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1715 - The United States' first lighthouse was given authorization to be constructed at Little Brewster Island, Massachusetts.
1827 - In Boston, Massachusetts, the first public swimming school in the United States opened. For their first lesson, students were suspended from a rope attached to a pole to "learn the use of his limbs." Famous former students included: John Quincy Adams, and James Audubon.
1829 - The "typographer," the predecessor of the modern typewriter, was patented by William A. Burt. The typographer was a heavy machine made almost entirely of wood. Despite a neat and legible print, Burt was never able to write with his machine faster than he could with a pen.
1848 - Protesting slavery as well as the United States' involvement in the Mexican War, author Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his $1 poll tax and was casually arrested by a friend and put into jail. That night, a relative came by the jail and paid Thoreau's poll tax for him. When he woke in the morning, he was told he could leave. Thoreau angrily objected to this, and the constable threatened to use force to remove him. His written account of the experience was later read by Leo Tolstoi, and then by the young Mohandas K. Gandhi, and it persuaded them to advocate civil disobedience.
1877 - Cincinnati, Ohio, was the site of the first municipal railroad passenger service.
1899 - John L. Sullivan's last bareknuckle fight was on this date in Richmond, Mississippi, againt Jake Kilrain, and lasted 75 bruising rounds. In his future boxing contests, Sullivan wore gloves under the Marquess of Queensberry rules.
1934 - On the NBC Red network, "Home Sweet Home" debuted. The main characters were Fred, Lucy, Dick Kent and Uncle Will.
1938 - The United States Fish and Wildlife Service approved the first federal game preserve. It was located on 2,000 acres of land located in Utah.
1941 - Along with his orchestra, Sonny Dunham recorded the song that would become his theme song. "Memories of You" was the 11239th Bluebird record.
1945 - The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railaroad installed the first passenger train observation car.
1947 - Then United States President Harry S. Truman made the first surprise visit to Capitol Hill, by a President, since 1789; when "Give ’Em Hell Harry" snuck into his old Senate seat from when he was representing his native Missouri.
1950 - "The Gene Autry Show" started out on CBS on Sunday nights from 7 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Three years later, the show was moved to Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. The half-hour horse opera remained in that time slot for one year when it moved once again to Saturday night in the 7 p.m. slot.
1952 - A bloodless nationalist revolution overthrew the Egyptian monarchy and transformed Egypt into a republic. The nationalist movement was led by Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser (also spelled Gamal Abd El-Nasser), who four years later became president until his death in 1970. Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, created the short-lived United Arab Republic, and promoted socialist policies in Egypt.
1956 - Lieutenant Colonel Frank K. Everest became the fastest man alive when his experimental rocket plane Bell X-2 reached the speed of Mach 2.87, almost three times the speed of sound (about 1,900 mph-3,040 kph). Built by Bell Aircraft Company, the bullet-shaped research plane was dropped from a much bigger airplane to allow it to go higher and faster.
1962 - The first live television broadcast to Europe was sent by the "Telstar" communications satellite. From then on, the satellite was used to relay televisions programs between the United States and Europe.
1962 - Dawn Fraser of Australia became the first woman to swim the 100-meters in under one minute.
1966 - Frank Sinatra had his first #1 hit since 1960, with "Strangers in the Night". On Julay 2nd, the album’s title song made it to number one on the pop singles chart.
1969 - The single "One," by Three Dog Night earneed a gold record. It would be the group's first of seven million-sellers.
1972 - It was the 4th consecutive win for Eddie Merckx of Belgium at the Tour de France bicycling competition.
1982 - Actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed when a helicopter crashed on top of them during the filming for Twilight Zone: The Movie.
1984 - The first resignation of a Miss America occurred when 21-year-old Vanessa Williams, the first black winner of the pageant in its at-the-time 63-year history, reluctantly relinquished her title on this date. Nude, lesbian-like photographs of Williams and other young women, which were taken a few years earlier, were printed in Penthouse magazine that week. Miss America officials reeled from the embarrassment, and the beautiful Williams was attacked in the press. She ultimately survived the exposé, and later launched a successful singing and acting career.
1986 - Prince Andrew of England, fourth in line to the British throne and the Duke of York, married commoner Sarah Ferguson in Westminster Abbey. A global television audience of 300 million watched the lavish wedding ceremony.
1987 - In Cooperstown, New York, Billy Williams, Catfish Hunter and Ray Dandridge were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Also honored was St. Louis Cardinals/CBS radio announcer Jack Buck, the 11th person to receive the Ford Frick Award for broadcasters.