The slave revolt led by Sengbe Pieh (later Joseph Cinqué) aboard the ship La Amistad took place off the coast of Cuba today in 1839. The event served to further ignite the abolition movement in the United States, and 160 years later was the subject of a mediocre film directed by Steven Spielberg.
On July 2, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg entered its second day. Union and Confederate troops clashed in huge numbers at places with names like Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, and Cemetery Hill.
In 1881 U.S. President James Garfield was shot by disgruntled lunatic Charles Guiteau after Guiteau, who possessed no diplomatic credentials of any kind, was refused an ambassadorship to Paris. Garfield didn’t actually die until September 19. Guiteau was eventually convicted of the assassination and hanged on June 30, 1882.
A race riot in East St. Louis, Illinois, resulted in the deaths of 48 people on this date in 1917.
Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 while attempting to circumnavigate the Earth along the equator. According to a shitty episode of a very shitty Star Trek series, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were abducted by aliens and transported to a planet on the other side of the galaxy for some incomprehensibly idiotic reason.
Speaking of shitty stories involving aliens, today is also the 60th anniversary of the Roswell UFO, when a high altitude weather balloon crashed into the New Mexico desert. Witnesses described a “large glowing object” and a “flying disc,” touching off a massive UFO craze throughout the U.S. Since the Roswell crash, elaborate and sensational theories have emerged to explain what “really” happened, theories that include recovered extraterrestrial corpses and alien autopsies, and government cover-ups at the highest level. Guys, it was a weather balloon and it was sixty years ago. Build a bridge.
Bret “the Hitman” Hart, the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, was born today in 1957.
On this date in 1961 Ernest Hemingway blew his own head off with a shotgun after his repeated attempts at walking head-first into spinning airplane propellers were thwarted by his son. Almost 44 years later, Ashley and I would laugh hysterically about this on our first date.
In 1964 U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed segregation in public places, racial discrimination in the workplace, and many discriminatory voter registration requirements.
Vladimir Nabokov, the ornery old perv who wrote Lolita, died on this date in 1977.
And finally, on July 2, 1986, Lindsay Lohan was born in The Bronx, New York. Moments after emerging from her mother’s uterus, a nurse pricked the bottom of little Lindsay’s foot and took a blood sample. Lindsay registered a blood alcohol content of 0.0% and tested negative for cocaine, neither of which has happened since.