Good morning, it’s Thursday, July 3, the 184th day of 2014. There are 181 days left in the year. We’ll start the day in the mid-70s with a slight chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms. Temperatures should rise into the mid-90s this afternoon under a partly sunny sky before falling back into the 70s overnight.
On July 3, 1863—151 years ago today--the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett's Charge. After Confederate troops met strong resistance on July 2 from the Union flanks, General Robert E. Lee decided to use Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s 1 Corps to strike the center of the fishhook-shaped Union line. Gen. George Pickett’s men led the assault, but the Confederates were again repulsed. (It was the first time Pickett led the division he commanded into battle.)
Gettysburg, with 51,000 casualties, was a turning point in the Civil War. It ended General Robert E. Lee’s second invasion of the North, sent the Confederate Army back to Virginia and ultimately dashed the Confederacy’s hopes for independence. The war dragged on for almost two more years, however. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865 and General Joe Johnson the Army of the Tennessee on April 26. The final battle was fought on May 12, 1865 at Palmito Ranch in Texas. It ended in a victory for Confederate troops.
In 1913, during a 50th anniversary reunion at Gettysburg, Civil War veterans re-enacted Pickett's Charge, which ended this time with embraces and handshakes between the former enemies.
Today's Highlight in Local History:
On July 3, 2002, the Spirit of the Rivers paddle wheeler was christened on Lake Brazos in Waco.
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, Massachusetts.
In 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union.
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 from the Germans.
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 1974, President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a treaty in Moscow limiting the size of underground nuclear weapons tests.
In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
In 1996, Russians went to the polls to re-elect Boris Yeltsin president over his Communist challenger, Gennady Zyuganov, in a runoff.
Ten years ago:
: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan won a promise from Sudan's government to send troops to stop militia violence in the Darfur region. Maria Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title by beating Serena Williams 6-1, 6-4 at Wimbledon. Former Soviet cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev died in Cheboksary, Chuvash Autonomous Republic, at age 74.
Five years ago:
In a surprise announcement, Sarah Palin said she would resign as Alaska governor, effective July 26, 2009. Vice President Joe Biden visited Baghdad, where he pressed Iraqi leaders to do more to foster national reconciliation and offered U.S. assistance in achieving that goal. Businessman John S. Barry, who turned rust-fighter WD-40 into a household brand, died in La Jolla, California, at age 84.
One year ago:
Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown by the military after just one year by the same kind of Arab Spring uprising that had brought the Islamist leader to power.
Actor Tim O'Connor is 87. Jazz musician Pete Fountain is 84. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 77. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 75. Attorney Gloria Allred is 73. Folk singer Judith Durham (The Seekers) is 71. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 71. Actor Michael Cole (TV: "The Mod Squad") is 69. Country singer Johnny Lee is 68. Humorist Dave Barry is 67. Actress Betty Buckley is 67. Rock singer-musician Paul Barrere (Little Feat) is 66. Actress Jan Smithers is 65. Actor Bruce Altman is 59. Former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier is 63. Talk show host Montel Williams is 58. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 56. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 54. Actor Tom Cruise is 52. Actor Thomas Gibson is 52. Actress Hunter Tylo is 52. Actress Connie Nielsen is 50. Actress Yeardley Smith is 50. Singer Ishmael Butler is 45. Rock musician Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) is 45. Actress-singer Shawnee Smith is 45. Actress-singer Audra McDonald is 44. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 43. Actor Patrick Wilson is 41. Country singer Trent Tomlinson is 39. Actress Andrea Barber is 38. Singer Shane Lynch (Boyzone) is 38. Actor Ian Anthony Dale is 36. Actress Elizabeth Hendrickson is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Tonia Tash (Divine) is 35. Country singer-songwriter Sarah Buxton is 34. Actress Olivia Munn is 34. Actress Shoshannah Stern is 34. Actor Grant Rosenmeyer is 23. Actress Kelsey Batelaan is 19.
Thought for Today:
"The trouble with life isn't that there is no answer, it's that there are so many answers." - Ruth Benedict, American anthropologist (1887-1948).