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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 Saturday, July 7, the 188th day of 2007. There are 177 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 7, 1865, four people were hanged in Washington for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln.

On this date:

In 1807, Napoleon I of France and Czar Alexander I of Russia signed a treaty at Tilsit ending war between their empires.

In 1896, the Democratic national convention opened in Chicago.

In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

In 1907, 100 years ago, science-fiction author Robert Heinlein was born in Butler, Miss.

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 by Pope Pius XII.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska statehood bill. (Alaska became the 49th state in January 1959.)

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 1987, Lt. Col. Oliver North began his long-awaited public testimony at the Iran-Contra hearing, telling Congress that he had “never carried out a single act, not one,” without authorization.

In 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.

Ten years ago: Three days after landing on Mars, the Pathfinder spacecraft yielded what scientists said was unmistakable photographic evidence that colossal floods had scoured the planet’s now-barren landscape more than a billion years ago.

Five years ago: Afghanistan’s vice president, Abdul Qadir, was buried with full military honors one day after being assassinated. Texas Gov. Rick Perry saw by helicopter the devastation days of torrential rain had brought to central and southern Texas. Lleyton Hewitt crushed David Nalbandian in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, in the Wimbledon final to win his second Grand Slam title.

One year ago: Japan introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution to sanction North Korea for test-launching a series of missiles. (The Council unanimously adopted a compromise resolution on July 15.) Syd Barrett, co-founder of Pink Floyd, died in Cambridge, England, at age 60.

Today’s Birthdays: Blues musician Pinetop Perkins is 94. Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 80. Country singer Charlie Louvin is 80. Historian-author David McCullough is 74. Rock star Ringo Starr is 67. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 63. Rock musician Jim Rodford is 62. Actor Joe Spano is 61. Country singer Linda Williams is 60. Actress Shelley Duvall is 58. Actress Roz Ryan is 56. Actor Billy Campbell is 48. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 45. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is

44. Actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan is 41. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is 41. Actress Jorja Fox is 39. Actress Cree Summer is 38. Actor Troy Garity is 34. Actor Hamish Linklater is 31. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 27. Rapper Cassidy is 25. Country singer Gabbie Nolen is 25.

Thought for Today: “Memory depends very much on the perspicuity, regularity, and order of our thoughts. Many complain of the want of memory, when the defect is in their judgment; and others, by grasping at all, retain nothing.” — Margaret Fuller, American critic and social reformer (1810-1850).