- It happened today – this day in history – July 2 - 02/07/2020
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1564: Death of Protestant religious reformer John Calvin aged 54.
1679: The Habeaus Corpus Act (strengthening a person’s right to challenge unlawful arrest and imprisonment) passes in England.
1703: Russian Tsar Peter The Great founds St Petersburg (Leningrad).
1837: Birth of Wild Bill Hickok (James Butler) in Illinois.
1840: Death of composer and violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini aged 57.
1883: Tsar Alexander III is crowned in Moscow.
1905: The Japanese fleet destroys the Russian East Sea fleet in the Battle of Tsushima.
1907: Bubonic plague breaks out in San Francisco.
1921: Afghanistan achieves sovereignty after 84 years of British control.
1930: Richard Drew invents masking tape. On the same day, the Chrysler Building in New York, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public.
1936: The Queen Mary leaves Southampton for NY on maiden voyage.
1937: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opens to pedestrians.
1940: British and Allied forces begin the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War. On the same day, 97 soldiers from a Royal Norfolk Regiment unit are shot after surrendering to German troops.
1941: The German battleship Bismarck sunk by British naval force.
1942: Hitler orders the deaths of 10,000 Czechs after Reinhard Heydrich is shot and mortally wounded by rebels in Prague.
1944: Jean-Paul Sartres’ “Huis Clos” premieres in Paris.
1960: A military coup overthrows the democratic government of Turkey.
1963: Jomo Kenyatta is elected the first Prime Minister of Kenya.
1964: Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India, dies aged 74.
1967: Australians vote in favor of a constitutional referendum granting the Australian government the power to make laws to benefit indigenous Australians and count them in the national census.
1969: The construction of Walt Disney World begins in Florida.
1971: “The Go-Between” directed by Joseph Losey wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the Cannes Film Festival.
1975: A bus full of elderly women plunges into Dibble’s Bridge Yorkshire, killing 38. On the same day, former heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles dies of ALS aged 53.
1981: Liverpool beats Real Madrid 1-0 to win the European cup in Paris.
1985: Britain agrees to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.
1988: The US Senate ratifies a treaty eliminating medium-range nuclear missiles.
1993: The Mafia bombs the Uffizi Museum in Florence, killing six.
1994:Writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn returns to Russia after 20 years in exile.
1995: Actor Christopher Reeve is paralysed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition in Virginia.
1997: Liam Gallagher was left with cuts and bruises after a scuffle with a youth at the Tower Thistle Hotel in east London. On the same day, 20 British women become the first all female team to reach the North Pole.
1999: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicts Slobodan Milosevic and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.
2000: Paula Yates was awarded £400,000 in an out-of-court settlement from Michael Hutchence’s estate.
2003: Angelina Jolie divorces Billy Bob Thornton.
2006: An earthquake strikes Java, killing 6,500 people.
2009: Barcelona beats Manchester United, 2-0 to win the Champions League in Rome.
2011: Death of writer/singer/poet Gill Scott-Heron aged 62.
2012: A NATO air strike kills a family of eight, including six children, in Afghanistan.
2017: Arsenal beats Chelsea, 2-1 to win the FA Cup for the seventh time at Wembley. On the same day, musician Gregg Allman died from liver cancer aged 69.
BIRTHDAYS: Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, 97; Ramsey Lewis, jazz pianist, 85; Louis Gossett Jr, actor, 84; John Conteh, boxer, 71; Richard Schiff, actor, 65; Neil Finn, singer-guitarist/songwriter (Crowded House/Fleetwood Mac) 64; Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Ballion), singer, 63; Duncan Goodhew, swimmer, 63; Pat Cash, tennis champion, 55; Sean Kinney, drummer (Alice In Chains) 54; Paul Gascoigne, former footballer, 53; Joseph Feinnes, actor, 50; Paul Bettany, actor, 49; Andre 3000 (Andre Benjamin) rapper, 45; Jamie Oliver, chef, 45.