On this Day July 3
1970 – An audience of more than 300,000 gathers for the second annual Atlanta Pop Festival, featuring the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Johnny Winter, Mountain, Procol Harum and Rare Earth.
1971 – The body of 27-year-old Doors frontman Jim Morrison is discovered by his girlfriend in the bathtub of their rented apartment in Paris, France. The cause of death was officially labeled heart failure, thus averting an autopsy under French law.
1863 – On the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end.
1985 – The sci-fi adventure/comedy “Back to the Future,” starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd and directed by Robert Zemeckis, opens in U.S. theaters. It becomes a cult classic, spawning two sequels, an animated series, a theme park ride, several video games, a series of comic books and a stage musical.
1986 – President Ronald Reagan, with First Lady Nancy Reagan by his side, presides over the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty. It re-opens to the public two days later during Liberty Weekend, celebrating the monument’s centennial.
1988 – While sailing through the Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy cruiser Vincennes shoots down an Iranian passenger jet that it mistakes for a hostile fighter plane. All 290 people on board are killed. The U.S. government admits to the error a month later, and in 1996, agrees to pay $62 million in damages to the families of the Iranians that perished in the attack.
1962 – Golden Globe-winning actor-producer Tom Cruise (“Risky Business,” “Top Gun,” “The Color of Money,” “Cocktail,” “Rain Man,” “Days of Thunder,” “A Few Good Men,” “The Firm,” “Jerry Maguire,” the “Mission: Impossible” movie franchise, “Edge of Tomorrow”)