Thanks for the Memories

July 3rd finds the U.S. Department of Labor reporting the jobless rate has increased to 6.4% in June, which is the highest rate in almost a decade. It's estimated that more than 30,000 jobs were lost.

Independence Day is July 4th, and it's the official summer blowout for Americans to enjoy barbecues, pool parties, baseball and big summer movies, including "Freddy vs. Jason" "X2: X-Men United," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," "The Matrix Reloaded" and "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Buddy Ebsen dies at the age of 95 in Torrance, California. Ebsen was a popular song and dance man on Broadway before he landed the role of Jed Clampett on "The Beverly Hillbillies" television show. He was also originally cast as the Tin Man in "The Wizard of Oz," and he did several weeks of shooting on the film before having to give up the role to Jack Haley because the silver spray paint makeup was giving him breathing problems. Ebsen claimed some of his dancing footage made it into the film, but this was denied by the film's producers. He also enjoyed another hit television role as the title character in the "Barnaby Jones" television series.

President Bush admits on July 7th that intelligence about Iraq's pursuit of uranium from Africa for its weapons of mass destruction programs was flawed. George Tenet, director of the CIA accepts responsibility for allowing Bush to use a sentence about the African connection in a state of the union speech. On July 9th, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tells the Senate committee that the price on the war in Iraq is costing about $3.9 billion per month, which is double the figure of the estimate in April.

A report from an internal investigation at the Justice Department reveals on July 20th that the Justice Department, FBI, DEA and INS were guilty of widespread civil rights and civil liberties abuses while acting under the enforcement of the Patriot Act of 2001.

A report on July 24th from a joint panel of the House and Senate intelligence committees claims FBI and CIA failed to take 9/11-related al-Qaeda warnings seriously.

Bob Hope dies at age 100 in Toluca Lake, California, on July 27th. The American icon entertained generations of fans with his stand-up routines, and his series of "Road" films with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour are still getting laughs today. Hope started his career in vaudeville and migrated to radio in 1938.

The Department of Justice makes an announcement on July 28, which reveals the prison population has increased by 2.6% in 2002 to nearly 2.2 million.

On July 29th, the Pentagon closes the Policy Analysis Market inside the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The market would have allowed traders to bet on future terrorist attacks, assassinations and coups, but the program was shut down in one day after it was highly publicized. Also on July 29th, President Bush refuses to declassify portions of a congressional report, which allegedly accuses the Saudi Arabian government of assisting the 9/11 hijackers.

Helpful sites for July:

  • Bob Hope Dies - America's popular entertainer is remembered via interviews, pictures and movie files.
  •  USA Today: Buddy Ebsen Dies - Read about the star of television's Beverly Hillbillies and Barnaby Jones series.
  •  Craig's List - Find local job listings plus personal ads, classified ads and more.