fb-pixel Skip to main content

This day in history

Today is Thursday, July 2, the 184th day of 2020. There are 182 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 91. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 90. Actress Polly Holliday is 83. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 83. Former White House chief of staff John H. Sununu is 81. Former Mexican president Vicente Fox is 78. Writer-director Larry David is 73. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, is 73. Keyboardist Roy Bittan of Bruce Springsteen the E Street Band is 71. Model Jerry Hall is 64. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 59. Figure skater Johnny Weir is 36. Actress-singer Ashley Tisdale is 35. Actress Lindsay Lohan is 34. Actress Margot Robbie is 30.


In 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

In 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)

In 1917, rioting erupted in East St. Louis, Ill., as white mobs attacked Black residents; nearly 50 people, mostly Blacks, are believed to have died in the violence.

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 1963, President John F. Kennedy met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, the first meeting between a Catholic US chief executive and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

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

In 1976, the US Supreme Court, in Gregg v. Georgia, ruled 7-2 the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.


In 1986, ruling in a pair of cases, the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action as a remedy for past job discrimination.

In 2009, federal marshals took possession of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff’s $7 million Manhattan penthouse, forcing Madoff’s wife, Ruth, to move elsewhere.

In 2010, General David Petraeus arrived in Afghanistan to assume command of US and NATO forces after his predecessor, General Stanley McChrystal, was fired for intemperate remarks he’d made about Obama administration figures in Rolling Stone magazine.

In 2015, trying to close the books on the worst offshore oil spill in US history, BP agreed to provide billions of dollars in new money to five Gulf Coast states in a deal the company said would bring its full obligations to about $53.8 billion.

In 2018, rescue divers in Thailand found 12 boys and their soccer coach, who had been trapped by flooding as they explored a cave more than a week earlier.

Last year, Lee Iacocca, the automobile executive who helped launch some of Detroit’s best-selling vehicles at Ford and then Chrysler, died in California at the age of 94. A decorated Navy SEAL, Edward Gallagher, was acquitted of murder in the killing of a wounded Islamic State captive in Iraq but was convicted of posing with the corpse. (Gallagher would be sentenced to four months’ confinement; the case led to a conflict between President Trump and armed services leaders over military discipline and forced the ouster of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.)