July 24


1847: Mormon leader Brigham Young peered out of his covered wagon across the broad, empty Salt Lake valley and declared, “This is the place,” thus ending a three-year journey by 148 Mormon pioneers into the West from Illinois.

1862: Martin Van Buren, eighth U.S. president (1837-1841), died in Kinderhook, N.Y., at age 79.

1911: Hiram Bingham III re-discovered Machu Picchu, “the Lost City of the Incas.”

1935: The Dust Bowl heat wave reached its peak, sending temperatures to 109 degrees F in Chicago and 104 degrees F in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1936: Born this day: TV actors Ruth Buzzi (Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in), and Mark Goddard (Lost in Space).

1948: Marc Racicot, former Montana governor, former head of the Republican National Committee and one-time advisor to President George W. Bush, was born in Thompson Falls, Mont. His family moved to Libby, Mont., when he was age 4. He graduated from Libby High School in 1966.


July 25


1837: The first commercial use of an electric telegraph was successfully demonstrated by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone between Euston and Camden Town in London.

1946: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a comedy team at Club 500 in Atlantic City, New Jersey,

1965: Bob Dylan ‘went electric’ as he plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music. His performance was booed by a large number of spectators.

1976: Viking 1 took the famous photo of the “Face on Mars.”

1978: Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby,” was born.


July 26


1940: Born this day: singer Dobie Gray (“The In Crowd,” “Drift Away,” died 2011), and Ted Kennedy’s mistress Mary Jo Kopechne (drowned 1969).

1941: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indochina (now Vietnam), President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.

1943: Born this day: director Peter Hyams (Outland, Capricorn One); and singer Mick Jagger.

1946: Aloha Airlines began service from Honolulu International Airport.

1947: President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the U.S. National Security Council. President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 desegregating the U.S. military.

1951: Walt Disney’s 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland, premiered in London, England.

1953: Arizona Gov. John Howard Pyle ordered an anti-polygamy law enforcement crackdown on fundamentalist Mormons at Short Creek (now Colorado City), Ariz., which became known as the Short Creek raid. Approximately 400 people, including 263 children, were arrested in what was described as “the largest mass arrest of men and women in modern American history.”

1955: Theater director Margo Jones was killed in Dallas, Texas, by exposure to carbon tetrachloride fumes from her newly cleaned carpet.

1963: Syncom 2, the world’s first geosynchronous satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral.

1977: The National Assembly of Quebec imposed the use of French as the official language of the provincial government.

1989: A federal grand jury indicted Cornell University student Robert T. Morris Jr. for releasing the ‘Morris worm.’ He became the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.


July 27


1916: Born this day: saxophonist Skippy Williams (Duke Ellington orchestra, died 1994), and actor Keenan Wynn (Dr. Strangelove, died 1986).

1921: Researchers at the University of Toronto led by biochemist Frederick Banting proved that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar.

1929: The Geneva Convention of 1929, dealing with treatment of prisoners-of-war, was signed by 53 nations.

1940: The animated short A Wild Hare was released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.

1949: Born this day: singer Maureen McGovern (“The Morning After”), and child actress Susan Gordon (The Twilight Zone, My Three Sons, The Donna Reed Show, died 2011).

1953: Fighting in the Korean War ended with the signing of an armistice agreement.

2016: Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated to run for president by a major political party, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa.


July 28


1866: At the age of 18, sculptor Vinnie Ream became the first and youngest female artist to receive a commission from the U.S. government for a statue (of Abraham Lincoln, now displayed in the U.S. Capitol rotunda).

1896: The city of Miami, Florida, was incorporated.

1935: The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress had its inaugural flight.

1938: Mrs. Mary Carpenter, while vacationing on a cabin cruiser with her husband and children on the English Channel, burst into flames before their eyes and was reduced to a charred corpse in minutes. No one else was injured and the boat was undamaged.

1953: Insta-Burger King, the predecessor to Burger King, opened in Jacksonville, Fla.

1976: The Tangshan earthquake, measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 magnitude, flattened Tangshan in the People’s Republic of China, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851.


July 29


1905: Born this day: actors Clara Bow (“The It Girl,” died 1965), and Thelma Todd (Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, died 1935)

1924: Born this day: Black Dahlia, American waitress and murder victim (died 1947); actor Robert Horton (Wagon Train).

1948: After a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, opened in London.

1953: Born this day: director/producer Ken Burns; TV host Tim Gunn; Canadian musician Geddy Lee (Rush and Big Dirty Band); and musician Patti Scialfa (E Street Band).

1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1976: David Berkowitz (aka the “Son of Sam”) killed one person and seriously wounded another in the first of a series of shooting attacks in New York City.

1981: Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer.


July 30


1932: Walt Disney’s cartoon short Flowers and Trees premiered. It was the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award-winning cartoon short.

1947: Born this day: actors William Atherton (Looking for Mister Goodbar), and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

1965: President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law.

1975: Jimmy Hoffa disappeared from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.,, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He was never seen or heard from again, and was declared legally dead on this date in 1982.

2003: The last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly line in Mexico.