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Today in History, July 2


1502 – Conflict between French and Spanish over the partition of Naples breaks out in open warfare in Italy.

1566 – French astrologer, physician and prophet Nostradamus dies in Salon-de-Provence.

1778 – Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Swiss-born French philosopher who introduced the concept of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, dies.

1800 – The Union Jack is adopted as the flag of Australia.

1819 – The Factory Act is passed in Britain, prohibiting employment of children under nine in textile factories.

1853 – The Russian army crosses the Pruth River, invading Turkey and beginning the Crimean War.

1890 – The Brussels Act is passed by an international conference to eradicate African slave trade and liquor traffic with primitive peoples.

1900 – A naval contingent leaves Sydney to help the British suppress China’s Boxer Rebellion.

1937 – US aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear during an attempt to cross the Pacific.

1940 – More than 750 prisoners and crew die when the British liner Arandora Star is torpedoed by a German submarine while transporting German and Italian prisoners to Canada.

1947 – An object crashes near Roswell, New Mexico. The US Army Air Force insists it is a weather balloon, but eyewitness accounts spark speculation it may have been an alien spacecraft.

1961 – American novelist Ernest Hemingway dies at 61.

1964 – US President Lyndon B Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act against racial discrimination.

1966 – France explodes an atomic bomb at a Pacific atoll in the first of six tests.

1973 – Betty Grable, American actress, singer and World War II pin-up girl, dies.

1976 – North and South Vietnam, divided since 1954, are reunited as one country with Hanoi the capital following the Vietnam War.

1989 – Tourists return to Tiananmen Square in China after a military crackdown on a pro-democracy movement.

1990 – 1400 Hajj pilgrims are trampled to death during a stampede in a pedestrian tunnel linking Mecca and a tent city.

1993 – Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop, an Australian army surgeon who worked tirelessly to help Australian POWs on the Thai-Burma Railway in World War II, dies aged 85.

1994 – Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar is slain in Medellin 10 days after he accidentally scored a goal against his team during a World Cup game against the US.

1997 – Oscar-winning US actor James Stewart dies aged 89.

1999 – Mario Puzo, the US author whose bestseller The Godfather spawned the Mafia film trilogy, dies.

2002 – US millionaire Steve Fossett becomes the first solo balloonist to circle the globe nonstop. He had flown nearly 31,380km around the southern hemisphere.

2004 – Marlon Brando, the reclusive Oscar-winning star of The Godfather and On the Waterfront, dies aged 80.

2007 – Indian-born Dr Mohamed Haneef is arrested at Brisbane airport over suspected links to a failed British terrorism plot. Charges against him are later dropped.

2008 – Colombia tricks rebels into freeing 15 hostages, including ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.

2011 – Hezbollah’s leader vows never to turn over four members of his Shi’ite militant group who have been indicted in the 2005 murder of former prime minister of Lebanon Rafik Hariri.

2012 – Physicists say they have all but proven the Higgs boson or “God particle” exists.

2014 – Lance Corporal Todd John Chidgey becomes the 41st Australian soldier to die in Afghanistan.

2015 – An Afghan appeals court overturns death sentences for four men over the killing of a woman who was beaten and set alight after she was wrongly accused of blasphemy.

2016 – The Australian federal election is held with the result in doubt for a few days, before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is eventually returned with a much-reduced majority for the coalition.

2017 – Australian boxer Jeff Horn beats Manny Pacquiao to claim the WBO world welterweight title in a points decision in Brisbane, one of the greatest upsets in boxing history.

2018 – New Zealander Scott Donaldson becomes the first solo kayaker to successfully cross the Tasman Sea.

2019 – Three men are arrested in counterterrorism raids in Sydney after police uncover an alleged Islamic State-inspired plot to attack several targets in the CBD.

Today’s Birthdays:

Christoph Willibald von Gluck, German composer (1714-1787); Sir Charles Tupper, Canadian prime minister (1822-1915); Sir William Bragg, British scientist and Nobel laureate (1862-1942); Herman Hesse, German writer and Nobel laureate (1877-1962); King Olaf V of Norway (1903-1991); Sir Alec Douglas-Home, British Prime Minister (1903-1995); Imelda Marcos, former Philippines first lady (1929-); Ron Silver, US actor (1946-2009); Roy Bittan, US musician (1949-); Jerry Hall, US model-actress (1956-); Jimmy McNichol, US actor (1961-); Matthew Reilly, Australian author (1974-); Daniel Kowalski, Australian Olympic swimmer (1975-); Lindsay Lohan, US actress (1986-); Margot Robbie, Australian actress (1990-).

Thought For Today:

The soul has more diseases than the body – Henry Wheeler Shaw, US author (1818-1885).

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