Today in History
Today is Thursday, July 1, the 182nd day of 2021. There are 183 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 1, 2015, after more than a half-century of hostility, the United States and Cuba declared they would reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, marking a historic full restoration of diplomatic relations between the Cold War foes.
On this date:
In 1863, the pivotal, three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, resulting in a Union victory, began in Pennsylvania.
In 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain as the British North America Act took effect.
In 1903, the first Tour de France began. (It ended on July 19; the winner was Maurice Garin.)
In 1944, delegates from 44 countries began meeting at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, where they agreed to establish the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
In 1946, the United States exploded a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
In 1962, the African nations of Burundi and Rwanda became independent of Belgium.
In 1963, the U.S. Post Office inaugurated its five-digit ZIP codes.
In 1966, the Medicare federal insurance program went into effect.
In 1973, the Drug Enforcement Administration was established.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated federal appeals court judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, beginning an ultimately successful confirmation process marked by allegations of sexual harassment. Actor Michael Landon, 54, died in Malibu, California.
In 1997, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years as a British colony. Actor Robert Mitchum died in Santa Barbara, California, at age 79.
In 2019, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, the youngest player to qualify at Wimbledon in the professional era, defeated 39-year-old Venus Williams in the first round, 6-4, 6-4. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his room at the Texas hotel where the team was staying; the medical examiner found that Skaggs had a toxic mix of alcohol and the painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his body.
Ten years ago: Leon Panetta took over as U.S. secretary of defense after 2 1/2 years as director of the CIA. Six weeks after ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed that he’d fathered a child with a member of his household staff, Maria Shriver filed divorce papers seeking to end their 25-year marriage. The NBA locked out its players, a long-expected move that put the 2011-12 season in jeopardy. (The lockout ended in Dec. 2011 with the adoption of a new collective bargaining agreement.)
Five years ago: New laws targeting abortion took effect in about one-fifth of the states, initiating another wave of restrictions just days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas measure that had led to the closing of several clinics.
One year ago: The mayor of Richmond, Virginia, which was the Confederate capital, ordered the removal of all Confederate statues from city land; hours later, crews removed a statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson from its concrete pedestal along Richmond’s Monument Avenue. Police in Seattle forcibly cleared the city’s “occupied” protest zone under orders from the mayor after two recent fatal shootings in the area. Police in San Francisco said they would stop releasing the mug shots of people who’d been arrested unless they posed a threat to the public; they said it was part of an effort to stop perpetuating racial stereotypes. New York City officials delayed the resumption of indoor dining at restaurants, fearing that it would cause a spike in coronavirus infections. A New York appeals court cleared the way for a publisher to distribute a tell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece over the objections of the president’s brother. Hugh Downs, host of TV news and game shows from the 1950s through the 1990s, died in Arizona; he was 99.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-dancer Leslie Caron is 90. Actor Jean Marsh is 87. Actor Jamie Farr is 87. Cookiemaker Wally Amos is 85. Dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp is 80. Actor Genevieve Bujold is 79. Rock singer-actor Deborah Harry is 76. Movie-TV producer-director Michael Pressman is 71. Actor Daryl Anderson is 70. Actor Trevor Eve is 70. Actor Terrence Mann is 70. Rock singer Fred Schneider (B-52s) is 70. Pop singer Victor Willis (Village People) is 70. Actor-comedian Dan Aykroyd is 69. Actor Lorna Patterson is 65. Actor Alan Ruck is 65. R&B singer Evelyn “Champagne” King is 61. Olympic gold medal track star Carl Lewis is 60. Country singer Michelle Wright is 60. Actor Andre Braugher is 59. Actor Dominic Keating is 59. Actor Pamela Anderson is 54. Rock musician Mark Pirro is 51. Rock musician Franny Griffiths (Space) is 51. Actor Henry Simmons is 51. Hip-hop artist Missy Elliott is 50. Actor Julianne Nicholson is 50. Actor Melissa Peterman is 50. Actor/writer Jill Kargman is 47. Rock musician Bryan Devendorf (The National) is 46. Singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens is 46. Actor Thomas Sadoski is 45. Actor Liv Tyler is 44. Actor Hilarie Burton is 39. Actor Lynsey Bartilson is 38. Actor Lea Seydoux (LEE’-uh say-DOO’) is 36. Actor Evan Ellingson is 33. Actors Andrew and Steven Cavarno are 29. Actor/singer Chloe Bailey is 23. Actor Storm Reid is 18.