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July 7, 2013

Today in History

Today is Sunday, July 7, the 188th day of 2013. There are 177 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On July 7, 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.

On this date:

In 1865, four people were hanged in Washington, D.C., for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.

In 1919, the first Transcontinental Motor Convoy, in which a U.S. Army convoy of motorized vehicles crossed the United States, departed Washington, D.C. (The trip ended in San Francisco on September 6, 1919.)

In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War erupted into full-scale conflict as Imperial Japanese forces attacked the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing.

In 1941, U.S. forces took up positions in Iceland, Trinidad and British Guiana to forestall any Nazi invasion, even though the United States had not yet entered the Second World War.

In 1952, the Republican National Convention, which nominated Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Sen. Richard Nixon for vice president, opened in Chicago.

In 1963, a Navy jet fighter from Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania crashed into a picnic area, killing seven people; the pilot, who ejected, survived.

In 1973, actress Veronica Lake, known for her “peek-a-boo” hairstyle, died in Burlington, Vt., at age 50.

In 1976, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford hosted a White House dinner for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1983, 11-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov.

In 1987, Lt. Col. Oliver North began his long-awaited public testimony at the Iran-Contra hearing, telling Congress that he had “never carried out a single act, not one,” without authorization.

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