On July 22

Did you know that on this day in history, the first Euro-American, Alexander Mackenzie, completed a transcontinental crossing of Canada? What a trek that must have been, considering it happened all the way back in 1793 – 12 years before the famous Lewis and Clark expedition. We’re not sure what it is about July 22, but this day in history is chock full of explorations, around-the-world flights, and pivotal races. 

Famous Historical Events

1686: Albany, New York is chartered. With a current population of roughly 98,000, Albany has a rich history dating back several hundred years. When the colonial settlers first landed in the area in the early 1600s, the Iroquois were firmly settled in the land. Albany became a trading post, then was chartered, and about one hundred years later, it had grown so big it was named the capital of New York state. 

Albany, New York is chartered

1864: General Sherman begins his devastating March to the Sea, and on this day in history, his troops defeat the Confederate forces in the Battle of Atlanta. There are nearly 12,000 casualties in total. 

General Sherman begins March to the Sea

1894: The world’s first competitive motor race occurred on this day, that age of the innovative late Victorian era. The Paris-Rouen, Le Petit Journal Competition for Horseless Carriages became the world’s first motoring competition from one city to the next. The race started in Paris and ended in Rouen. Le Petit Journal, a newspaper, organized the race. 

1933: Wiley Post, an American aviator, is the first person to fly solo around the Earth. His plane was called the Winnie Mae, and he took off at Floyd Bennett Field in New York. It took him seven days to complete the trip. 

Winnie Mae

1959: Disparaged as one of the worst films ever produced, Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space” premieres on this day, July 22. It’s so bad it’s good, with a current score of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience has been a little less forgiving, though. 

1983: The first solo helicopter flight around the world is completed. An Australian, Dick Smith, becomes the first helicopter pilot to fly solo across the entire planet. How long did it take him to complete his trip? Almost a year. He took flight in 1982 before breaking the world record. 

Famous Birthdays

1849: Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus was an American poet who wrote the sonnet “The New Colossus,” which is engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Lazarus, unfortunately, lived a short life. She died at only 38 from suspected Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

Emma Lazarus on Statue of Liberty

1890: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy was the wife of the late Joe Kennedy Sr. and mother to nine children, including President JFK and senator Ted Kennedy. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy lived to be 104 years old, dying in 1995. She had outlived four of her children. 

1940: Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek is the beloved host of the popular trivia-style game show Jeopardy. He has hosted the show since 1984 and was born on this day in history in Ontario, Canada. 

Alex Trebek

Famous Deathdays

1934: John Dillinger

Dillinger died at the age of 31 on this day in history – he was shot by a group of federal agents. A gangster and a bank robber, Dillinger robbed two dozen banks and four police stations. If that wasn’t enough, his biggest claim to infamy is that he escaped from jail twice. 

John Dillinger

Will humanity complete any more great explorations, races, or flights on this day in history in the years to come? If Elon Musk has anything to say about it, perhaps we will officially colonize Mars on July 22 in distant future.

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