Today's Highlight in History:
On July 7, 1846, U.S. the annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.
On this date:
In 1865, four people were hanged in Washington, D.C., for conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.
In 1919, the first Transcontinental Motor Convoy, in which a U.S. Army convoy of motorized vehicles crossed the United States, departed Washington, D.C. (The trip ended in San Francisco on September 6, 1919.)
In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War erupted into full-scale conflict as Imperial Japanese forces attacked the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing.
In 1941, U.S. forces took up positions in Iceland, Trinidad and British Guiana to forestall any Nazi invasion, even though the United States had not yet entered the Second World War.
In 1952, the Republican National Convention, which nominated Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Sen. Richard Nixon for vice president, opened in Chicago.
In 1963, a Navy jet fighter from Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania crashed into a picnic area, killing seven people; the pilot, who ejected, survived.
In 1973, actress Veronica Lake, known for her "peek-a-boo" hairstyle, died in Burlington, Vt., at age 50.
In 1976, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford hosted a White House dinner for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1983, 11-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov.
In 1987, Lt. Col. Oliver North began his long-awaited public testimony at the Iran-Contra hearing, telling Congress that he had "never carried out a single act, not one," without authorization.
Ten years ago: A chunk of foam insulation fired at shuttle wing parts blew open a gaping 16-inch hole, yielding what one member of the Columbia investigation team said was the "smoking gun" proving what brought down the spaceship in February 2003. NASA launched its second Mars rover, Opportunity, which arrived on the red planet in January 2004. A federal judge approved a settlement fining WorldCom $750 million for its $11 billion accounting scandal. Hilary Lunke won the U.S. Women's Open.
Five years ago: A suicide bomber struck the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing at least 60 people. President George W. Bush met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for the first time at the Group of Eight summit in Hokkaido, Japan. Actress Nicole Kidman gave birth to a girl; she and her husband, country star Keith Urban, named their daughter Sunday Rose Kidman Urban.
One year ago: Jubilant Libyans chose a new parliament in their first nationwide vote in decades. The Obama administration declared Afghanistan the United States' newest "major non-NATO ally." Serena Williams beat Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to win a fifth Wimbledon singles championship; about five hours later, she and sister Venus were back on Centre Court to beat Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-5, 6-4 in the doubles final; it was the Williamses' fifth Wimbledon doubles title together. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank tied the knot with his longtime partner, Jim Ready, in a ceremony officiated by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Today's Birthdays: Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 86. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough is 80. Rock star Ringo Starr is 73. Comedian Bill Oddie (TV: "The Goodies") is 72. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 70. Rock musician Jim Rodford is 68. Actor Joe Spano is 67. Pop singer David Hodo (The Village People) is 66. Country singer Linda Williams is 66. Actress Shelley Duvall is 64. Actress Roz Ryan is 62. Actor Billy Campbell is 54. Actor Robert Taylor (TV: "Longmire") is 53. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 51. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard is 50. Actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan is 47. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is 47. Actress Amy Carlson is 45. Actress Jorja Fox is 45. Actress Cree Summer is 44. Actress Robin Weigert is 44. Actress Kirsten Vangsness is 41. Actor Troy Garity is 40. Actress Berenice Bejo is 37. Actor Hamish Linklater is 37. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 33. Rapper Cassidy is 31. Country singer Gabbie Nolen is 31. Actor Ross Malinger is 29.
Thought for Today: "Only a mediocre person is always at his best." — W. Somerset Maugham, English author and dramatist (1874-1965).