John Lewis dies
The young civil rights leader went on to serve 33 years in Congress
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In 1965, John Lewis was a 25-year-old civil rights leader. On March 7 of that year, police knocked Lewis to the ground and fractured his skull as he led hundreds of protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. Nationally televised images of the incident, which became known as “Bloody Sunday,” helped spur opposition to racial segregation. Lewis, who died on July 17 at age 80, later turned to politics and served for 33 years as one of the most liberal members of Congress. He announced in December 2019 that he had advanced pancreatic cancer. A horse-drawn carriage carried the former congressman’s body across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on July 26. The next day, Lewis became the first black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. Lewis’ wife of more than 40 years, Lillian Miles, died in 2012. Their son John Miles Lewis survives them.
Actress Olivia de Havilland, a star during the Golden Age of Hollywood, died on July 25 at age 104. De Havilland won two best actress Oscars and was best known for her roles in Gone With the Wind, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Heiress. She was also known for winning a 1944 lawsuit against Warner Bros. that weakened Hollywood’s studio system and for a longtime feud with her sister, Joan Fontaine, who was also an actress. She was less well known for her successful efforts, along with other politically liberal movie stars of the time such as Ronald Reagan, to oppose an alliance in Hollywood between liberals and Communists such as pro-Soviet screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
A group of international researchers found a British submarine that went missing during World War II near the island of Malta. The HMS Urge had 44 people on board when it vanished mysteriously during a trip to Egypt. According to CNN, the researchers say the submarine’s bow was ripped off almost completely. Besides this damage, the wreck is almost intact, sitting on the seafloor, facing Egypt. The researchers speculated that the submarine ran into a minefield off Malta. The crew members’ families are reportedly looking into building a memorial on Malta for the lost crew.
A woman who identifies as a man has sued a Roman Catholic hospital for refusing her a hysterectomy. St. Joseph Medical Center in Maryland is owned and run by a state-affiliated corporation but operates under Catholic directives that prohibit “direct sterilization” not required to cure a serious illness. The patient, Jesse Hammons, asked for the surgery as treatment for gender dysphoria, and the hospital ruled this an insufficient reason for the surgery. Hammons has filed a suit with the ACLU, claiming St. Joseph’s refusal violates the separation of church and state, since the corporation running the hospital receives state funds.
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