Today is Sunday, July 1, the 183rd day of 2012. There are 183 days left in the year. This is Canada Day.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 1, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the first Pacific Railroad Act "to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri river to the Pacific ocean."
On this date:
In 1863, the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, resulting in a Union victory, began in Pennsylvania.
In 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain as the British North America Act took effect.
In 1910, Chicago's original Comiskey Park held its opening day under the name White Sox Park. (The home team lost to the St. Louis Browns, 2-0.)
In 1912, American aviator Harriet Quimby, 37, was killed along with her passenger, William Willard, when they were thrown out of Quimby's monoplane during a flight at the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet.
In 1942, the First Battle of El Alamein began during World War II. Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra and vocalist Frank Sinatra recorded "There Are Such Things" in New York for Victor Records.
In 1946, the United States exploded a 20-kiloton atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
In 1961, Diana, the princess of Wales, was born in Sandringham, England. (She died in a 1997 car crash in Paris at age 36.)
In 1962, the African nations of Burundi and Rwanda became independent of Belgium.
In 1972, the rock musical "Hair" closed on Broadway.
In 1980, "O Canada" was proclaimed the national anthem of Canada.
In 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated federal appeals court judge Robert H. Bork to the Supreme Court, setting off a tempestuous confirmation process that ended with Bork's rejection by the Senate.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated federal appeals court judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, beginning an ultimately successful confirmation process marked by allegations of sexual harassment. The Warsaw Pact formally disbanded. Actor Michael Landon, 54, died in Malibu, Calif.
In 2004, actor Marlon Brando died in Los Angeles at age 80.
Ten years ago: The world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, the International Criminal Court, came into existence. A U.S. airstrike against several villages in Afghanistan killed 48 civilians, according to Afghan officials (a U.S. investigation confirmed 34 deaths). A Russian passenger jet collided with a cargo plane over southern Germany, killing all 69 people on the Russian plane and the two cargo jet pilots. Chile's Supreme Court ruled that former dictator General Augusto Pinochet was suffering from dementia and dropped all charges against him for human rights violations during his regime.
Five years ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Kennebunkport, Maine, for an overnight visit at the Bush family estate and talks with President George W. Bush. Princes William and Harry celebrated the life of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 46th birthday with a concert they'd organized at London's Wembley Stadium. Golfer Cristie Kerr won the U.S. Women's Open.
One year ago: Leon Panetta took over as U.S. secretary of defense after 2½ years as director of the CIA. Six weeks after ex-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed that he'd fathered a child with a member of his household staff, Maria Shriver filed divorce papers seeking to end their 25-year marriage. In Minnesota, the state government shut down after legislators could not agree on a budget; the shutdown lasted nearly three weeks. The NBA locked out its players, a long-expected move that put the 2011-12 season in jeopardy. (The lockout ended in Dec. 2011 with the adoption of a new collective bargaining agreement.)
Today's Birthdays: Actress Olivia de Havilland is 96. Actress-dancer Leslie Caron is 81. Actress Jean Marsh is 78. Actor Jamie Farr is 78. Bluesman James Cotton is 77. Actor David Prowse is 77. Cookiemaker Wally Amos is 76. Actress Karen Black is 73. Dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp is 71. Actress Genevieve Bujold is 70. Gospel singer Andrae Crouch is 70. Rock singer-actress Deborah Harry is 67. Movie-TV producer-director Michael Pressman is 62. Actor Daryl Anderson is 61. Actor Trevor Eve is 61. Actor Terrence Mann is 61. Rock singer Fred Schneider (B-52's) is 61. Pop singer Victor Willis (Village People) is 61. Actor-comedian Dan Aykroyd is 60. Actress Lorna Patterson is 56. Actor Alan Ruck is 56. Rhythm-and-blues singer Evelyn "Champagne" King is 52. Olympic gold medal track star Carl Lewis is 51. Country singer Michelle Wright is 51. Actor Andre Braugher is 50. Actress Pamela Anderson is 45. Rock musician Mark Pirro is 42. Rock musician Franny Griffiths (Space) is 42. Actor Henry Simmons is 42. Hip-hop artist Missy Elliott is 41. Actress Julianne Nicholson is 41. Actress Melissa Peterman is 41. Actress Liv Tyler is 35. Bluegrass musician Adam Haynes (Dailey & Vincent) is 33. Actress Hilarie Burton is 30. Actress Lynsey Bartilson is 29. Actor Evan Ellingson is 24. Actors Steven and Andrew Cavarno are 20.
Thought for Today: "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." — L.P. Hartley, British author (1895-1972).