What Happened on July 3?

  • Dow Jones published the first stock average. (1884) The first average was published by Charles Dow under the name "Dow Jones Averages" and included nine railroads and two industrial companies. The stocks were listed in a two-page newsletter called Customer's Afternoon Letter, which was the beginning of the Wall Street Journal newspaper. Charles Dow founded the Dow Jones Industrial Average — as we know it today — 12 years later in 1896 with 12 industrial stocks and no railroads. Of the original 12, General Electric remains on the stock index.

  • U.S. President Bill Clinton denied allegations that he sexually harassed Paula Jones. (1997) President Clinton initially asked the judge to dismiss the charges. The charges were dismissed because Jones failed to demonstrate damages, but she was later awarded $850,000 U.S. Dollars in an out-of-court settlement agreed to by President Clinton. His statements during the pre-trial depositions, however, led to his later impeachment for obstruction of justice and perjury in regard to statements he made, claiming he didn't have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, an intern at the White House.

  • Two rock-and-roll icons, Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones and Doors front man Jim Morrison, died at age 27. (1969 & 1971) Both deaths were considered suspicious by fans. Jones was found at the bottom of his swimming pool three weeks after being fired from The Rolling Stones; his death was classified as "death by misadventure." Two years later, to the day, Jim Morrison was found dead in his Paris apartment bathtub. There was no autopsy, and Morrison's death was attributed to heart failure, though his biographers are fairly certain his death was the result of an accidental heroin overdose.

  • The last pair of Great Auks was killed, rendering the species extinct. (1844) Museums and collectors, wanting the rare penguin-like bird's skin and eggs, hunted the bird to extinction. The last pair of known birds was found in Iceland by three hunters, Jón Brandsson, Sigurður Ísleifsson and Ketill Ketilsson. The birds, which were incubating eggs, were strangled by Brandsson and Sigurour while Ketilsson smashed the eggs. There was one more reported sighting of a lone Auk in Newfoundland in 1852, which some scientists accept as the last sighting.

  • The New York Tribune newspaper embraced technology, being the first to use the Linotype machine and eliminating the need to set type by hand. (1886) The Linotype machine revolutionized printing, making it much easier and faster to assemble pages to print. The newspaper not only used it to print its editions, but also to print a book, The Tribune Book of Open-Air Sports. It was the first book published using the new technology. The newspaper was published from 1841 to 1967.

  • The "Mallard" set the world speed record for steam locomotives. (1938) The Mallard sped along at 125.88 miles per hour (202.58 kilometers per hour), breaking the previous record of 124 miles per hour (200.4 kilometers per hour) set by a German steam locomotive in 1936. The Mallard continues to hold the record today. It was in operation from 1938 to 1963 and was retired with nearly 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometers) under its wheels.

  • The newspaper Adresseavisen, the oldest newspaper still in print in Norway, began publication. (1767) The newspaper began as Kongelig allene privilegerede Trondheims Adresse-Contoirs Efterretninger, changing names many times before settling on its current name in 1927. The oldest known newspaper still in publication is the Swedish newspaper Post-och Inrikes Tidningar, which only prints online today. The German newspaper Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien, which began publishing in 1605, is accepted as the world's first newspaper.

  • Idaho became the 43rd U.S. state. (1890) After some difficulty as a territory — the U.S. federal government tried to split the Idaho territory between two existing states, Washington and Nevada — Idaho achieved its statehood. There is evidence of a human population in Idaho as far back as 14,500 years ago. The oldest known artifacts from North America were found near Twin Falls, Idaho.

  • Quebec City, Canada, the first permanent European settlement in North America, was founded. (1608) Samuel de Champlain founded the city, which is one of North America's oldest European settlements and is considered the first non-Spanish permanent settlement in North America. Other cities, such as Jamestown, Virginia, were settled earlier, but were initially established as commercial trading posts.

  • Czech-German writer Franz Kafka was born. (1883) Perhaps best known for his short story The Metamorphosis, Kafka's work not only was generally unknown during his lifetime, but also unpublished. He left his work to his friend Max Brod, with instructions that everything should be burned upon his death. Brod didn't honor these wishes and oversaw the publication of most of his work. Some of Kafka's work, called the Kafka papers, remain missing.

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