This Week in History – July 5, 2017

July 5


        1865: William Booth founded the Christian Mission (now the Salvation Army) in London.

1934: Police opened fire on striking longshoremen in San Francisco, killing six and injuring several more.

1937: Spam, the canned meat, was introduced by the Hormel Foods Corporation.

1946: The bikini went on sale after debuting during an outdoor fashion show in Paris, France.

1950: The Israeli Knesset passed the Law of Return that granted all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.

1973: A catastrophic BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) occurred in Kingman, Ariz., following a fire that broke out as propane was being transferred from a railroad car to a storage tank. Eleven firefighters were killed.

1975: Arthur Ashe became the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.

  1982: Born this day: musician Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum) and Seattle Seahawks player Tony Jackson.

  1996: Dolly the sheep became the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.

1999: President Bill Clinton imposed trade and economic sanctions against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

2006: Two members of the Imperial Klans of America beat Jordan Gruver, 16, a Native American of Panamanian descent, at a county fair in Kentucky. The two Ku Klux Klan thugs were wearing Confederate flag patches as a symbol of their hatred for non-whites, Jews and Catholics.

2009: The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, consisting of more than 1,500 items, was found near the village of Hammerwich in Staffordshire, England.


July 6


  1785: The dollar was unanimously chosen as the monetary unit for the United States.

  1854: The first convention of the U.S. Republican Party was held, in Jackson, Mich.

  1885: Louis Pasteur announced that he had perfected the rabies vaccine.

1892: In Homestead, Pa., 3,800 striking steelworkers engaged in a day-long battle with Pinkerton agents, leaving 10 dead and dozens wounded.

1923: Frank Hayes, a jockey at Belmont Park, New York, died of a heart attack during his first race. His mount finished first with his body still attached to the saddle. He was only discovered to be dead when the horse’s owner went to congratulate him. He remains the first and only jockey to win a race after dying.

1933: The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played, in Chicago’s Comiskey Park. The American League defeated the National League 4-2.

1935: Born this day:  model, stripper, dancer, and actress Candy Barr (died 2005), and the 14th Dalai Lama.

1937: Born this day: actor Ned Beatty (Silver Streak, Network, Deliverance), and musician/songwriter Gene Chandler (Duke of Earl).

1939: The last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany were forced to close by the Nazi regime, ruining the German economy and signaling the decline and ultimate collapse of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

1942: Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

1944: The Hartford Circus Fire occurred when a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus tent in Hartford, Conn., caught fire during an afternoon performance attended by approximately 7,000 people. The blaze killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. (The circus orchestra played John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever as a signal of life-threatening emergency to the circus performers and worker.)

1947: The AK-47 went into production in the Soviet Union.

1957: John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles.

1998: Movie cowboy Roy Rogers (original name Leonard Slye) died in Victorville, Calif., at age 86.

2009: The Ku Klux Klan of North Carolina was ordered to pay $25,000 in damages to the Rhino Times for placing inserts in some copies of the paper, leading readers to believe the paper supported the racist group. KKK members waved Confederate flags outside the courthouse during the civil trial as a symbol of their hatred for non-whites, Jews and Catholics.

2013: A 73-car oil train from the Bakken derailed in the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and exploded into flames, killing at least 47 people and destroying more than 30 buildings in the town’s central area.


July 7


  1456: At a retrial, Joan of Arc was acquitted of heresy, 25 years after she was burned at the stake.

  1863: The first military draft in the United States began. Exemptions could be bought for $300.

  1865: Four conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, including Mary Suratt, were hanged in Washington, D.C.

  1. President William McKinley annexed Hawaii as a territory of the United States.

  1928: Sliced bread was sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.

  1930: Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser began construction of the Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam).

1947: A supposedly alien spaceship crashed near Roswell, New Mexico.

1954: Elvis Presley made his radio debut when WHBQ Memphis played his first recording for Sun Records, “That’s All Right.”

1958: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into law, allowing Alaska to become a state on Jan. 3, 1959.

1980: Islamic Sharia law was instituted in Iran.   1981: President Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female member of the  U.S. Supreme Court.

1983: Samantha Smith, an 11-year-old U.S. schoolgirl, flew to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Secretary General Yuri Andropov.

1993: Mia Zapata, lead singer of ‘The Gits,’ was beaten, raped and strangled to death in Seattle, age 27, joining The 27 Club.


July 8


  1777: Vermont became the first state to abolish slavery.

1878: The corncob pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe.

