Today in History

Today is Saturday, July 2, the 184th day of 2016. There are 182 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 2, 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.

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 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)

In 1926, the United States Army Air Corps was created.

In 1955, "The Lawrence Welk Show" premiered on ABC-TV under its original title, "The Dodge Dancing Party."

In 1961, author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

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 1991, actress Lee Remick died in Los Angeles at age 55.

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 shot-gunned their parents to death in the family's Beverly Hills mansion, Lyle and Erik Menendez were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 2001, Robert Tools received the world's first self-contained artificial heart in Louisville, Kentucky. (He lived 151 days with the device.) Vice President Dick Cheney returned to work two days after receiving a new pacemaker.

Ten years ago: Conservative free-trader Felipe Calderon (fay-LEE'-pay kahl-duh-ROHN') defeated leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (ahn-DRAYS' mahn-WEHL' LOH'-pez OH'-brah-dohr) by just 234,000 votes in Mexico's presidential election. Comic Jan Murray died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 89.

Five years ago: Petra Kvitova beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4 to become the first left-handed woman to win the Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova in 1990.

One year 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.

Today's Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 87. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 86. Actor Robert Ito is 85. Actress Polly Holliday is 79. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 79. Former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu is 77. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is 74. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 69. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, is 69. Actor Saul Rubinek is 68. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 67. Rock musician Gene Taylor is 64. Actress Wendy Schaal is 62. Actress-model Jerry Hall is 60. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 55. Country singer Guy Penrod is 53. Rock musician Dave Parsons (Bush) is 51. Actress Yancy Butler is 46. Contemporary Christian musician Melodee DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 40. Actor Owain (OH'-wyn) Yeoman is 38. Race car driver Sam Hornish Jr. is 37. Singer Michelle Branch is 33. Actress Vanessa Lee Chester is 32. Figure skater Johnny Weir is 32. Actor Nelson Franklin is 31. Actress-singer Ashley Tisdale is 31. Actress Lindsay Lohan (LOH'-uhn) is 30. Actress Margot Robbie is 26.

Thought for Today: "Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things." — Amelia Earhart (1897-1937?).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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