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Wednesday, July 1

June 23, 2015

Today is Wednesday, July 1, the 182nd day of 2015. There are 183 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1847 - The U.S. Post Office issues the first adhesive-backed stamps.

1867 - The provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario officially become the Dominion of Canada. As a dominion, Canada still owed its allegiance to the British crown and didn’t receive total independence until 1982.

1910 - South Africa becomes a dominion of the British Empire, after the British defeat the Dutch settlers in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under apartheid until the 1990s when black majority rule was established.

1916 - The British army attacks German lines at the start the First Battle of the Somme during World War I, sustaining their heaviest casualties ever in one day: 20,000 dead.

1921 - Revolutionaries Mao Zedong and Chen Duxiu, who turned to Marxism after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution victory in Russia, secretly meet in Shanghai and establish the Communist Party of China.

1926 - British and Portuguese reach agreement on boundary between what is now Angola and Namibia.

1961 - Algerians vote overwhelmingly for independence from France.

1962 - Rwanda and Burundi gain their independence from Belgium.

1963 - The U.S. Post Office inaugurates the postal zip-code system.

1966 - France withdraws all its armed forces from integrated military command of NATO, but remains a member of the organization.

1967 - China’s Communist Party proclaims overthrow of President Liu Shai Chi.

1969 - Denmark becomes the first country in the world to allow sale and production of pornography after adult censorship is lifted.

1974 - President Juan Peron of Argentina dies during third term in office.

1985 - Three explosions hit Rome, Madrid and Athens, killing one and injuring 39, a day after the last 39 hostages from a hijacked TWA jet in Lebanon were released.

1990 - Economies and social welfare systems of East and West Germany are officially merged.

1991 - After the democratic revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe, the Warsaw Pact is declared “nonexistent” at a final summit meeting in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

1994 - PLO leader Yasser Arafat drives from Egypt into Gaza, ending his 27-year roaming exile, returning to Palestinian land with all the trappings of a head of state.

1997 - After 156 years as a British colony, Hong Kong awakens to its first day as part of China. Prince Charles and former governor Chris Patten leave aboard the royal yacht Britannia.

1999 - Queen Elizabeth II opens Scotland’s first Parliament in nearly 300 years. An 18th century Scottish ballad by poet Robert Burns is sung instead of the traditional British anthem, “God Save The Queen.”

2004 - Saddam Hussein appears in an Iraqi court for the first time, scoffing at charges of war crimes and genocide and declaring himself still the president of Iraq.

2007 - Hong Kong marks a decade of Chinese rule with a colorful parade and a mass street protest to call for progress on democratic reform.

2011 — A defiant Moammar Gadhafi threatens to carry out attacks in Europe unless NATO halts its campaign of airstrikes against his regime in Libya.

2012 — A pro-democracy heckler interrupts a speech by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the swearing-in of Hong Kong’s new leader and tens of thousands march to protest Chinese rule on the 15th anniversary of the Asian financial hub’s return to Beijing’s control.

2013 — Demonstrations by millions across Egypt call for the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi.

2014 — The leader of the extremist group that has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria calls on Muslims around the world to flock to territories under his control to fight and build an Islamic state.

Today’s Birthdays:

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German philosopher and mathematician (1646-1716); George Sand (Armandine Dudevant), French author (1804-1876); Charles Laughton, British-born actor (1899-1965); James Cagney, U.S. actor (1904-1986); Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales (1961-1997); Sydney Pollack, U.S. director (1934-2008); Olivia de Havilland, British actress (1916--); Sir Seretse Khama, first president of Botswana (1921-1980); Twyla Tharp, U.S. dancer/choreographer (1941--); Deborah Harry, U.S. singer (1945--); Liv Tyler, U.S. actress (1977--); Carl Lewis, U.S. Olympic athlete (1961--); Pamela Anderson, Canadian-born actress (1967--).

Thought For Today:

The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there — L. P. Hartley, British author

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