Today in History

  • Mon Jul 2nd, 2012 2:36pm
  • Life

Today is Tuesday, July 3, the 185th day of 2012. There are 181 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On July 3, 1962, French President Charles de Gaulle signed an agreement recognizing Algeria as an independent state after 132 years of French rule. (The same day, U.S. President John F. Kennedy sent a congratulatory message to the Algerian people.)

On this date:

In 1608, the city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass.

In 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated.

In 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union.

In 1898, the U.S. Navy defeated a Spanish fleet outside Santiago Bay in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.

In 1944, during World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk.

In 1950, the first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.

In 1971, singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.

In 1979, Dan White, convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee) and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was sentenced to 7 years and 8 months in prison. (He ended up serving 5 years.)

In 1987, British millionaire Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand became the first hot-air balloon travelers to cross the Atlantic, jumping into the sea as their craft went down off the Scottish coast.

In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

In 1992, the first U.S. Air Force C-130 from Operation Provide Promise arrived in the besieged Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.

Ten years ago: Jean-Marie Messier (zhan muh-REE’ meh-see-AY’), chairman of Vivendi Universal, was formally removed from his post and replaced by Jean-Rene Fourtou (zhawn reh-NAY’ fohr-TOO’) of the pharmaceutical company Aventis.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush refused to rule out an eventual pardon for I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby after already commuting his prison sentence in the CIA leak case (as it turned out, Bush didn’t pardon Libby). Japan’s defense minister (Fumio Kyuma) resigned after drawing furious criticism for suggesting the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were inevitable. The Alinghi team from Switzerland succeeded in defending sailing’s coveted America’s Cup, beating Emirates Team New Zealand 5-2. Saxophonist Boots Randolph (“Yakety Sax”) died in Nashville at age 80.

One year ago: A chartered fishing boat, the Erik, sank in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, leaving one Northern California man dead and seven still classified as missing. Yingluck Shinawatra (SHIHN’-uh-waht), the sister of Thailand’s fugitive former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra (TAHK’-sihn SHIHN’-uh-waht), led his loyalists to a landslide election victory, a stunning rout of the military-backed government that had crushed protests by his supporters. Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) won his first Wimbledon, beating defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, July 3)

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.