On this Day July 2
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1776 – Convening in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress formally adopts Richard Henry Lee’s resolution for independence from Great Britain. The vote is unanimous, with only New York abstaining.
1881 – President James A. Garfield is shot while walking through a Washington, D.C. railroad station. Vice President Chester Arthur steps in as acting president while Garfield recuperates, but 80 days later, Garfield dies of blood poisoning and Arthur is inaugurated as 21st president. The assassin, 40-year-old Charles Guiteau, had stalked the president for weeks.
1937 – Aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappear over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to fly around the world. They were believed to be headed for Howland Island — about halfway between Hawaii and Australia — after taking off from Lae, New Guinea.
1964 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. The historic measure prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in public places as well as in employment, union membership and voter registration.
1994 – While attempting to land, US Air Flight 1016 crashes near Charlotte-Douglas Airport in North Carolina, killing 37 people and seriously injuring 16 others. Investigators determine that wind shear resulting from a thunderstorm caused the plane to plummet to the ground and strike a home.
1997 – “Men in Black,” starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, opens in U.S. theaters. The sci-fi-comedy action movie grosses more than $250 million domestically and helps establish Smith as one of Hollywood’s most bankable leading men.
1956 – Elvis Presley and his new band, The Jordanaires, record “Hound Dog” at RCA Studios in New York. It requires 31 takes to get the version Elvis likes, and the song becomes a No. 1 smash. The track was originally recorded four years earlier by Big Mama Thornton, whose version enjoyed seven weeks on top of the R&B chart.
2011 – Adele enters her seventh and final week at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart with “Rolling in the Deep.” The track, off her second album, “21,” goes on to capture Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video. Many music critics ranked it as the best song of 2011.