A major Civil War battle ends, America gains a new state and summer blockbusters dominate theaters, all on this day in history.
1775: During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Mass.
1819: The Bank of Savings in New York City, the first savings bank in the United States, opens.
1863: The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminates with Pickett's Charge, as shown here in stereoscope panorama by photographer H.H. Bennett.
1883: Author Franz Kafka is born.
1884: Dow Jones and Company publishes its first stock average.
1886: Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent Motorwagen, widely regarded as the first automobile, that is, a vehicle designed to be propelled by a motor.
1890: Idaho is admitted as the 43rd U.S. state.
1922: "Fruit Garden and Home" magazine is introduced. It was later renamed "Better Homes and Gardens."
1940: Bud Abbott and Lou Costello debuts on NBC radio.
1951: Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" is released.
1952: The Constitution of Puerto Rico is approved by the United States Congress.
1956: Talk show host Montel Williams is born.
1962: Actor Tom Cruise is born.
1962: Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
1969: Former Rolling Stones member Brian Jones is found dead in his swimming pool at his Cotchford Farm, Hartfield, England, home.
1969: The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when the Soviet N-1 rocket (similar to the one seen here on its way to the launch tower) explodes and subsequently destroys its launchpad.
1971: The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison dies.
1979: U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.
1981: The Associated Press runs its first story about two rare illnesses afflicting homosexual men. One of the diseases was later named AIDS.
1985: "Back to the Future" debuts in theaters. The movie would go on to dominate the box office the rest of the summer, staying at No. 1 for 10 of the next 11 weeks.
1988: United States Navy warship USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard, after the crew mistakenly identified the civilian jet airliner as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter.
1991: "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" debuts in theaters.
1996: "Independence Day" debuts in theaters, making a movie star out of Will Smith and topping the box office charts for four-straight weeks.
2007: "Transformers" debuts in theaters.
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