July 7 (UPI) -- On this date in history:
In 1850, U.S. President Zachary Taylor died suddenly of cholera. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore.
In 1868, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing African-Americans full citizenship and all people in the United States due process under the law.
In 1877, the first Wimbledon tennis tournament was contested at the All-England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club.
In 1893, Chicago surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the first successful open-heart surgery.
In 1943, U.S., Canadian and British forces invaded Sicily during World War II.
In 1947, Florence Blanchfield is appointed lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, becoming the first woman to hold a permanent military rank.
In 1955, Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine's best-seller records chart, marking what some consider the beginning of the rock 'n' roll era.
In 1960, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened the United States with rockets if U.S. forces attempted to oust the communist government of Cuba.
In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 jetliner crashed in Kenner, La., shortly after takeoff from New Orleans, killing 154 people.
In 1992, Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Clinton picked U.S. Sen. Al Gore, D-Tenn., as his running mate.
In 1993, British and Russian scientists identify the remains of the last Russian czar's family found in a shallow grave in Yekaterinburg two years before.
In 2002, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game ended in an 11-inning 7-7 tie when Commissioner Bud Selig halted proceedings, saying the teams had run out of pitchers.
In 2004, a report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence accused the CIA and other intelligence agencies of producing false and misleading pre-war information about Iraq's weapons program.
In 2006, a S7 Airlines Airbus from Moscow taking children to a vacation area in Siberia crashed, killing about 120 of the 203 people aboard.
In 2010, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution condemning North Korea's alleged sinking of a South Korean naval vessel. North Korea repeatedly denied involvement in the attack that left 46 people dead..
In 2011, after more than half a century of struggle and violence that claimed an estimated 2 million lives, the Republic of South Sudan declared its independence from Sudan and became Africa's 54th nation.
In 2014, former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, convicted in February of bribery, money laundering and other offenses, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.