Today is Sunday, July 7, the 188th day of 2013. There are 177 days left in the year.
On this date:
In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison.
In 1898, the United States annexed Hawaii.
In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War erupted into full-scale conflict as Imperial Japanese forces attacked the Marco Polo Bridge in Beijing.
In 1941, U.S. forces took up positions in Iceland, Trinidad and British Guiana to forestall any Nazi invasion, even though the United States had not yet entered the Second World War.
In 1952, the Republican National Convention, which nominated Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for president and Sen. Richard Nixon for vice president, opened in Chicago.
In 1963, a Navy jet fighter from Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania crashed into a picnic area, killing seven people; the pilot, who ejected, survived.
In 1976, President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford hosted a White House dinner for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
In 1983, 11-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov (ahn-DROH'-pawf).
In 1987, Lt. Col. Oliver North began his long-awaited public testimony at the Iran-Contra hearing, telling Congress that he had "never carried out a single act, not one," without authorization.
Ten years ago: A chunk of foam insulation fired at shuttle wing parts blew open a gaping 16-inch hole, yielding what one member of the Columbia investigation team said was the "smoking gun" proving what brought down the spaceship in February 2003. NASA launched its second Mars rover, Opportunity, which arrived on the red planet in January 2004. A federal judge approved a settlement fining WorldCom $750 million for its $11 billion accounting scandal.
Thought for Today: "Only a mediocre person is always at his best." -- W. Somerset Maugham, English author and dramatist (1874-1965).
On July 7 -
In 1954, two versions of "Sh-Boom" were in the top ten: the original by The Chords was at number nine, and the cover version by a white group, The Crew-Cuts, was at number five.
In 1968, The Yardbirds broke up. Guitarist Jimmy Page formed the New Yardbirds, which became Led Zeppelin.
In 1971, Bjorn Ulvaeus (ul-VAY'-us) and Agnetha (ag-NET'-uh) Faltskog of Abba married in Verum, Sweden. They have since split up.
In 1979, the Montreaux Pop Festival in Switzerland presented its first country show. Barbara Mandrell and the Oak Ridge Boys were booed offstage, while the more traditional Roy Clark and Doc Watson were more warmly welcomed.
In 1980, the original lineup of Led Zeppelin gave its final show.
In 1995, Rod Stewart's jet made a forced landing after a mid-air collision with a bird. Aviation authorities called the incident "undramatic," but Stewart was visible shaken and said, "I nearly crashed."
In 2002, Michael Jackson made a bizarre appearance at a rally in New York to denounce the recording industry as racist and Sony chairman Tommy Mottola as devilish.
Today's Birthdays: Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen is 86. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough is 80. Rock star Ringo Starr is 73. Comedian Bill Oddie (TV: "The Goodies") is 72. Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) is 70. Rock musician Jim Rodford is 68. Actor Joe Spano is 67. Pop singer David Hodo (the construction worker of The Village People) is 66. Country singer Linda Williams is 66. Actress Shelley Duvall is 64. Actress Roz Ryan is 62. Actor Billy Campbell is 54. Actor Robert Taylor (TV: "Longmire") is 53. Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) is 51. Singer-songwriter Vonda Shepard (“Ally McBeal”) is 50. Actor-comedian Jim Gaffigan is 47. Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) is 47. Actress Amy Carlson is 45. Actress Jorja Fox is 45. Actress Cree Summer is 44. Actress Robin Weigert is 44. Actress Kirsten Vangsness is 41. Actor Troy Garity is 40. Actress Berenice Bejo (BEH'-ruh-nees BAY'-hoh) is 37. Actor Hamish Linklater is 37. Olympic silver and bronze medal figure skater Michelle Kwan is 33.