Today’s Highlight in History
On July 1, 1966: The Medicare federal insurance program went into effect.
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In 1863: The pivotal, three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, resulting in a Union victory, began in Pennsylvania.
In 1867: Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain as the British North America Act took effect.
In 1903: The first Tour de France began. (It ended on July 19; the winner was Maurice Garin.)
In 1944: Delegates from 44 countries began meeting at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, where they agreed to establish the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
In 1963: The U.S. Post Office inaugurated its five-digit ZIP codes.
In 1973: The Drug Enforcement Administration was established.
In 1991: President George H.W. Bush nominated federal appeals court judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, beginning an ultimately successful confirmation process marked by allegations of sexual harassment.
In 1997: Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years as a British colony.
In 2004: Actor Marlon Brando died in Los Angeles at age 80.
In 2009: Actor Karl Malden, 97, died in Brentwood, California.
In 2015: After more than a half-century of hostility, the United States and Cuba declared they would reopen embassies in each other’s capitals, marking a historic full restoration of diplomatic relations between the Cold War foes.
In 2019, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, the youngest player to qualify at Wimbledon in the professional era, defeated 39-year-old Venus Williams in the first round, 6-4, 6-4. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his room at the Texas hotel where the team was staying; the medical examiner found that Skaggs had a toxic mix of alcohol and the painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his body.
Ten years ago: Syria’s main opposition groups rejected a new international plan that called for a transitional government because the compromise agreement did not bar President Bashar Assad from participating. Voters in Mexico returned the Institutional Revolutionary Party to power. Tiger Woods won the AT&T National at Congressional in Bethesda, Maryland, closing with a 2-under 69 for the 74th win of his career.
Five years ago: Pope Francis declined to renew the mandate of German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases. (During Mueller’s five-year term, the congregation amassed a 2,000-case backlog and came under blistering criticism from abuse survivors.)
One year ago: The Supreme Court’s conservative majority cut back on a landmark voting rights law, in a decision likely to help Republican states fight challenges to voting restrictions that were put in place since the 2020 elections. Donald Trump’s company and its longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, were charged in New York in what prosecutors called a “sweeping and audacious” tax fraud scheme in which top executives allegedly failed to report compensation including free use of apartments and cars. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the most unyielding GOP critic of Trump, to serve on a new select committee looking into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.