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 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; nearly 50 people, mostly blacks, are believed to have died in the violence.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.
In 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gregg v. Georgia, ruled 7-2 the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.
In 1982, Larry Walters of San Pedro, California, used a lawn chair equipped with 45 helium-filled weather balloons to rise to an altitude of 16,000 feet; he landed eight miles away in Long Beach.
In 2014, Louis Zamperini, 97, an Olympic runner who survived a bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean, weeks adrift and then years as a Japanese prisoner of war and became the subject of a celebrated book and movie, died in Los Angeles.
In 2018, rescue divers in Thailand found 12 boys and their soccer coach, who had been trapped by flooding as they explored a cave more than a week earlier.