- It happened today – this day in history – July 2 - 02/07/2020
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1770: Captain James Cook first sights Australia.
1775: The American Revolution begins in Lexington, Massachusetts.
1824: Death of Lord Byron aged 36.
1839: The Treaty of London constitutes Belgium an independent kingdom and Luxembourg a Grand Duchy.
1861: Abraham Lincoln orders a blockade of Confederate ports.
1881: Death of former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, first Earl of Beaconsfield, aged 76.
1882: Death of naturalist Charles Darwin aged 73.
1904: Much of Toronto is destroyed by fire.
1919: Leslie Irvin of US makes first premeditated free-fall parachute jump.
1927: Mae West is found guilty of “obscenity and corrupting the morals of youth” in a New York stage play entitled “Sex”. She is sentenced to 10 days in prison and fined $500, the publicity launches her Hollywood career.
1932: Bonnie Parker is captured in a failed hardware store burglary, and subsequently jailed. A grand jury fails to indict her, however, and she is released a few months later.
1934: Shirley Temple appears in her first movie, “Stand Up & Cheer”.
1936: First day of the Great Uprising in Palestine, anti-Jewish riots break out.
1941: Bulgarian troops invade Macedonia.
1943: Jews refuse to surrender the Warsaw Ghetto to SS officer Jürgen Stroop, who then orders its destruction. On the same day, Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann deliberately takes LSD for the first time.
1945: Rodgers & Hammerstein musical “Carousel” opens on Broadway.
1948: Chiang Kai-shek is elected President of Nationalist China.
1967: Death of former West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer aged 91.
1968: John Lennon, George Harrison and their wives leave the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India, two weeks before their study is complete. Ringo and Paul had already left.
1969: Rioting in the Bogside area of Derry following clashes between Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association marchers and Loyalists and members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
1971: Charles Manson is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of actress Sharon Tate.
1972: Bangladesh becomes a member of the Commonwealth. On the same day, Hungary revises its constitution to declare itself a socialist state.
1980: English singer Brian Johnson joined Australian group AC/DC following the death of Bon Scott. While seeing Johnson in concert with Geordie in the 70s, Scott had told his bandmates: “If anything happens to me, get him.” On the same day, Johnny Logan wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland wins singing “What’s Another Year” in The Hague.
1982: Sally Ride is named the first American woman astronaut.
1986: Michael Spinks beats Larry Holmes for the word heavyweight boxing title.
1989: Death of writer Daphne Du Maurier aged 82.
1991: Evander Holyfield beats George Foreman for the world heavyweight boxing title.
1992: Death of comedian Frankie Howerd aged 70.
1993: After a 51-day siege by the FBI, 76 Branch Davidians including leader David Koresh die in a fire near Waco, Texas.
1994: Rodney King is awarded $3,800,000 compensation for his beating by LA Police.
1995: A truck bomb at Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma, kills 168 and injures 500.
1997: Tennis champion Andre Agassi married actress Brook Shields in Monterey.
2003: The oldest working musician in Britain, Conrad Leonard died aged 104. Composer and pianist Leonard had worked with Cole Porter, Petula Clark and at the BBC during his career.
2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected Pope Benedict XVI.
2009: Death of novelist J G Ballard aged 78.
2011: Fidel Castro resigns from the Communist Party of Cuba’s central committee after 45 years. On the same day, Norwegian marathon runner Grete Waitz died of cancer aged 57.
2012: Drummer/mandolinist with The Band, Levon Helm, died of throat cancer aged 71. On the same day, Leonard Cohen’s former manager, Kelley Lynch, was jailed for 18 months for harassing the singer-songwriter.
2013: Boston bombing suspects killed and captured in Boston after four days.
BIRTHDAYS: Harold “Dickie” Bird, cricket umpire, 87; Michel Roux, chef, 79; Eddie Kramer, music producer/engineer, 78; Alan Price, musician, 78; Tim Curry, actor, 74; Mark Volman, singer/guitarist (Flo and Eddie) 73; Ruby Wax, comedian, 67; Trevor Francis, former footballer, 66; Sue Barker, TV presenter, 64; Ashley Judd, actress, 52; Dame Kelly Holmes, athlete, 50; James Franco, actor, 42; Kate Hudson actress, 41; Hayden Christensen, actor, 39; Maria Sharapova, tennis player, 33; Joe Hart, goalkeeper, 33.