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July 3, 2013

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.

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.

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