Today in History

Today is Wednesday, July 3, the 184th day of 2013. There are 181 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 3, 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.

On this date:

In 1608, the city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

In 1775, Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass.

In 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union.

In 1898, the U.S. Navy defeated a Spanish fleet outside Santiago Bay in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.

In 1913, during a 50th anniversary reunion at Gettysburg, Pa., Civil War veterans re-enacted Pickett’s Charge, which ended with embraces and handshakes between the former enemies.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg by dedicating the Eternal Light Peace Memorial.

In 1944, during World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk.

In 1950, the first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.

In 1962, French President Charles de Gaulle signed an agreement recognizing Algeria as an independent state after 132 years of French rule.

In 1971, singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.

In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

In 1993, Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale died in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at age 56. Comedian “Curly Joe” DeRita, the sixth member of the Three Stooges, died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 83.

Ten years ago: The U.S. put a $25 million bounty on Saddam Hussein, and $15 million apiece for his two sons. (The $30 million reward for Odai and Qusai Hussein went to a tipster whose information led U.S. troops to their hideout, where the brothers were killed in a gunbattle.)

Five years ago: The Pentagon announced it had extended the tour of 2,200 Marines in Afghanistan, after insisting for months the unit would come home on time. Venus and Serena Williams won in straight sets to set up their third all-sister Wimbledon final and seventh Grand Slam championship matchup. Larry Harmon, who turned Bozo the Clown into a show business staple, died in Los Angeles at age 83.

One year ago: A federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, found Clayton F. Osbon, a JetBlue Airways pilot who’d left the cockpit during a flight and screamed about religion and terrorists, not guilty by reason of insanity of interfering with a flight crew. Andy Griffith, 86, who made homespun American Southern wisdom his trademark as the wise sheriff in “The Andy Griffith Show,” died at his North Carolina home.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Tim O’Connor is 86. Jazz musician Pete Fountain is 83. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 76. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 74. Attorney Gloria Allred is 72. Folk singer Judith Durham (The Seekers) is 70. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 70. Actor Michael Cole (“The Mod Squad”) is 68. Country singer Johnny Lee is 67. Humorist Dave Barry is 66. Actress Betty Buckley is 66. Rock singer-musician Paul Barrere (bah-RAYR’) (Little Feat) is 65. Actress Jan Smithers is 64. Actor Bruce Altman is 58. Former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier (doo-VAHL’-yay) is 62. Talk show host Montel Williams is 57. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 55. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 53. Actor Tom Cruise is 51. Actor Thomas Gibson is 51. Actress Hunter Tylo is 51. Actress Connie Nielsen is 49. Actress Yeardley Smith is 49. Singer Ishmael Butler is 44. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 44. Actress-singer Shawnee Smith is 44. Actress-singer Audra McDonald is 43. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 42. Actor Patrick Wilson is 40. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 38. Actress Andrea Barber is 37. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 37. Actor Ian Anthony Dale is 35. Actress Elizabeth Hendrickson is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tonia Tash (Divine) is 34. Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is 33. Actress Shoshannah Stern is 33. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer is 22. Actress Kelsey Batelaan is 18.

Thought for Today: “A timid person is frightened before a danger; a coward during the time; and a courageous person afterward.” — Jean Paul Richter, German author (1763-1825).

(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, July 3)

Copyright 2013, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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