Wednesday July 03, 2002

Today’s Highlight in

Forty years ago, on July 3, 1962, Algeria became independent after 132 years of French rule. 

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 1863, the three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops retreated. 

In 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union. 

In 1898, the U.S. Navy defeated a Spanish fleet in the harbor at Santiago, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War. 

In 1930, Congress created the U.S. Veterans Administration. 

In 1971, singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27. 

In 1986, President Reagan presided over a gala ceremony in New York Harbor that included the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty. 

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: The president of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel, was voted out of office as lawmakers from Slovakia blocked his re-election in parliament. 

Five years ago: In his first formal response to charges by Paula Jones of sexual harassment, President Clinton denied all allegations in her lawsuit, and asked a judge to dismiss the case. Lockheed Martin Corp. announced it was buying Northrop Grumman Corp. for $7.9 billion. (The merger fell apart when the Justice Department objected on antitrust grounds.) 

One year ago: Flashing the defiance that marked his 13 years in power, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic refused to enter a plea on war crimes charges in his first appearance before a U.N. tribunal at The Hague. General Electric’s $41 billion purchase of Honeywell International was vetoed by the European Union. It was the first time a merger of two U.S. companies was stopped solely by European regulators. 

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Ken Russell is 75. Jazz musician Pete Fountain is 72. Playwright Tom Stoppard is 65. Writer-producer Jay Tarses is 63. Singer Fontella Bass is 62. Actor Kurtwood Smith is 59. Actor Michael Cole (“The Mod Squad”) is 57. Country singer Johnny Lee is 56. Writer Dave Barry is 55. Actress Betty Buckley is 55. Rock singer-musician Paul Barrere (Little Feat) is 54. Actress Jan Smithers is 53. Former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier is 51. Talk show host Montel Williams is 46. Singer Laura Branigan is 45. Country singer Aaron Tippin is 44. Rock musician Vince Clarke (Erasure) is 42. Actor Tom Cruise is 40.  

Thought for Today: “The passionate belief in the superior worthwhileness of our children. It is stored up in us as a great battery charged by the accumulated instincts of uncounted generations.” — Ruth Benedict, American anthropologist (1887-1948).