1924: British mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew C. Irvine died about 1,000 feet short of the summit of Mount Everest. (Mallory’s frozen, dehydrated body was discovered by climbers in 1998. He was identified by the name tags sewn into his clothing. The remains of Irvine have never been discovered.)

1951: Paris celebrated its 2,000th birthday.

1965: Aviation pioneer and legendary movie stunt pilot Paul Mantz, 61, died in Yuma, Ariz., during the filming of The Flight of the Pheonix. With three motion picture cameras filming, his plane hit a small sand dune, overturned and disintegrated. He died instantly.

1993: Garry Hoy, a Toronto lawyer, fell to his death after he threw himself through a glass wall on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in order to demonstrate to a group of legal interns that the glass was “unbreakable.”

2013: Jordan Linn Graham, 22, shoved her husband of seven days, Cody Lee Johnson, 25, off a cliff in Glacier National Park, committing the second murder in the park’s history. (The first was in 1983. Graham pleaded guilty to second degree murder.)


July 9


1776: George Washington ordered the Declaration of Independence to be read aloud for the first time, to members of the Continental Army in New York.

1811: Explorer David Thompson posted a sign at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake rivers, in now-Washington state, claiming the land for the United Kingdom.

1850: Twelfth U.S. President Zachary Taylor died of suspected food poisoning, and Millard Fillmore succeeded him as the 13th U.S. president. Persian prophet Báb, a founder of the Bahá’i Faith, was executed for heresy in Tabriz, Persia, age 30.

1868: The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship, and all persons in the United States due process of law.

1877: The first Wimbledon Championships began.

1896: William Jennings Bryan delivered his famous “Cross of Gold” speech advocating gold and silver as the nations’ money standard,

at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

1900: Queen Victoria gave Royal Assent to an act creating Australia, thus uniting separate colonies on the continent under one federal government.

1918: In Nashville, Tenn., an inbound train collided with an outbound express, killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in U.S. history.

1958: Lituya Bay in Alaska was hit by a mega-tsunami. The wave was 1,720 feet high, the largest in recorded history.

1962: Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

1981: Donkey Kong, a video game created by Nintendo, was released. The game marked the debut of Nintendo’s future mascot, Mario.

2011: South Sudan seceded from Sudan and began the world’s newest nation.


July 10


  988: The city of Dublin, Ireland, was founded by Viking invaders.

  1821: The United States took possession of its newly bought territory of Florida from Spain.

1913: Death Valley, California, hit 134 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest officially recorded air temperature in the world.

1938: Howard Hughes completed a 91-hour airplane flight around the world and set a new record.

1946: Hungarian hyperinflation set a record with inflation of 348.46 percent per day, or prices doubling every 11 hours.

1962: Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, was launched into orbit.

  1972: Elephant herds in Chandka Forest, India, went berserk from a long heat wave. They stampeded villages, killed 24 people and left widespread devastation.

1973: John Paul Getty III, a grandson of the oil magnate J. Paul Getty, was kidnapped in Rome, Italy. (He was released on Dec. 15, 1973, after his grandfather paid $2.9 million ransom.)

1978: World News Tonight premiered on ABC.

1997: Scientists in London reported the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton that supported the “out of Africa theory” of human evolution, placing an “African Eve” at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

2000: A leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline exploded, killing about 250 villagers scavenging gasoline.

2002: At a Sotheby’s auction, Peter Paul Rubens’ painting The Massacre of the Innocents was sold for £49.5 million ($76.2 million) to Lord Thomson.


July 11


  1798: The U.S. Marine Corps was re-established. (It had been disbanded after the American Revolutionary War.)

1804: Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton during a pistol duel in Weehauken, N.J.

1889: Tijuana, Mexico, was founded.

1893: The first cultured pearl was obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto in Tokyo.

1895: Brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière, creators of motion-picture films, demonstrated their new technology to scientists in Paris.

1914: Babe Ruth made his debut in Major League Baseball, with the Boston Red Sox.

1921: Former President William Howard Taft was sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person to hold both offices.

1922: The Hollywood Bowl opened.

1929: A fire-fighting rescue demonstration in Gillingham, Kent, England, went awry, killing nine boys ages 10-14 and six firemen. All had been chosen as ‘victims’ in a mock house fire that got out of control.

1960: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published.

1994:  Jeremy Brenno, a 16-year-old golfer from Gloversville, New York, was killed when he threw his club against a bench in a fit of rage, breaking the shaft; part of the shaft bounced back and pierced his heart.