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This Day in History: July 2


1494 – The Treaty of Tordesillas is ratified by Spain.

1613 – The first English expedition (from Virginia) against Acadia led by Samuel Argall takes place.

1776 – The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence is not approved until July 4.

1777 – Vermont becomes the first American territory to abolish slavery.

1822 – Thirty-five slaves are hanged in South Carolina, including Denmark Vesey, after being accused of organizing a slave rebellion.

1839 – Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 rebelling African slaves led by Joseph Cinqué take over the slave ship Amistad.

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau shoots and fatally wounds U.S. President James Garfield, who eventually dies from an infection on September 19.

1890 – The U.S. Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act.

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

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

1962 – The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.

1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.

1976 – Fall of the Republic of Vietnam; Communist North Vietnam declares their union to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2001 – The AbioCor self-contained artificial heart is first implanted.

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

2013 – The International Astronomical Union names Pluto's fourth and fifth moons, Kerberos and Styx.


1908 – Thurgood Marshall, American lawyer and jurist, 32nd Solicitor General of the United States (d. 1993)

1925 – Medgar Evers, American soldier and activist (d. 1963)

1932 – Dave Thomas, American businessman and philanthropist, founded Wendy's (d. 2002)

1937 – Richard Petty, American race car driver and sportscaster

1961 – Clark Kellogg, American basketball player and sportscaster

1986 – Lindsay Lohan, American actress and singer

1989 – Alex Morgan, American soccer player


1822 – Denmark Vesey, American slave (b. 1767)

1961 – Ernest Hemingway, American novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1899)

1973 – Betty Grable, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1916)

1999 – Mario Puzo, American author and screenwriter (b. 1920)

2007 – Beverly Sills, American operatic soprano and television personality (b. 1929)

2012 – Betty Meggers, American archaeologist and academic (b. 1921)

2013 – Douglas Engelbart, American computer scientist, invented the computer mouse (b. 1925)