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THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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July 18
1940
FDR nominated for unprecedented third term
On this day in 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who first took office in 1933 as America's 32nd president, is nominated for an unprecedented third term. Roosevelt, a Democrat, would eventually be elected to a record four terms in office, the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms. Roosevel... read more
The Roosevelts
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were Washington's first couple with a New Deal. But historian David Eisenbach reveals that the Roosevelts' marriage was a political arrangement of epic proportions.
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1960s
1969
Senator Ted Kennedy drives car off bridge at Chappaquiddick Island
20th CENTURY
1936
Spanish Civil War breaks out
American Revolution
1792
Naval hero John Paul Jones dies in Paris
Ancient Rome
64
Nero's Rome burns
Art, Literature, and Film History
1989
Sitcom actress murdered; death prompts anti-stalking legislation
1995
Barack Obama's "Dreams from My Father" is published
Civil War
1863
Assault of Battery Wagner and death of Robert Gould Shaw
Crime
1984
Twenty-one people are shot to death at McDonald's
INVENTIONS & SCIENCE
1986
Video of Titanic wreckage released
LABOR MOVEMENT
1914
Labor activist and singer Joe Hill sentenced to death
U.S. Presidents
1947
Harry S. Truman signs second Presidential Succession Act
World War II
1925
Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is published

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July 19
1799
Rosetta Stone found
On this day in 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles east of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scrip... read more
Women's Rights
1848
Seneca Falls Convention begins
American Revolution
1779
Massachusetts begins ill-fated Penobscot Expedition
Cold War
1956
United States withdraws offer of aid for Aswan Dam
CRIME
1879
Doc Holliday kills for the first time
Great Britain
1553
Lady Jane Grey deposed as Queen of England
Inventions & Science
1942
George Washington Carver begins experimental project with Henry Ford
World War II
1943
America bombs Rome

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July 20
1969
Neil Armstrong walks on moon
At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on th... read more
Moon Landing: The Lost Tapes
Discover the lost tapes of the Apollo 11 astronauts and explore the dangers and challenges of the mission to the moon.
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Art, Literature, and Film History
1963
Jan and Dean's "Surf City" hits #1
1973
Actor and martial-arts expert Bruce Lee dies at age 32
Cold War
1948
President Truman issues peacetime draft
Crime
1984
A serial-killing couple is apprehended
2012
Aurora shooting leaves 12 dead, 70 wounded
Native Americans
1881
Sitting Bull surrenders
Natural Disasters & Environment
1977
Second great flood hits Johnstown
Space Exploration
1976
Viking 1 lands on Mars
U.S. Presidents
1969
President Nixon watches first lunar landing
Westward Expansion
1889
Homesteaders murdered by Wyoming ranchers
World War II
1944
Assassination plot against Hitler fails

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July 21
1861
The First Battle of Bull Run
In the first major land battle of the Civil War, a large Union force under General Irvin McDowell is routed by a Confederate army under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard. Three months after the Civil War erupted at Fort Sumter, Union military command still believed that the Confederacy could be crushed... read more
Stonewall Jackson
Portrait of Gen. Thomas Jackson, who led Confederate troops in the bloody battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Bull Run.
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Africa
1970
Aswan High Dam completed
Art, Literature, and Film History
1899
Ernest Hemingway is born
2007
Final Harry Potter book released
COLD WAR
1955
President Eisenhower presents his "Open Skies" plan
Crime
1925
The "Trial of the Century" draws national attention
Great Britain
2005
Bombers attempt to attack London transit system
Inventions & Science
1960
Germany passes controversial "Volkswagen Law"
Natural Disasters & Environment
365
Tsunami hits Alexandria, Egypt
Space Exploration
2011
NASA's final space shuttle mission comes to an end
WESTWARD EXPANSION
1865
Wild Bill Hickok fights first western showdown
World War II
1944
Hitler to Germany: "I'm still alive"

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July 22
2003
Jessica Lynch gets hero's welcome
On this day in 2003, U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, a prisoner-of-war who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, receives a hero's welcome when she returns to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia. The story of the 19-year-old supply clerk, who was captured by Iraqi forces in March 2003, gripped A... read more
21st Century
2003
Qusay and Uday Hussein killed
Art, Literature, and Film History
2005
"March of the Penguins" debuts
Civil War
1864
Battle of Atlanta continues
Cold War
1987
Gorbachev accepts ban on intermediate-range nuclear missiles
Crime
1923
John Dillinger joins the Navy in an attempt to avoid prosecution
1991
Cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is caught
Exploration
1933
Wiley Post flies solo around the world
Roaring Twenties
1934
John Dillinger gunned down
Great Britain
2013
Prince George, first child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, is born
U.S. Presidents
1862
Lincoln tells his cabinet about Emancipation Proclamation
World War I
1916
Preparedness Day bombing in San Francisco
World War II
1942
Deportations from Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka begin

