Stories of the Month

July 2017

1
Gettysburg - First Day 1863
The battle of Gettysburg - fought in Pennsylvania - began on July 1, 1863. Until this point, in America's war between the states, the Confederates were doing well against the Union.
A Closer Look at Saturn's Rings 2004
Cassini-Huygens, a space orbiter and its probe, reached the planet Saturn on July 1, 2004. For the first time, people around the world were able to see clearer views of Saturn's rings.
2
Amelia Earhart Disappears 1937
As Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, leave Lae, New Guinea something happened during their take-off roll. This video clip - depicts the last time they were seen alive.
Drafting the Declaration of Independence 1776
Thomas Jefferson listened to the arguments of Ben Franklin and John Adams for (and against) sections of his draft. Franklin made some of the most memorable edits, as shown in this video.
Voting on the Declaration of Independence 1776
This clip uses Adams' words to portray the process of the Continental Congress deciding that the colonies should be free on July 2, 1776.
Amistad 1839
During July of 1839, African people kidnapped from their homelands, then sold as slaves, took over a ship headed to America. Were these people free or were they property?
Assassination of President Garfield 1881
Waiting for a train, on the 2nd of July 1881, President James Garfield was shot by a deranged man named Charles Guiteau. What were the circumstances of this tragedy?
3
Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg 1863
On the third day of the Gettysburg Battle - July 3, 1863 - more than 15,000 Confederate soldiers began what is now known as ''Pickett's Charge.'' This clip recreates the scene.
Disaster at Gettysburg - for the Confederates 1863
This clip recreates the Confederate General Lewis Armistead's efforts as he places his sword through his hat, holds it aloft and encourages his ''Virginians'' to follow him forward.
4
Higgs Boson
What is ''Higgs Boson'' - and - what difference would it make if it were really discovered? July 4, 2012 CERN made significant progress, find out more here!
Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond 1845
Between 1845 and 1847, Henry David Thoreau spent two years in a small cabin in the woods. Take a virtual journey with Thoreau, via this video clip, as he begins his experiment on the 4th of July, 1845.
''Boson'' - Source of the Name
On July 4, 2012, CERN announced that its scientists have found a particle that could be the Higgs-Boson. Peter Higgs is still alive, giving interviews, but who is ''Boson?''
Deep Impact - Exploring a Comet 2005
On the 4th of July, 2005, an 820-pound copper projectile called IMPACTOR struck a comet named Tempel 1. Watch an animation of that significant event and learn what happened next.
Statue of Liberty - A Gift from France 1886
The people of France offered the people of America a gift, now known as the Statue of Liberty. It came to the States on the 4th of July, 1886. Take a closer look at Liberty in this video clip.
America Declares Her Independence 1776
On the 4th of July, 1776, Tom Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams and two others finished writing a Declaration of Independence. All 13 Colonies approved. America became her own country on that day.
5
Cape Verde - Independence and Hurricanes 1975
The Cape Verde Islands, located off the coast of Africa, received their independence from Portugal on July 5, 1975. Major tropical storms often originate near these islands during the summer Atlantic hurricane season.
P.T. Barnum and "The Greatest Show on Earth!" 1810
Phineas T. Barnum was born on July 5, 1810. He became a great showman and promoter of circuses. What made the circuses of ''yesteryear'' so wonderful? Step back in time and take a look!
6
Richard the Lionheart 1198
Richard the Lionheart was crowned King of England July 6, 1198. Absent from Britain for most of his reign, he fought wars and earned a nickname. Who was he?
Thomas More - Died for His Beliefs 1535
Sir Thomas More was tried for treason and executed on the 6th of July, 1535. People remember him today for refusing to compromise his principles, even though his actions insured his death.
Eyewitness to the Hartford Circus Fire 1944
Charles Nelson Reilly attended the Ringling Bros. circus, on the day the big top burned to the ground. Later in life, he told the story about that day and its impact on the rest of his life.
Hartford Circus Fire 1944
The Ringling Brothers Circus fire in Hartford, Connecticut on July 6th, is referenced in ''Water for Elephants'' (both the film and the book) and remains America's worst circus disaster.
7
Howard Hughes and His XF-11 Plane 1946
Howard Hughes was a famous aviator before he became a famous recluse. On the 7th of July, 1946, he and his XF-11 plane were involved in a spectacular crash in California.
