.

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 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gregg v. Georgia, ruled 7-2 the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.

In 1977, Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov, 78, died in Montreux, Switzerland.

In 1982, Larry Walters of San Pedro, California, used a lawn chair equipped with 45 helium-filled weather balloons to rise to an altitude of 16,000 feet; he landed eight miles away in Long Beach.

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 1996, electricity and phone service was knocked out for millions of customers from Canada to the Southwest on a record-hot day. Seven years after they shotgunned their parents to death in the family’s Beverly Hills mansion, Lyle and Erik Menendez were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 1997, Academy Award-winning actor James Stewart died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 89.

Ten years ago: Thousands of U.S. Marines poured into Taliban-controlled villages in southern Afghanistan in the first major operation under President Barack Obama’s strategy to stabilize the country. North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles. The 35-nation International Atomic Energy Agency chose Yukiya Amano of Japan as its next head. Federal marshals took possession of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff’s $7 million Manhattan penthouse, forcing Madoff’s wife, Ruth, to move elsewhere.

Five years ago: Palestinians accused Israeli extremists of abducting and killing an Arab teenager and burning his body, sparking hours of clashes in east Jerusalem and drawing charges that the youth was murdered to avenge the killings of three kidnapped Israeli teens.

Louis Zamperini, 97, an Olympic runner who survived a bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean, weeks adrift and then years as a Japanese prisoner of war and became the subject of a celebrated book and movie, died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: 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. President Donald Trump interviewed four prospective Supreme Court justices in his search for a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Harvey Weinstein was charged with a sex crime against a third woman as New York prosecutors continued building cases against the former Hollywood studio boss. Jackson family patriarch Joseph Jackson was buried in the same Southern California cemetery as his late son Michael. Fresh off a landslide victory, Mexico’s newly elected leftist president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledged to “reach an understanding” with Donald Trump.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 90. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 89. Actor Robert Ito is 88. Actress Polly Holliday is 82. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 82. Former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu is 80. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is 77. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 72. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, is 72. Actor Saul Rubinek is 71. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 70. Rock musician Gene Taylor is 67. Actress Wendy Schaal is 65. Actress-model Jerry Hall is 63. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 58. Country singer Guy Penrod is 56. Rock musician Dave Parsons (Bush) is 54. Actress Yancy Butler is 49. Contemporary Christian musician Melodee DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 43. Actor Owain (OH’-wyn) Yeoman is 41. Race car driver Sam Hornish Jr. is 40. NHL center Joe Thornton is 40. Singer Michelle Branch is 36. Actress Vanessa Lee Chester is 35. Figure skater Johnny Weir is 35. Actor Nelson Franklin is 34. Actress-singer Ashley Tisdale is 34. Actress Lindsay Lohan is 33. Actress Margot Robbie is 29.

Thought for Today: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” — Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961).

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.