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Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Former Haiti for-life-totalitarian dictator, Jean-Claaude "Baby Doc," turns 56, today, July 3, 2007
By Sify.com

July 3, 1849, French forces enter Rome

Today is Tuesday, July 3, the 184th day of 2007. There are 181 days left in the year. Highlights in history on this date:

321 - Roman emperor Constantine, a Christian, proclaims, Sunday a day of rest and religious observance.

1583 - Russia's Czar Ivan the Terrible kills his son Ivan in a fit of rage.

1608 - Samuel de Champlain, French explorer, lays foundation of Canadian city of Quebec.

1778 - Prussia declares war on Austria, starting War of Bavarian Succession.

1849 - French forces enter Rome despite resistance by Giuseppe Garibaldi and restore Pope Pius IX.

1863 - Confederates are forced to retreat on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg, turning the fortunes in the American Civil War; 37,000 die on both sides in three days of battle.

1866 - Prussians defeat Austrians at Battle of Koenigraetz, deciding the Seven Weeks' War and effectively excluding Austria from a Prussian-dominated Germany.

1881 - Britain persuades Turkey to sign convention with Greece, whereby Greece gets Thessaly and parts of Epirus.

1896 - Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of Turkey, agrees to introduce self-government in Crete, but Greece continues to support insurgents.

1944 - Soviet forces retake Minsk from Germans, capturing 100,000 troops.

1950 - US and North Korean troops clash for first time in Korean War.

1954 - Food rationing, imposed during World War II, ends in Britain.

1962 - Algeria becomes independent after 132 years of French rule.

1971 - Indonesians vote in their country's first national election in 16 years.

1988 - The USS Vincennes shoots down an Iran Air jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard. The crew misidentified the plane as an Iranian F-14 fighter.

1991 - Yugoslav military commanders dispatch troops and tanks toward breakaway republics of Croatia and Slovenia but order troops to hold their fire unless attacked.

1993 - Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide signs an accord in New York with the Haitian military that will return him to office.

1994 - French troops and the rebels who oppose their presence skirmish briefly in Rwanda, the first time the French humanitarian mission has entered into combat.

1996 - Boris Yeltsin decisively defeats communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov for a second term as Russian president.

1997 - The Parliament of Western Samoa votes to amend the constitution to simplify the country's name to Samoa.

1998 - Colombia's second-largest guerrilla group, the ELN, releases 15 young women held hostage for two weeks, whom the rebels had accused of being army spies disguised as good Samaritans.

1999 - In their first match up in three years, world chess champion Garry Kasparov bests his key rival, Anatoly Karpov, to win the Siemens Giants chess tournament.

2000 - Opposition candidate Vicente Fox is declared the winner in Mexico's presidential elections in a stunning victory that ends the ruling PRI party's 71-year lock on the presidency.

2001- Fifteen female Falun Gong followers allegedly hang themselves at a labour camp in north-eastern China after being tortured by the camp staff. The Chinese government outlawed the spiritual movement in 1999.

2002 - A US gunship flying over Oruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan fires on civilian targets after mistaking celebratory gunfire at a wedding for hostile fire. The incident leaves at least 40 Afghan civilians dead and wounds 100 others.

2005 - Saudi anti-terror forces kill al-Qaeda's top leader in the kingdom in a dawn gun battle. But despite the Moroccan terrorist Younis Mohammed Ibrahim al-Hayari's death, the number of extremists has grown despite a two-year crackdown on militants.

2006 - At least 5,000 villagers in the southern Philippines flee their homes in nearly a week of sporadic clashes between Muslim guerrillas and pro-government militiamen.

Today's Birthdays: John Clare, English poet (1793-1864); Franz Kafka, Austrian author (1883-1924); Tom Stoppard, British playwright (1937--); Jean-Claude Duvalier, exiled President of Haiti (1951--); Ken Russell, British film director (1927--); Tom Cruise, US actor (1962--).

Thought For Today: To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer — Paul Ehrlich, American scientist.

Copyright Sify Ltd, 1998-2007

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