This Day in History: July 2

Amelia Earhart disappear over the Pacific; race riots erupt in East St. Louis, Ill.

On this day, July 2 ... 

1937: Aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappear over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight along the equator.

Also on this day:

President James Garfield.

President James Garfield. (AP, File)

  • 1881: President James A. Garfield is shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield would die the following September. (Guiteau would be hanged in June 1882.)
  • 1890: Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • 1892: The Populist Party (also known as the People's Party) opens its first national convention in Omaha, Neb.
  • 1917: Rioting erupts in East St. Louis, Ill., as white mobs attack black residents. Nearly 50 people, most of them black, are believed to have died in the violence.
  • 1961: Ernest Hemingway shoots himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.
  • 1962: The first Walmart store opens in Rogers, Ark.
  • 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law a sweeping civil-rights bill passed by Congress. 
  • 1976: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Gregg v. Georgia, rules 7-2 the death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual.
  • 1979: The Susan B. Anthony dollar coin is issued, the first circulating coin to feature a woman.
The trial of Erik Menendez, left, and Lyle Menendez was covered heavily by Court TV.

The trial of Erik Menendez, left, and Lyle Menendez was covered heavily by Court TV. (Getty Images, File)

  • 1996: Seven years after they shot and killed their parents in the family's Beverly Hills mansion, Lyle and Erik Menendez are sentenced to life in prison without parole.
  • 2002: Steve Fossett becomes the first man to fly nonstop solo around the world in a balloon.
  • 2014: Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who survived a bomber crash in the Pacific Ocean, spent weeks adrift at sea and then years as a Japanese prisoner of war and became the subject of a celebrated book and movie, dies in Los Angeles at age 97.
  • 2018: Rescue divers in Thailand find 12 boys and their soccer coach, who had been trapped by flooding as they explored a cave over a week earlier.
  • 2019: Alex Morgan’s first-half goal and Alyssa Naeher’s late, clutch penalty save lift the U.S. to a stunning 2-1 victory over England and advance the team to the Women’s World Cup final.
  • 2019: A jury finds decorated Navy SEAL Edward "Eddie" Gallagher not guilty on almost all charges he was facing, including murder and attempted murder, in the killing of a teenage Islamic State member in Iraq.