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July 2, 2014

Today in History for Wednesday, July 2, 2014

-- — Today is Wednesday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2014. There are 182 days left in the year.

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 1714, German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck was born in Erasbach.

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 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure establishing the National Statuary Hall inside the former House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol.

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 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 1943, Bing Crosby and the Ken Darby Singers recorded “Sunday, Monday or Always” for Decca Records.

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

In 1979, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin was released to the public.

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 1994, a USAir DC-9 crashed in poor weather at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing 37 of the 57 people aboard. Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar, 27, was shot to death in Medellin, ten days after accidentally scoring a goal against his own team in World Cup competition.

In 1999, former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong was shot to death in Skokie, Illinois; authorities believe he was the victim of a three-day shooting rampage by white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith that targeted minorities in Illinois and Indiana. (One other person was killed and others wounded before Smith committed suicide.) “Godfather” author Mario Puzo died on Long Island, New York, at age 78.

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