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July 23
1885
Former president Ulysses S. Grant dies
On July 23, 1885, just after completing his memoirs, Civil War hero and former president Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer. The son of a tanner, Grant showed little enthusiasm for joining his father’s business, so the elder Grant... read more
1960s
1967
Detroit Riots of 1967 begin
1980s
1984
Miss America resigns over nude photos
Africa
1952
Military seizes power in Egypt
Art, Literature, and Film History
1982
Actor and two children killed on "Twilight Zone" set
1988
Guns N' Roses make popular breakthrough with "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Crime
1878
Black Bart strikes again
1918
A string of mysterious deaths surrounds a Nebraska woman
Sports
1996
U.S. women take home gymnastics gold
World War I
1914
Austria-Hungary issues ultimatum to Serbia

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July 24
1911
Machu Picchu ruins discovered by American archeologist
On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world's top tourist destinations. Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for I... read more
Machu Picchu: City in the Sky
Originally built by the Incas, this magnificent structure remains a mystery. Was it an observatory? Pleasure retreat? Fortress?
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19th Century
1847
Mormons settle Salt Lake Valley
American Revolution
1776
John Hancock scolds Major General Philip Schuyler
Art, Literature, and Film History
1901
Short story writer O. Henry is released from prison
1982
"Eye Of The Tiger" from "Rocky III" tops the U.S. pop charts
1998
"Saving Private Ryan" opens in theaters
Cold War
1959
Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev have a "kitchen debate"
Crime
1984
A 9-year-old's murder puts an innocent man in jail
EARLY 20th CENTURY U.S.
1915
Hundreds drown in Eastland disaster
Great Britain
1567
Mary Queen of Scots deposed
SPACE EXPLORATION
1969
Apollo 11 safely returns to Earth
Sports
2005
Lance Armstrong wins seventh Tour de France
World War II
1943
Operation Gomorrah is launched

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July 25
1978
World's first "test tube" baby born
On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and we... read more
19th CENTURY
1898
U.S. forces invade Puerto Rico
Art, Literature, and Film History
1897
Jack London sails for the Klondike
1965
Bob Dylan goes electric at the Newport Folk Festival
1985
Rock Hudson announces he has AIDS
Crime
1988
A young man turns the death of his parents into a game
Inventions & Science
1941
Henry Ford writes fan letter to Mahatma Gandhi
DISASTERS
1832
The first railroad accident
1956
Ships collide off Nantucket
2000
Concorde jet crashes, killing everyone onboard
Sports
1992
Opening of the XXV Olympiad in Barcelona
VIETNAM WAR
1969
The Nixon Doctrine is announced
WORLD WAR II
1945
Truman drops hint to Stalin about a "terrible" new weapon
Westward Expansion
1853
California Rangers kill Joaquin Murrieta
World War I
1917
Dancer and spy Mata Hari sentenced to die
World War II
1943
Benito Mussolini falls from power

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July 26
1775
U.S. postal system established
On this day in 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today's mail system. During early colonial times in the 1600s, few American colo... read more
Mail Delivery: Erasing the Miles
Through rain, heat and snow, we expect our mail to be delivered. The U.S. Post Office handles over 603-million pieces of mail daily⁠⁠—43% of the world's mail. From ancient Sumerians to Pony Express, airmail to E-mail, follow the long journey of mail.
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Africa
1847
Liberian independence proclaimed
1956
Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal
Art, Literature, and Film History
1943
Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger is born
1975
Van McCoy's "The Hustle" is the #1 song in America
Civil War
1863
Confederate leader John Hunt Morgan is captured
Cold War
1947
President Truman signs the National Security Act
Crime
1908
FBI founded
1984
Infamous serial killer Ed Gein dies
Great Britain
1945
Winston Churchill resigns
Inventions & Science
1998
Three race fans killed at Michigan Speedway
Natural Disasters & Environment
1931
Grasshoppers devastate Midwestern crops
U.S. GOVERNMENT
1990
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law
World War II
1941
United States freezes Japanese assets

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July 27
1974
House begins impeachment of Nixon
On this day in 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that America's 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Water... read more
The Burglary
On June 17, 1972, police arrest five men who break into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., setting off the most explosive scandal in American history.
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Crime
1981
6-year-old Adam Walsh is abducted
1996
Bombing at Centennial Olympic Park
France
1794
Robespierre overthrown in France
KOREAN WAR
1953
Armistice ends Korean War hostilities
Inventions & Science
1921
Scientists successfully isolate insulin
1949
First commercial jet makes test flight
World War II
1943
Stalin issues Order No. 227—outlawing cowards

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July 28
1868
14th Amendment formally adopted
Following its ratification by the necessary three-quarters of U.S. states, the 14th Amendment, granting citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States—including formerly enslaved people—is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution... read more
Susan B. Anthony
For over half a century, Susan B. Anthony endured threats and ridicule in her tireless and pioneering quest for civil rights and voting reform.
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Art, Literature, and Film History
1978
"Animal House" released in theaters
Great Depression
1932
Bonus Marchers evicted by U.S. Army
1940s
1945
Plane crashes into Empire State Building
Natural Disasters & Environment
1976
One of the worst earthquakes in modern history destroys Chinese city
U.S. Presidents
1929
Future first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy is born
Vietnam War
1965
President Johnson announces more troops to Vietnam
World War I
1914
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia

