updated 7/3/2005 12:02:20 AM ET 2005-07-03T04:02:20

Today is Sunday, July 3, the 184th day of 2005. There are 181 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:
On July 3, 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, Pa., ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated.

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

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

In 1930, Congress created the U.S. Veterans Administration.

In 1962, Algeria became independent after 132 years of French rule.

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

In 1986, President Reagan presided over a gala ceremony in New York Harbor that saw the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.

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 U.S.S. Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

Ten years ago: Irish Republican Army sympathizers rioted in Northern Ireland's two largest cities in outrage over the early parole of a British soldier convicted of killing a Roman Catholic woman.

Five years ago: President Clinton made a congratulatory telephone call to Mexican President-elect Vicente Fox, a day after Fox's election. A 1970's steel observation tower that preservationists said had desecrated the battlefield of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania was demolished. Harold Nicholas, the younger half of the legendary tap-dancing Nicholas Brothers, died at age 79.

One year ago: A statement attributed to an Iraqi militant group claimed on a Web site that a captive U.S. Marine had been beheaded. However, the group later denied the claim; Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun turned up alive five days later. Maria Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title by beating Serena Williams 6-1, 6-4 at Wimbledon. Former Soviet cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev died in Cheboksary, Chuvash Autonomous Republic, at age 74.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Ken Russell is 78. Jazz musician Pete Fountain is 75. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 68. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 66. Singer Fontella Bass is 65. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 62. Actor Michael Cole ("The Mod Squad") is 60. Country singer Johnny Lee is 59. Writer Dave Barry is 58. Actress Betty Buckley is 58. Rock singer-musician Paul Barrere (Little Feat) is 57. Actress Jan Smithers is 56. Former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier is 54. Talk show host Montel Williams is 49. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 47. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 45. Actor Tom Cruise is 43. Actor Thomas Gibson is 43. Actress Hunter Tylo is 43. Singer Ishmael Butler is 36. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 36. Actress-singer Audra McDonald is 35. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 29. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tonia Tash (Divine) is 26. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer ("Oliver Beene") is 14. Actress Kelsey Batelaan is 10.

Thought for Today: "A timid person is frightened before a danger; a coward during the time; and a courageous person afterward." — Jean Paul Richter, German author (1763-1825).

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