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• On July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell rings out, summoning citizens to the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Although the historic document was adopted on July 4, the bell was not rung until it returned from the printer.
• On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at a popular swimming pool in Paris. Reard dubbed the swimsuit the “bikini,” inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test off Bikini Atoll.
• On July 4, 1957, Italian automaker Fiat debuts the “Nuova Cinquecento,” a redesigned version of a model it debuted in 1936. Fiat’s first 500-cc car, the “Il Topolino,” had space for two people and a top speed of 53 mph.
• On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the historic Civil Rights Act, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public places such as schools, buses, parks and swimming pools. It would help pave the way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
• On July 3, 1969, Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones is found dead in the swimming pool at at his home in England. Two years later to the day, in 1971, Jim Morrison dies of heart failure in a Paris bathtub. Both were 27 years old.
• On July 6, 1971, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, dies in New York City at age 69. A world-renowned jazz trumpeter and vocalist, he pioneered jazz improvisation and the style known as swing.
• On July 7, 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor, an Arizona court of appeals judge, to be the first woman Supreme Court justice. After the Senate unanimously approved her appointment, she was sworn in by Chief Justice Warren Burger on Sept. 25.
• 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 MPAA created the rating to better help parents determine whether a movie was child-appropriate.
• On July 9, 1993, British forensic scientists announce they have positively identified the remains of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II; his wife, Czarina Alexandra; and three of their daughters. The scientists used mitochondria DNA fingerprinting to identify the bones, which had been excavated from a mass grave two years earlier.
© 2017 King Features Synd., Inc.