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Today in history: July 7

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 7, the 188th day of 2006. There are 177 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
One year ago, on July 7, 2005, suicide 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. (The United States put its subways, buses and commuter trains on high alert amid concern about a possible copycat attack.)

On this date:
In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey 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 Lincoln.

In 1896, the Democratic national convention opened in Chicago.

In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

In 1930, construction began on Boulder Dam (later Hoover Dam).

In 1946, Italian-born Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini was canonized as the first American saint.

In 1958, President Eisenhower signed the Alaska statehood bill.

In 1969, Canada’s House of Commons gave final approval to a measure making the French language equal to English throughout the national government.

In 1981, President Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.

Ten years ago: President Clinton delivered more Whitewater trial testimony before video cameras, this time testifying in case of two Arkansas bankers accused of making political contributions with bank funds. (A jury later acquitted Herby Branscum Jr. and Robert M. Hill of four counts and deadlocked on seven other counts; Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr decided against retrying the bankers.) Dutch tennis player Richard Krajicek won the Wimbledon men’s title, defeating American MaliVai Washington 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Five years ago: Racial violence erupted in Bradford, England, as Asian and white youths ran amok in the streets armed with firebombs and baseball bats.

One year ago: Al-Qaida’s wing in Iraq claimed to have killed Egypt’s top envoy, Ihab al-Sherif, who’d been abducted by gunmen.

Today’s Birthdays: Composer Gian Carlo Menotti is 95. Blues musician Pinetop Perkins is 93. Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 79. Country singer Charlie Louvin is 79. Historian-author David McCullough is 73. Rock star Ringo Starr is 66. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 62. Rock musician Jim Rodford is

61. Actor Joe Spano is 60. Country singer Linda Williams is 59. Actress Shelley Duvall is 57. Actress Roz Ryan is 55. Actor Billy Campbell is 47. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 44. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is 43. Actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan is 40. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is

40. Actress Jorja Fox is 38. Actress Cree Summer is 37. Actor Troy Garity is 33. Actor Hamish Linklater is 30. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 26. Rapper Cassidy is

24. Country singer Gabbie Nolen is 24.

Thought for Today: “It takes people a long time to learn the difference between talent and genius, especially ambitious young men and women.” — Louisa May Alcott, American author (1832-1888).