Report - UFO Crash in Roswell, New Mexico 1947
On July , 1947, the public information office at Roswell Army Air Field reported ''the crash and recovery of a flying disc.'' This clip is the original news broadcast of the event.
Kamikaze Attacks 1944
During July of 1944, Japanese pilots began to fly suicide missions in order to destroy Allied planes & ships. Who were these ''kamikaze'' pilots?'' What was it like to be attacked by them?
8
Francis Gary Powers Charged as a Spy 1960
After he flew his U-2 recon plane over Soviet territory, Francis Gary Powers was shot-down. He survived the incident, but the USSR charged him with espionage on the 8th of July, 1960. This event led to greater Cold-War tensions.
Finding the Rosetta Stone 1799
While in Egypt, Napoleon's troops re-discovered the Rosetta Stone in July of 1799. See this marvel which directly led to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics.
9
First Reading of Independence Declaration in New York 1776
On the 9th of July, 1776, General George Washington ordered the Declaration of Independence to be read-aloud in New York. Continental Army members thereafter pulled-down a statue of King George III located on the Bowling Green.
America’s Deadliest Train Wreck 1918
George Scott was 18 when his life changed forever. Leaving home, for the first time, he was onboard a Nashville-bound train. Because of an unsettled feeling, he changed seats. Soon thereafter he was involved in America’s worst train disaster.
10
Bomb Britain into Submission 1940
Herman Goering's goal, during the summer of 1940, was to bomb Britain into submission. On the 11th of July, German forces began the 114-day Battle of Britain by attacking southern England by air.
Lady Jane Grey Takes the Throne 1553
Lady Jane Grey was the young dying King’s choice (according to a document he signed) to take the throne of England. Protestant, like Edward VI, Jane did have a claim to be Queen. But, it was a weaker claim than Mary Tudor’s (Henry VIII’s daughter).
11
Big Ben and Its Chimes 1859
''Big Ben,'' London's famous clock, first chimed on July 11, 1859. Do you know how this famous clock works (and what makes it chime)? Take a trip to the inside of the clock to check it out. It's pretty interesting!
Polio Vaccine Helps American Children 1953
With Polio striking more and more children, in the summer of 1953, the AP announces good news. Children inoculated with a new vaccine, developed by Dr. Salk, are either not getting sick or are not exhibiting paralytic symptoms.
Aaron Burr and the Deadly Duel 1804
Aaron Burr (sitting U.S. Vice President) and Alexander Hamilton (America’s first Secretary of Treasury) despised each other. After a series of polite-but-pointed insults, they fought a duel on July 11, 1804. Hamilton died; Burr faced a murder charge.
12
St. Basil’s - Wonder of Moscow 1561
Ivan the Terrible ordered a beautiful cathedral for Moscow. Legend has it that he had the builders blinded so they could not repeat such a wondrous architectural work. Still a popular tourist destination, St. Basil’s was dedicated on July 12, 1561.
A Spark of the French Revolution 1789
On the 12th of July, 1789, Camille Desmoulins gives a speech responding to the apparent dismissal of Finance Minister Jacques Necker. That speech calls French citizens to action; two days later, they storm the Bastille.
13
Draft Riots in New York City 1863
The North needed more Union soldiers during the Civil War. To cure the shortage, Congress passed a Conscription Law. People believed it was unfair since wealthy young men could contribute money instead of serve. Protest riots erupted in New York City
Death of Joy Gresham 1960
C.S. Lewis, author of ''Chronicles of Narnia,'' was overwhelmed with grief, following his wife's death only four years into their marriage. He wrote the still-popular book, ''A Grief Observed,'' to work through his anguish.
14
Citation - First 'Millionaire Horse' 1948
Citation, a famous race horse who became the 8th Triple-Crown winner in 1948, was the first horse to earn $1 million in prize money. He achieved that milestone on the 14th of July, 1951.
Storming the Bastille 1789
On July 14, 1789, a crowd of about 900 angry people gathered outside the Bastille, a symbol of royal power in France. How did the people change the course of French history?
15
BP Caps the Leaking Oil Well after 87 Days 2010
After 87 days, BP finally capped a leaking deep-water oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. To date, the ''Deepwater Horizon'' incident remains America's worst oil spill. Eleven people died when the platform exploded in April of that year.
Rosetta Stone Uncovered 1799
None of the French dirt-digging soldiers, working in an Egyptian town called el-Rashid, expected to find a stone which led to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphics. But ... that’s what happened on the 15th (some accounts say 19th) of July, 1799.
