This Week In History, July 13


by Dianne Hermann


“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

         – Winston Churchill           


Week of July 15-21, 2013


July 15

1870 – Georgia becomes last confederate state to be readmitted to U.S. after the Civil War ends in 1865.

1876 – Baseball’s first major league no-hitter occurs when the St. Louis Brown Stockings’ pitcher George W. Bradley throws a no-hitter against the Hartford Dark Blues.

1933 – Wiley Post begins his first solo flight around world. He is killed, along with friend Will Rogers, when their plane crashes in Alaska on August 15, 1935.

1954 – Boeing 707 becomes the first commercial jet transport plane tested in the U.S. The prototype, nicknamed “Dash 80,” serves as a flying lab until it is given to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 1972. Boeing goes on to build more than 14,000 jetliners.

1975 – Soyuz 19 and Apollo 18 launch and rendezvous in space two days later.


July 16

1769 – Father Junipero Serra founds Mission San Diego, the first mission in California.

1790 – U.S. Congress establishes District of Columbia, initially known as “the Federal City.” The nation’s capital moves from Philadelphia to Washington, DC in 1800.

1941 – Joe Dimaggio hits in his 56th straight game with the American League New York Yankees. The streak ends the next day in Cleveland, but Joe goes on to hit in the next 18 consecutive games. Willie Keeler of Baltimore holds the National League record with 45 consecutive hits during the 1896-97 season.

1999 – John F. Kennedy, Jr. (piloting a Piper Saratoga), his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette are killed in a plane crash off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.


July 17

1821 – Spain cedes Florida to the United States.

1955 – Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California. The Magic Kingdom covers 160 acres and costs $17 million to build.

1980 – Ronald Reagan formally accepts the Republican nomination for president.

1994 – Hulk Hogan beats Ric Flair to win WCW wrestling championship.

1995 – Forbes Magazine announces Bill Gates is the richest man in world ($12.9 billion).


July 18

1938 – Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan leaves New York for California in his modified Curtiss Robin. He lands in Dublin, Ireland (his unapproved destination) 28 hours later.

1940 – Democrat National Convention nominates FDR for a third term as president.

1947 – President Harry Truman signs the Presidential Succession Act. The line of succession after the VP is Speaker of the House, President Pro Tem of the Senate, Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Defense, the Attorney General, Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, HHS, HUD, Transportation, Energy, Education, VA, and Homeland Security (as long as they are constitutionally eligible).


July 19

1848 – The first US women’s rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York, to discuss women’s social and political equality. Nearly 300 people attend the 2-day convention.

1945 – USS submarine Cod saves 56 sailors from the sinking Dutch sub O-19 in the only international sub-to-sub rescue in history. After being mothballed, recommissioned, and decommissioned, the USS Cod opens for public tours in 1976 and is designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. She is now docked in Lake Erie at Cleveland, Ohio.

1961 – TWA shows the first in-flight movie (MGM’s “By Love Possessed” starring Lana Turner and Efrem Zimbalist Jr.)

1985 – Christa McAuliffe is chosen as the first teacher to fly in a space shuttle. She is killed on January 28, 1986, during the Space Shuttle Challenger launch.


July 20

1881 – Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull, a fugitive since the 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn, surrenders to federal troops and is forced onto a reservation. He was shot and killed in 1890 while being arrested by U.S. and Indian agents who feared he would lead an uprising.

1921 – Congresswoman Alice Mary Robertson (R-OK) becomes the first woman to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives. She is only the second woman ever elected to Congress. Jeanette Rankin (R-MT) is the first in 1916.

1942 – The first detachment of Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) begins basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa. There were 440 officer candidates (average age 30) and 125 enlisted women (average age 24).

1969 – Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. flying in Apollo 11 (The Eagle) become the first men to land on the moon.

1976 – Hank Aaron hits home run #755, his final major league homer, off Angels’ pitcher Dick Drago. Babe Ruth set the home run record at 714 in 1927. Aaron plays his last game on October 3rd and is inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1982.


July 21

1865 – Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in Springfield, Missouri, after quarreling over a card game. This is the first recorded example of two men taking part in a quick-draw duel. The following month Hickok is acquitted of murder after pleading self-defense.

1873 – Jesse James and James Younger’s gang commit their first train robbery (Rock Island Line) near Adair, Iowa.

1925 – The Monkey Trial ends when Tennessee high school biology teacher John Scopes is found guilty of teaching Darwinism. He is fined $100. The defense attorney is Clarence Darrow. The prosecutor is three-time Democrat nominee for president William Jennings Bryant, who dies five days after the trial.

1969 – Neil Armstrong walks on the moon saying, “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.”

1974 – The House Judiciary approves two Articles of Impeachment against President Nixon. Nixon resigns on August 9th.

2011 – NASA’s Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135. NASA’s space shuttle program began with its first launch (Columbia mission STS-1) on April 12, 1981.