On July 2 in ...
1698 — English inventor and engineer Thomas Savery is granted the first patent for a steam engine. However, he will not develop a commercially viable engine until the early 1700s.
1776 — The Second Continental Congress, representing Great Britain’s 13 American colonies, votes to approve a resolution of independence from Britain that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.
1823 — Brazil, the largest country in South Anerica, emerges as an independent nation after the final defeat of the Portugese crown loyalists in the province of Bahia.
1881 — Lawyer/preacher Charles Julius Guiteau, a disgruntled federal job seeker, shoots President James Garfield at the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, DC. Garfield will linger until dying on September 19 from an infection caused by the bullet wound.
1964 — President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.