16
Trinity Test - Ground Zero 1945
This footage reenacts the scene at the Trinity Test site. The power of the bomb was so awesome that its force knocked one observer off his feet 5.68 miles away from the bomb.
Ipatiev House - Last Home of the Romanov Family 1918
The Bolsheviks referred to the Ipatiev House as the ''House of Special Purpose.'' In this video clip, we see the home where the Russian Tsar and his family were murdered.
Death of Tsar Nicholas II and his Family 1918
Romanov rule ended when the Bolsheviks executed Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and children plus four of their servants. Their deaths took place at the Ipatiev House on July 16, 1918.
Trinity Test - First Atomic-Bomb Explosion 1945
Scientists working on the Manhattan Project tested the results of their efforts on the 16th of July, 1945. This video clip depicts what happened during the first atomic-bomb explosion.
17
Allied Leaders Meet at the Potsdam Conference 1945
Potsdam, near Berlin, is the place where Allied leaders met to decide the fate of post-war Europe (especially Poland and the bombed-out German capital city). Many people believe that key decisions, reached at this conference, led to the Cold War.
Catherine II - Empress of Russia 1762
Before she was a Russian ruler, Catherine II was the daughter of a minor German prince. When she married a future Tsar, she had to take a Russian name. She became Empress on July 17, 1762 but refused to accept the designation “Catherine the Great.”
18
Great Fire of Rome 64 AD
While Nero - who was emperor of Rome on the 18th of July, 64 AD - was staying at his summer cottage, the city of Rome was engulfed in a huge fire. Was Nero responsible?
Sugar Ray Leonard v Dickie Eklund - 9th Round 1978
Dickie Eklund fought Sugar Ray Leonard on the 18th of July, 1978. During the 9th round, Leonard hit the deck. This clip depicts the moment when that happened.
Free Mandela Concert - Dire Straits Performance of 'Brothers in Arms' 1988
Nelson Mandela was born on 18 July 1918. Before he was freed from a South African prison, people around the world celebrated his birthday in 'Free Mandela' concerts. This is a live performance of 'Brothers in Arms' by Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits.
19
Women's Rights - Seneca Falls Convention 1848
It's the summer of 1848 and US women are tired of having few rights. They can't vote, make legal contracts, divorce abusive husbands, gain custody of their children, attend college, hold elective office, earn a living, etc. It's time for a change.
Lady Jane Grey - Deposed Queen 1553
Lady Jane Grey was Queen for nine days before she was deposed, in favor of Mary Tudor. What events gave her the crown (then caused her death)?
20
Where the US Women's Rights Movement Begins - 1848
The Women's Rights Movement, in America, begins in July, 1848, when about 300 people attend a 2-day meeting at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, NY. A Declaration of Sentiments, based on the Declaration of Independence, spells-out rights of women.
Apollo 11 Reaches the Moon 1969
After launching on 16 July 1969, Apollo 11 is the first manned space mission to reach the Moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin prepare to be the first humans to step foot on Earth's satellite.
21
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin Walk on the Moon 1969
At 02:56 UTC, Neil Armstrong stepped foot on Earth's Moon. It was still July 20, in North America, at the moment the first human being became a \"Man on the Moon.\"
Arsonist Burns the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus 356 BC
One of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (in today's Turkey) dates back to the Bronze Age. A beautiful version was destroyed on 21 July 356 BC by a man who wanted his name to be remembered throughout history.
22
WWII - Holocaust Begins at the Warsaw Ghetto 1942
A systematic deportation of Jews begins on July 22, 1942, in the Warsaw Ghetto when people are rounded-up and sent to a concentration camp called Treblinka. This film, of compiled footage, depicts what happened in Poland as the Holocaust begins.
John Dillinger at the Biograph Theater 1934
A friend of John Dillinger gave-up the fugitive's expected location on the 22nd of July, 1934. Incorporating historical footage, this video clip explains what happened on the day Dillinger died.
23
Sally Ride - First American Woman in Space Dies 2012
Dr. Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, made her initial flight on board Challenger. She later investigated the cause of Challenger's demise. Dr. Ride died, of pancreatic cancer, on July 23, 2012 at the age of 61.
Glenville Shootout and Riots in Cleveland 1968
