Today in History: July 2, Civil Rights Act signed into law

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, July 2, the 184th day of 2024. There are 182 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress prohibiting discrimination and segregation based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin.

Also on this date:

In 1776, the Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”

In 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau (gee-TOH’) at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September. (Guiteau was hanged in June 1882.)

In 1917, rioting erupted in East St. Louis, Illinois, as white mobs attacked Black residents; at least 50 and as many as 200 people, most of them Black, are believed to have died in the violence.

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

In 1962, the first Walmart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas.

In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gregg v. Georgia, ruled 7-2 that the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.

In 1979, the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin was released to the public.

In 1986, ruling in a pair of cases, the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action as a remedy for past job discrimination.

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

In 2002, Steve Fossett became the first person to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world nonstop in a balloon.

In 2018, rescue divers in Thailand found alive 12 boys and their soccer coach, who had been trapped by flooding as they explored a cave more than a week earlier.

In 2020, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on charges that she had helped lure at least three girls – one as young as 14 – to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. (Maxwell would be convicted on five of six counts.)

In 2022, the police chief for the Uvalde, Texas, school district stepped down from his City Council seat amid criticism of his response to the mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is 95. Actor Polly Holliday is 87. Racing Hall of Famer Richard Petty is 87. Former White House chief of staff and former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu is 85. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is 82. Writer-director-comedian Larry David is 77. Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) is 75. Actor Wendy Schaal is 70. Actor-model Jerry Hall is 68. Former baseball player Jose Canseco is 60. Race car driver Sam Hornish Jr. is 45. Former NHL center Joe Thornton is 45. Singer Michelle Branch is 41. Actor Vanessa Lee Chester is 40. Figure skater Johnny Weir is 40. Actor-singer Ashley Tisdale is 39. Actor Lindsay Lohan (LOH’-uhn) is 38. Soccer player Alex Morgan is 35. Actor Margot Robbie is 34. Singer-rapper Saweetie is 31. U.S. Olympic swimming gold medalist Ryan Murphy is 29.