Today in History – July 2

1698 – Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine.

1776 – American Revolution: The Continental Congress adopted a resolution which severed ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence was not published until July 4.

1839 – Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 kidnapped Africans led by Joseph Cinqué mutinied and took over the slave ship Amistad.

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau shot and fatally wounded U.S. President James A. Garfield (who died of complications from his wounds on September 19).

1897 – British-Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi obtained a patent for radio in London.

1900 – The first Zeppelin flight took place on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.

1901 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid robbed a train of $40,000 at Wagner, Montana.

1921 – World War I: U.S. President Warren G. Harding signed the Knox–Porter Resolution which formally ended the war between the United States and Germany.

1934 – The Night of the Long Knives ended with the death of Ernst Röhm.

1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.

1955 – “Lawrence Welk Show” premiered on ABC.

1956 – Elvis Presley recorded “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel”

1958 – Musical drama Film “King Creole” starring Elvis Presley, based on a novel by Harold Robbins, premiered.

1962 – The first Walmart store, then known as Wal-Mart, opened for business in Rogers, Arkansas.

1964 – Civil rights movement: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which was meant to prohibit segregation in public places.

1964 – Cilla Black recorded Beatle’s “Its For You”, Paul McCartney played piano.

1973 – “You’ve Never Been This Far Before” single was released by Conway Twitty (Billboard Song of the Year, 1973).

1980 – Comedy film “Airplane!” written and directed by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and starring Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty, premiered.

1982 – Larry Walters using lawn chair and 42 helium balloons, rose to 16,000′.

1998 – “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” the second book in the series, was published by Bloomsbury in the UK.

2002 – Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

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