On July 3, 1775: Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 1863: The three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a major victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.
In 1913: During a 50th anniversary reunion at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Civil War veterans re-enacted Pickett’s Charge, which ended with embraces and handshakes between the former enemies.
In 1944: During World War II, Soviet forces recaptured Minsk from the Germans.
In 1950: The first carrier strikes of the Korean War took place as the USS Valley Forge and the HMS Triumph sent fighter planes against North Korean targets.
In 1971: Singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.
In 1976: Israel launched its daring mission to rescue 106 passengers and Air France crew members being held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by pro-Palestinian hijackers; the commandos succeeded in rescuing all but four of the hostages.
In 1979: Dan White, convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison. (He ended up serving five years.)
In 1986: President Ronald Reagan presided over a gala ceremony in New York Harbor that saw the relighting of the renovated Statue of Liberty.
In 1988: The USS Vincennes shot down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.
In 1996: Russians went to the polls to re-elect Boris Yeltsin president over his Communist challenger, Gennady Zyuganov, in a runoff.
In 2003: The U.S. put a $25 million bounty on Saddam Hussein, and $15 million apiece for his two sons. (The $30 million reward for Odai and Qusai Hussein went to a tipster whose information led U.S. troops to their hideout, where the brothers were killed in a gunbattle.)
In 2013: Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown by the military after just one year by the same kind of Arab Spring uprising that had brought the Islamist leader to power.
Ten years ago: Novak Djokovic won his first Wimbledon, beating defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
Five years ago: A devastating truck bombing on a bustling commercial street in downtown Baghdad killed nearly 300 people. Actor Noel Neill, who played Superman’s love interest, Lois Lane, in both a movie serial and on TV, died in Tucson, Arizona, at age 95.