July 3 in history

0793ANDYgriffithJuly 3, 2012, brought the passing of TV’s beloved Andy Griffith (left with West Virginia native Don Knotts at age 86 in Manteo, N.C., a stone’s throw from the Roanoke Island arena where he got his start as an actor in “The Lost Colony” during summers in high school.

He’s best remembered for playing the unassuming but wise country sheriff Andy Taylor in “The Andy Griffith Show” from 1960 to 1968 and Ben Matlock, a crime-solving country lawyer in “Matlock” from 1986 to 1995.

More than 50,000 Civil War veterans gather for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 3, 1913, when Confederate veterans recreated the doomed Pickett’s Charge, they were met this time not with gunfire, but by Union survivors’ outstretched hands.

In an address the following day, President Woodrow Wilson said: “We have found one another again as brothers and comrades in arms, enemies no longer, generous friends rather, our battles long past, the quarrel forgotten — except that we shall not forget the splendid valor.”

The Great Auk goes extinct on July 3, 1844. Men on the small Icelandic island of Eldey record in detail how they strangle the last pair of the large flightless seabirds as another man takes the couple’s egg from its nest and smashes it. The birds’ bodies are sold to collectors.


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