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A Blast from the Past

By United Press International   |   July 9, 2002 at 3:20 AM

Today is July 9.


Many consider this event to mark the beginning of the rock 'n' roll music era. On this date in 1955, Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit No.1 on Billboard magazine's pop singles chart, then known as the "Best Sellers in Stores" chart. Nearly, half a century later, it's still rockin'.


The first Wimbledon tennis tournament was held on this date in 1877 at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club outside London. Twenty-one amateurs showed up to compete in the Gentlemen's Singles tournament, the only event at the first Wimbledon. Women didn't join the field until 1884.


Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, died suddenly of cholera on this date in 1850 after only 16 months in office. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.


The Italian campaign in World War II began on this date in 1943, when American, Canadian and British forces invaded Sicily.


Washington was quite alarmed after new Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared himself a communist. After all, Cuba was just 90 or so miles south of Florida -- too close for comfort. But on this date in 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened to attack the United States with rockets if American forces attempted to oust Cuba's communist government.


On this date in 1992, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton picked Tennessee's Sen. Al Gore as his running mate.


We now return you to the present, already in progress.

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