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July 29
1958
NASA created
On this day in 1958, the U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America's activities in space. NASA has since sponsored space expeditions, both human and mechanical, that have yielded vita... read more
The End of the Earth: Deep Space Threats to Our Planet
Asteroids, comets, gamma ray bursts and the sun all combine to make the Earth a dangerous place to live. NASA's top brass are racing against the clock to develop technology to defend our planet.
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Art, Literature, and Film History
1967
The Doors score their first #1 hit with "Light My Fire"
2000
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston wed
Civil War
1862
Confederate spy Belle Boyd is captured
Crime
1900
Italian American assassinates Italian king
1976
Son of Sam terrorizes New York
Exploration
1588
Spanish Armada defeated
Great Britain
1981
Prince Charles marries Lady Diana
Inventions & Science
1909
General Motors buys Cadillac
Sports
1996
Carl Lewis wins fourth consecutive long jump at 35
Vietnam War
1965
101st Airborne Division arrives in Vietnam
1967
Rocket causes deadly fire on aircraft carrier
World War I
1914
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and Czar Nicholas of Russia exchange telegrams
World War II
1921
Adolf Hitler becomes the leader of the Nazi Party

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July 30
1945
USS Indianapolis torpedoed
On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sinks within minutes in shark-infested waters. Only 316 of the 1,196 men on board survived. However, the Indianapolis had already completed its major mission: the delivery of... read more
Art, Literature, and Film History
1966
The Troggs take their signature hit, "Wild Thing," to #1
1999
"The Blair Witch Project" released in theaters
Civil War
1864
Union forces stopped at the Battle of the Crater
Crime
1994
Man charged in murder of Megan Kanka
Inventions & Science
2003
Last classic VW Beetle rolls off the line
1970s
1971
Fighter jet collides with passenger plane
Sports
1976
Caitlyn Jenner wins Olympic decathlon
U.S. Presidents
1956
President Eisenhower signs "In God We Trust" into law
1974
Watergate affair approaches climax
Colonial America
1619
First legislative assembly in America convenes in Jamestown
U.S. Government
1965
President Johnson signs Medicare into law
World War II
1943
Hitler gets news of Italy's imminent defection

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July 31
1975
Labor leader Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing
On the morning of this day in 1975, James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century, is officially reported missing after he failed to return home the previous night. Though he is popularly believed to have been the victim of a Mafia hit, conclusiv... read more
American Revolution
1777
Marquis de Lafayette becomes a major-general without pay
Natural Disasters & Environment
1715
Hurricane sinks Spanish treasure ships
Religion
1556
Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, dies
Space Exploration
1964
Ranger 7 photographs moon
World War I
1917
Third Battle of Ypres begins in Flanders
World War II
1941
Preparations for the “Final Solution” begin

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August 1
1943
PT-109 sinks; Lieutenant Kennedy is instrumental in saving crew
On August 1, 1943, a Japanese destroyer rams an American PT (patrol torpedo) boat, No. 109, slicing it in two. The destruction is so massive other American PT boats in the area assume the crew is dead. Two crewmen were, in fact, killed, but 11 survived... read more
 
1960s
1961
The first Six Flags opens in Texas
Art, Literature, and Film History
1981
MTV launches
1996
George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" debuts
Civil War
1864
Philip Sheridan takes command of Army of the Shenandoah
Cold War
1975
Helsinki Final Act signed
Crime
1966
An ex-Marine goes on a killing spree at the University of Texas
Exploration
1498
Columbus lands in South America
Germany
1936
Hitler oversees Berlin Olympics opening ceremony
Holocaust
1944
Anne Frank writes her last diary entry
Sports
1996
Michael Johnson brings home second gold
U.S. Presidents
1972
George W. Bush is suspended from flying with the Air National Guard
World War I
1914
First World War erupts
World War II
1943
Operation Tidal Wave: U.S. forces attempt risky air raid on Axis oil refineries
1944
Warsaw Revolt begins

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August 2
1990
Iraq invades Kuwait
On this day in 1990, at about 2 a.m. local time, Iraqi forces invade Kuwait, Iraq's tiny, oil-rich neighbor. Kuwait's defense forces were rapidly overwhelmed, and those that were not destroyed retreated to Saudi Arabia. The emir of Kuwait, his family, and other government leaders fled to Saudi Arabi... read more
Hiroshima
Premieres Tonight at 9/8c
A 2-hour documentary about the first explosion of a nuclear weapon in wartime. Providing a unique understanding of the most devastating experiment in human history.
Watch Preview
American Revolution
1776
Delegates sign Declaration of Independence
Civil War
1865
CSS Shenandoah learns the war is over
Crime
1876
Wild Bill Hickok is murdered
1942
Man murdered near L.A. reservoir
Natural Disasters & Environment
1985
Sudden thunderstorm causes plane crash
Sports
1992
Jackie Joyner-Kersee wins gold in heptathlon, again
U.S. Presidents
1923
President Warren G. Harding dies before scandals break
World War I
1917
Mutiny breaks out on German battleship
World War II
1934
Hitler becomes dictator of Germany
1945
Potsdam Conference concludes

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