Carl Stokes became the first African-American mayor in the US when he took office in Cleveland on January 1, 1968. Between July 23-28 of that year, the Glenville Shootout and riots occurred.
24
Mary, Queen of Scots Abdicates 1567
After making several errors of judgment, Scotland's Queen abdicates her crown in favor of her 1-year-old son James. Giving-up her throne was only one of a long series of problems Mary, Queen of Scots would endure for the rest of her life.
Hiram Bingham III Rediscovers Machu Picchu 1911
The Lost City of the Incas was lost no more when Hiram Bingham III rediscovered Machu Picchu high in the Peruvian Andes.
25
Solution to an Ancient Greek Problem - Corinth Canal 1893
Ancient and modern Greeks faced a problem: How can ships cross the Isthmus of Corinth? A ship-road, called the Diolkos, worked for the ancients. The Corinth Canal works for the moderns. It opened 25 July 1893.
King James I Succeeds Elizabeth I 1603
England and Scotland are brought into personal union when Elizabeth I is succeeded by James VI of Scotland (the son of Mary, Queens of Scots). He is called James I of England. Political union of the two countries does not take place until 1707.
26
President Truman Orders Equal Rights in the U.S. Military 1948
African-Americans were discriminated against even while they were serving their country during WWI and WWII. President Harry Truman ended that discrimination when he signed Executive Order 9981 on 26 July 1948.
Churchill Voted Out of Office 1945
After leading his country during WWII, Winston Churchill is voted out of office on July 26, 1945, while attending the Potsdam Conference in Germany. He's forced to leave Potsdam, giving-up his place to Clement Attlee, Britain's new Prime Minister.
27
Life-Saving Discovery: Isolating Insulin 1921
On the 27th of July, 1921 - while working in their lab at the University of Toronto - Dr. Frederick Banting and his medical assistant, Charles Best, isolated insulin. Their discovery changed the world for people with diabetes.
Vincent van Gogh Shoots Himself in the Chest 1890
No one is really sure what happened when Vincent van Gogh set out for a walk on the 27th of July, 1890. It appears that he had his easel and painting supplies with him. But he also had a revolver.
28
Robespierre Dies by Guillotine 1794
Mastermind of the Reign of Terror, during the French Revolution, Robespierre himself is arrested in late July of 1794. He dies by guillotine, in Paris, the following day - July 28, 1794. He is the last victim of the ''Reign of Terror.''
Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia 1914
Although Serbia accepted nearly every term of Austria-Hungary's ultimatum (to avoid war after Franz Ferdinand was killed by a Serb), Austria-Hungary declared war on 28 July 1914. WWI thus began.
14th Amendment Certified 1868
The still-important 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides equal protection under the law. It made former slaves U.S. citizens and provided due process and equal protection for them. It was certified on July 28, 1868.
The End of Thomas Cromwell 1540
Henry VIII has a ''fixer'' who is usually able to give the King what he wants. But there comes a day when Thomas Cromwell falls out of favor, and he is executed - for treason - on the King's order. Who was Thomas Cromwell? How did he help Henry VIII?
29
Einstein Pleads for Peace
On July 29, 1923 Albert Einstein spoke on pacifism in Berlin. With his understanding of atomic structure, he urged leaders to avoid the ''War of the Worlds'' that atomic fission could cause.
James VI - King of Scotland at 13 Months Old 1567
James Stuart, son of Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, became King James VI of Scotland after his mother abdicated in July of 1567. July 29th is one of the reported dates for this event. What do we need to know about this King?
30
"La Marseillaise" First Performed in Paris 1792
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle wrote ''La Marseillaise,'' which became the French national anthem. The song was first performed in Paris on July 30, 1792. Watch a legendary performance by a famous French singer, Mireille Mathieu.
Sinking of the USS Indianapolis 1945
While returning from delivering atomic bomb parts, the USS Indianapolis was sunk by a torpedo strike on July 30, 1945. Was the Captain to blame? How was his name cleared?
31
Spanish Armada 1588
In July of 1588, a huge Spanish Armada sailed to England to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I. By the end of July, the would-be invaders realized their plans had not worked out the way they'd hoped. This clip helps to explain that result.
At Age 19, Lafayette Becomes a Major-General 1777
On the 31st of July, 1777, Gilbert du Motier (better known as Lafayette) became a Major-General in the American Continental Army. He was 19 years old at the time. Today he is more famous in the US than he is in his home country of France.

