IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in History — July 2

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

Today is Monday, July 2, the 183rd day of 2007. There are 182 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

On this date:
In 1807, in the wake of the Chesapeake incident, in which the crew of a British frigate boarded an American ship and forcibly removed four suspected deserters, President Thomas Jefferson ordered all British ships to vacate U.S. territorial waters.

In 1881, President James 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 U.S. 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 1961, author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

In 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.

In 1987, 18 illegal aliens were found dead inside a locked boxcar near Sierra Blanca, Texas, in what authorities called a botched smuggling attempt; a 19th man survived.

In 1994, a U.S. Air DC-9 crashed in poor weather at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing 37 of the 57 people aboard.

In 1996, electricity and phone service was knocked out for millions of customers from Canada to the Southwest after power lines throughout the West failed on a record-hot day.

In 2004, actor Marlon Brando died in Los Angeles at age 80.

Ten years ago: Actor James Stewart died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 89.

Five years ago: American adventurer Steve Fossett became the first person to fly a balloon solo around the world as he returned to western Australia.

One year ago: Conservative free-trader Felipe Calderon defeated leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by just 234,000 votes in Mexico’s presidential election. Comic Jan Murray died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 89.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Marvin Rainwater is 82. Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 78. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 77. Actor Robert Ito is 76. Actress Polly Holliday is 70. Former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu is 68. Actor Ron Silver is 61. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 60. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson, is 60. Actor Saul Rubinek is 59. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 58. Rock musician Gene Taylor (The Blasters) is 55. Actress-model Jerry Hall is 51. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 46. Rock musician Dave Parsons (Bush) is 42. Actress Yancy Butler is 37. Contemporary Christian musician Melodee DeVevo (Casting Crowns) is 31. Singer Michelle Branch is 24. Actress Vanessa Lee Chester is 23. Actress-singer Ashley Tisdale is 22. Actress Lindsay Lohan is 21.

Thought for Today: “The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.” — Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States (1856-1924).