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Tuesday July 02, 2002

Today’s Highlight in History: 

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States.” 

On this date: 

In 1881, President Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. 

In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act. 

In 1926, the U.S. Army Air Corps was created. 

In 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight at the equator. 

In 1961, author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. 

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress. 

In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual. 

In 1990, more than 1,400 Muslim pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel leading to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. 

In 1994, a US Air DC-9 crashed in poor weather at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing 37 of the 57 people aboard. 

In 2000, opposition candidate Vicente Fox won Mexico’s presidential elections, ending the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s 71-year reign. 

Ten years ago: The Labor Department reported that the nation’s unemployment rate the previous month had risen to an 8-year high of 7.8 percent, compared to 7.5 percent in May. President George H.W. Bush vetoed the so-called “motor-voter” registration bill. (President Clinton later signed a revised version into law). 

Five years ago: Actor James Stewart died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 89. 

One year ago: Robert Tools received the world’s first self-contained artificial heart in Louisville, Ky. (He lived 151 days with the device.) Vice President Dick Cheney returned to work, flashing an “OK” sign to reporters two days after receiving a new pacemaker. A year to the day after his stunning election victory, President Vicente Fox surprised Mexico again by marrying his spokeswoman and longtime love, Martha Sahagun. 

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Marvin Rainwater is 77. Actor Brock Peters is 75. Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 73. Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal is 72. Actor Robert Ito is 71. Actress Polly Holliday is 65. Former White House chief of staff John Sununu is 63. Actor Ron Silver is 56. Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson, is 55. Actor Saul Rubinek is 54. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 53. Actress-model Jerry Hall is 46. Actor Jimmy McNichol is 41. Rock musician Dave Parsons (Bush) is 37. Actress Yancy Butler is 32. Singer Michelle Branch is 19. Actress Vanessa Lee Chester is 18. Actress Lindsay Lohan is 16.