Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 7, 1865, four people were hanged in Washington, D.C., for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
On this date:
In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey (mahn-tuh-RAY’) after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.
In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.
In 1919, the first Transcontinental Motor Convoy, in which a U.S. Army convoy of motorized vehicles crossed the United States, departed Washington, D.C. (The trip ended in San Francisco on September 6, 1919.)
In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War erupted into full-scale conflict as Imperial Japanese forces attacked the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing.
In 1941, U.S. forces took up positions in Iceland, Trinidad and British Guiana to forestall any Nazi invasion, even though the United States had not yet entered the Second World War.
In 1952, the Republican National Convention, which nominated Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Sen. Richard Nixon for vice president, opened in Chicago.
In 1954, Elvis Presley made his radio debut as Memphis, Tennessee, station WHBQ played his first recording for Sun Records, “That’s All Right.”
In 1964, the National League staged a come-from-behind ninth-inning victory as it defeated the American League 7-4 in the All-Star Game played at New York’s Shea Stadium.
In 1976, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford hosted a White House dinner for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
In 1981, President Ronald 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 (ahn-DROH’-pawf).
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.
Ten years ago: Former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay was indicted on criminal charges related to the energy company’s collapse. (Lay was later convicted of fraud and conspiracy, but died in July 2006 before he could be sentenced.) Jeff Smith, public television’s popular “Frugal Gourmet” until a sex scandal ruined his career, died at age 65.
Five years ago: Some 20,000 people gathered inside Staples Center in Los Angeles for a memorial service honoring the late king of pop, Michael Jackson, who was tearfully described by his 11-year-old daughter, Paris-Michael, as “the best father you could ever imagine.” Britain unveiled a Hyde Park memorial to mark the fourth anniversary of the London transit system bombings that claimed 52 victims. Pope Benedict XVI called for a new world financial order guided by ethics, dignity and the search for the common good in the third encyclical of his pontificate.
One year ago: A de Havilland DHC-3 Otter air taxi crashed after taking off from Soldotna, Alaska, killing all 10 people on board. Andy Murray became the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon title, beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in the final.
Today’s Birthdays: Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 87. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough is 81. Rock star Ringo Starr is 74. Comedian Bill Oddie (TV: “The Goodies”) is 73. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 71. Rock musician Jim Rodford is 69. Actor Joe Spano is 68. Pop singer David Hodo (The Village People) is 67. Country singer Linda Williams is 67. Actress Shelley Duvall is 65. Actress Roz Ryan is 63. Actor Billy Campbell is 55. Actor Robert Taylor is 54. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 52. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is 51. Actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan is 48. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is 48. Actress Amy Carlson is 46. Actress Jorja Fox is 46. Actress Cree Summer is 45. Actress Robin Weigert is 45. Actress Kirsten Vangsness is 42. Actor Troy Garity is 41. Actress Berenice Bejo (BEH’-ruh-nees BAY’-hoh) is 38. Actor Hamish Linklater is 38. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 34. Rapper Cassidy is 32. Country singer Gabbie Nolen is 32. Actor Ross Malinger is 30.
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).
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.