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The History Channel


* On July 7, 1852, according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, Dr. John H. Watson is born. Coincidentally, the author died on this day in England at the age of 71. His first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887.


* On July 3, 1863, on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s last attempt at breaking the Union line ends in disastrous failure, bringing the most decisive battle of the American Civil War to an end. Exhausted, both armies held their positions until the night of July 4, when Lee withdrew.


* On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at a Paris swimming pool. A Parisian showgirl modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed “bikini,” inspired by a U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.


* On July 4, 1954, Marilyn Sheppard is beaten to death inside her home in Cleveland. Her husband, Dr. Sam Sheppard, claimed to see a man with bushy hair fleeing the scene, but the authorities charged Sheppard with killing his pregnant wife. Sheppard’s case provided the loose inspiration for the hit television show “The Fugitive.”


* On July 2, 1964, in a nationally televised ceremony, President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act met tough opposition in the House and a lengthy, heated debate in the Senate before being approved.


* On July 6, 1976, in Annapolis, Md., the United States Naval Academy admits women for the first time in its history with the induction of 81 female midshipmen. In May 1980, Elizabeth Anne Rowe became the first woman member of the class to graduate.


* On July 1, 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America, which oversees the voluntary rating system for movies, introduces a new rating, PG-13. The action film “Red Dawn,” starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, became the first PG-13 movie to be released in theaters.


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