On July 2, 1963, President John F. Kennedy met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, the first meeting between a Catholic U.S. chief executive and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
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 1812, Connecticut Gov. Roger Griswold declared his state's militia would not serve in the war against Britain, reflecting New Englanders' opposition to the conflict.
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 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.
In 1973, actress Betty Grable, 56, died in Santa Monica, Calif.
In 1982, Larry Walters of San Pedro, Calif., 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 1997, actor James Stewart died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 89.
In 2002, American adventurer Steve Fossett became the first person to fly a balloon solo around the world as he returned to western Australia.
Ten years ago: Palestinian police marched into Bethlehem, taking control of the ancient West Bank city after Israel withdrew under a U.S.-backed peace plan. Vancouver, B.C., was awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Five years ago: Colombian military spies tricked leftist rebels into freeing 15 hostages: Ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, three U.S. military contractors, and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers. Police in Randolph, Vt., unearthed the body of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett from a makeshift grave, ending a weeklong search. (The girl's uncle, Michael Jacques, has pleaded not guilty to rape and murder.)
One year ago: Jim Yong Kim began his new job as president of the World Bank, promising to immediately focus on helping poor countries navigate a fragile global economy. The U.S. Justice Department said British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline would pay $3 billion in fines for criminal and civil violations involving 10 drugs taken by millions of people.
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