Jul 1: Gettysburg - First Day 1863

Jul 1: A Closer Look at Saturn's Rings 2004

Jul 2: Amelia Earhart Disappears 1937

Jul 2: Drafting the Declaration of Independence 1776

Jul 2: Voting on the Declaration of Independence 1776

Jul 2: Amistad 1839

Jul 2: Assassination of President Garfield 1881

Jul 3: Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg 1863

Jul 3: Disaster at Gettysburg - for the Confederates 1863

Jul 4: Higgs Boson

Jul 4: Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond 1845

Jul 4: ''Boson'' - Source of the Name

Jul 4: Deep Impact - Exploring a Comet 2005

Jul 4: Statue of Liberty - A Gift from France 1886

Jul 4: America Declares Her Independence 1776

Jul 5: Cape Verde - Independence and Hurricanes 1975

Jul 5: P.T. Barnum and "The Greatest Show on Earth!" 1810

Jul 6: Richard the Lionheart 1198

Jul 6: Thomas More - Died for His Beliefs 1535

Jul 6: Eyewitness to the Hartford Circus Fire 1944

Jul 6: Hartford Circus Fire 1944

Jul 7: Howard Hughes and His XF-11 Plane 1946

Jul 7: Report - UFO Crash in Roswell, New Mexico 1947

Jul 7: Kamikaze Attacks 1944

Jul 8: Francis Gary Powers Charged as a Spy 1960

Jul 8: Finding the Rosetta Stone 1799

Jul 9: First Reading of Independence Declaration in New York 1776

Jul 9: America’s Deadliest Train Wreck 1918

Jul 10: Bomb Britain into Submission 1940

Jul 10: Lady Jane Grey Takes the Throne 1553

Jul 11: Big Ben and Its Chimes 1859

Jul 11: Polio Vaccine Helps American Children 1953

Jul 11: Aaron Burr and the Deadly Duel 1804

Jul 12: St. Basil’s - Wonder of Moscow 1561

Jul 12: A Spark of the French Revolution 1789

Jul 13: Draft Riots in New York City 1863

Jul 13: Death of Joy Gresham 1960

Jul 14: Citation - First 'Millionaire Horse' 1948

Jul 14: Storming the Bastille 1789

Jul 15: BP Caps the Leaking Oil Well after 87 Days 2010

Jul 15: Rosetta Stone Uncovered 1799

Jul 16: Trinity Test - Ground Zero 1945

Jul 16: Ipatiev House - Last Home of the Romanov Family 1918

Jul 16: Death of Tsar Nicholas II and his Family 1918

Jul 16: Trinity Test - First Atomic-Bomb Explosion 1945

Jul 17: Allied Leaders Meet at the Potsdam Conference 1945

Jul 17: Catherine II - Empress of Russia 1762

Jul 18: Great Fire of Rome 64 AD

Jul 18: Sugar Ray Leonard v Dickie Eklund - 9th Round 1978

Jul 18: Free Mandela Concert - Dire Straits Performance of 'Brothers in Arms' 1988

Jul 19: Women's Rights - Seneca Falls Convention 1848

Jul 19: Lady Jane Grey - Deposed Queen 1553

Jul 20: Where the US Women's Rights Movement Begins - 1848

Jul 20: Apollo 11 Reaches the Moon 1969

Jul 21: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin Walk on the Moon 1969

Jul 21: Arsonist Burns the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus 356 BC

Jul 22: WWII - Holocaust Begins at the Warsaw Ghetto 1942

Jul 22: John Dillinger at the Biograph Theater 1934

Jul 23: Sally Ride - First American Woman in Space Dies 2012

Jul 23: Glenville Shootout and Riots in Cleveland 1968

Jul 24: Mary, Queen of Scots Abdicates 1567

Jul 24: Hiram Bingham III Rediscovers Machu Picchu 1911

Jul 25: Solution to an Ancient Greek Problem - Corinth Canal 1893

Jul 25: King James I Succeeds Elizabeth I 1603

Jul 26: President Truman Orders Equal Rights in the U.S. Military 1948

Jul 26: Churchill Voted Out of Office 1945

Jul 27: Life-Saving Discovery: Isolating Insulin 1921

Jul 27: Vincent van Gogh Shoots Himself in the Chest 1890

Jul 28: Robespierre Dies by Guillotine 1794

Jul 28: Austria-Hungary Declares War on Serbia 1914

Jul 28: 14th Amendment Certified 1868

Jul 28: The End of Thomas Cromwell 1540

Jul 29: Einstein Pleads for Peace

Jul 29: James VI - King of Scotland at 13 Months Old 1567

Jul 30: "La Marseillaise" First Performed in Paris 1792

Jul 30: Sinking of the USS Indianapolis 1945

Jul 31: Spanish Armada 1588

Jul 31: At Age 19, Lafayette Becomes a Major-General 1777

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