What Happened Today in History in July?

July 1, 1997

Hong Kong returned to China. Read a New York Times article about the transfer of power from Great Britain to China.

July 2, 1881

President Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau. He died a few months later on September 19. Was his death related to being shot? Read this primary source to find out!

July 3, 1863

General Pickett led an infamous charge. Do you know what battle it was during? Watch this video to see if you were right.

July 4, 1826

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died. Did the two men ever become friends? Visit PBS to learn about their political rivalry. Read at least one letter Jefferson sent to Adams here. Read at least one letter Adams sent to Jefferson here (scroll down and pick the volume that says Thomas Jefferson).

July 5, 1975

Arthur Ashe became the first African American man to win Wimbledon. Learn more about his life here.


July 6, 1946

"Bugs" Moran was arrested. Why? Watch this video to learn a little about him and then explore the FBI's vault.

July 7, 1900

Warren Earp, the youngest brother of Wyatt, Virgil, and Morgan, was killed in a bar fight. Warren was not involved in the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, but after the murder of Morgan and the wounding of Virgil, Warren joined up with Wyatt and Doc Holiday to take vengeance on the murders. View a timeline of Wyatt Earp's life to learn about what led up to the events at the O.K. Corral and what followed. For more information, read an article about Warren Earp.

July 8, 1918

Earnest Hemingway was wounded on the Western Front. His experiences helped him write what book? Watch this video to see if you were right.

July 9, 1850

President Zachary Taylor died. How did he die? Read this brief article to learn about his death. Why was his body exhumed in 1991? Watch this video to find out!

July 10, 1962

Patent for the three-point seat belt is issued. Check out the patent. 

July 11, 1804

Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Why? Read about it here.

July 12, 1984

Geraldine Ferraro was names the first female vice-presidential candidate for a major political party in the U.S.. Watch a NY Times video about her.

July 13, 1787

U.S. Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance. Examine the document here.

July 14, 1881

Billy the Kid was shot and killed. View a timeline of his life and then read an account of his murder.

July 15, 1606

Rembrandt was born. Visit the J. Paul Getty Museum to read a brief biography and view some of his work.

July 16, 1945

The fist atomic bomb was successful tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico during the Trinity test. Explore the Department of Energy's site on the Manhattan Project.

July 17, 1955

Walt Disney opened Disneyland in California. Learn about its construction here.

July 18, 1863

Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and 116 of his men from the 54th Massachusetts Infantry were killed in an assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina.View the casualty list and then learn about this history of the regiment here.

July 19, 1799

The Rosetta Stone was found. Visit the British Museum to learn why it was important.

July 20, 1969

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Go to NASA and watch this historic act.

July 21, 1925

The "Trial of the Century" also known as the Scopes "Monkey" Trial ended. Read the article about the trial - be sure to click on the links to view the primary sources! Then listen to some songs.

July 22, 1934

John Dillinger was shot and killed. Read the FBI criminal files about this mobster and then view a New York Times article about his death.

July 23, 1914

Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Do you know why? Read this primary source to see if you were right.

July 24, 1911

Machu Piccu was discovered. Read about it here.

July 25, 1898

Puerto Rico was invaded during the Spanish-American War. Visit the Library of Congress and learn more about Puerto Rico's role during the war.

July 26, 1956

Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. Go to the BBC to learn why the world cared.

July 27, 1794

Robespierre was overthrown. Watch this Crash Course to learn who he was and why he was overthrown.

July 28, 1932

Eviction of the Bonus Army. Listen to a NPR story about the event.

July 29, 1862

Confederate spy, Belle Boyd, was captured. Watch a short video about her.

July 30, 1965

President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law. Visit the National Archives to get a little history and view the law.

July 31, 1777

Marquis de Lafayette joins the Continental Army as a Major-General. Go to the History Channel to learn more about him.

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