Today in History
Today is Wednesday, July 7, the 188th day of 2021. There are 177 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 7, 1981, President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
On this date:
In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey (mahn-tuh-RAY’) after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.
In 1865, four people were hanged in Washington, D.C. for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln: Lewis Powell (aka Lewis Payne), David Herold, George Atzerodt and Mary Surratt, the first woman to be executed by the federal government.
In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.
In 1919, the first Transcontinental Motor Convoy, in which a U.S. Army convoy of motorized vehicles crossed the United States, departed Washington, D.C. (The trip ended in San Francisco on Sept. 6, 1919.)
In 1946, Jimmy Carter, 21, married Rosalynn (ROH’-zuh-lihn) Smith, 18, in Plains, Georgia.
In 1948, six female U.S. Navy reservists became the first women to be sworn in to the regular Navy.
In 1954, Elvis Presley made his radio debut as Memphis, Tennessee, station WHBQ played his first recording for Sun Records, “That’s All Right.”
In 1976, the United States Military Academy at West Point included female cadets for the first time as 119 women joined the Class of 1980.
In 1983, 11-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov (ahn-DROH’-pawf).
In 2005, terrorist bombings in three Underground stations and a double-decker bus killed 52 victims and four bombers in the worst attack on London since World War II.
In 2009, some 20,000 people gathered inside Staples Center in Los Angeles for a memorial service honoring the late Michael Jackson, who was tearfully described by his 11-year-old daughter, Paris-Michael, as “the best father you could ever imagine.”
In 2010, Los Angeles police charged Lonnie Franklin Jr. in the city’s “Grim Sleeper” serial killings. (Franklin, who was sentenced to death for the killings of nine women and a teenage girl, died in prison in March 2020 at the age of 67.)
Ten years ago: Rupert Murdoch’s media empire unexpectedly jettisoned News of the World, Britain’s best-selling Sunday newspaper, after a public backlash over claims it had used phone hacking and other illegal tactics to expose the rich and famous, royals and ordinary citizens. A Texas Rangers fan, 39-year-old Shannon Stone, died from a fatal fall when reaching out to grab a baseball tossed his way by outfielder Josh Hamilton during a Rangers game. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” the final movie based on the wizard fantasy books, debuted in London on its way to becoming the year’s top-grossing movie.
Five years ago: Micah Johnson, a Black Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, opened fire on Dallas police, killing five officers in an act of vengeance for the fatal police shootings of Black men; the attack ended with Johnson being killed by a bomb delivered by a police robot. President Barack Obama embarked on a five-day, two-country mission to buck up a beleaguered Europe and brush back an aggressive Moscow; after arriving in Warsaw, Poland, Obama denounced the fatal attack in Dallas as “despicable” and declared there was no justification for the violence.
One year ago: Texas surpassed 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time, as a resurgence of the outbreak raged across the U.S. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said he had tested positive for the coronavirus after months of downplaying its severity; he said he was already taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug unproven to treat COVID-19.
Today’s Birthdays: Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 94. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough is 88. Rock star Ringo Starr is 81. Comedian Bill Oddie is 80. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 78. Actor Joe Spano is 75. Pop singer David Hodo (The Village People) is 74. Country singer Linda Williams is 74. Actor Shelley Duvall is 72. Actor Roz Ryan is 70. Actor Billy Campbell is 62. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 59. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is 58. Actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan is 55. R&B musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is 55. Actor Amy Carlson is 53. Actor Jorja Fox is 53. Actor Cree Summer is 52. Actor Robin Weigert is 52. Actor Kirsten Vangsness is 49. Actor Troy Garity is 48. Actor Berenice Bejo (BEH’-ruh-nees BAY’-hoh) is 45. Actor Hamish Linklater is 45. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 41. Rapper Cassidy is 39. Country singer Gabbie Nolen is 39. Actor Ross Malinger is 37. Actor-comedian Luke Null (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 31. Pop singer Ally Hernandez (Fifth Harmony) (TV: “The X Factor”) is 28. Pop musician Ashton Irwin (5 Seconds to Summer) is 27. Country singer Maddie Marlow (Maddie and Tae) is 26.