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July 1, 2000 – Busy news day for a holiday week. News that legendary comic actor Walter Matthau had died in Los Angeles earlier that morning. Matthau often referred to himself as ‘The Ukrainian Cary Grant” – but to millions of Americans and audiences all over the world, he was the quintessential grouchy comic. Probably best known for his pairing with Jack Lemmon in The Odd Couple, The Fortune Cookie and countless others. But to many, that vastly understated Matthau’s talents. Walter Matthau’s stage and movie career spanned more than a half century and was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one in 1966 for Best Supporting Actor in The Fortune Cookie.
In other news – to cheer and jeers, the Confederate flag was lowered from the State House in South Carolina and replaced with a much smaller banner from a new flagpole on the State House grounds. Governor Jim Hodges said it was time for the state to move forward, and opinions were divided over the presence of the flag at all to the removal of the flag as a historic reminder. The NAACP was still actively boycotting the state until South Carolina completely removed the Confederate flag in any form from the State Capitol.
And New York City was planning a huge Fourth of July celebration, planning on dwarfing the massive customary celebrations of New Years Eve in Times Square. New York Officials claimed this year’s Fourth was going to be the biggest security operation in New York’s history. With an estimated 28,000 police officers on the streets, that was the most police officers ever used by the city at one time. The city was also planning on the biggest Maritime celebration of the Fourth. With hundreds of Navy and tall ships, the piers along the East and Hudson rivers were being swept for mines while Navy divers were being deployed and surveillance cameras were being installed all along the parade routes.
And that a small slice of the news that went on, this July 1st in 2000 as reported by CBS Radio.