On July 20

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” These are Neil Armstrong’s famous words uttered on this day that age when he made his first steps on the surface of the moon in 1969. Though it seems that Armstrong has actually been misquoted all these years (there was an “a” that got lost in there, which clarifies the statement quite a bit, ) it didn’t stop the phrase from becoming one of the most used one-liners in culture.

And the event it symbolizes also sits at the forefront of one of the greatest achievements of (a) man in history.

Historical Significance

In was in 1969 on this day when the Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon. The United States was in the midst of a Cold War with Russia. One consequence of this non-military war was a great development in terms of spatial sciences. The two countries were in an unofficial race of which could finally conquer the great outer space.

At first, it seems like the Soviets had a great advantage as Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel into space on April 1961. That same year, in May, President John F. Kennedy set a fairly ambitious goal that would later become the purpose of Apollo 11: to have a ship land on the surface of the moon, have its crew walk on the surface, and then return to earth.

landing on the surface of the moon

Of course, this was not the only objective of the Apollo 11. Once arrived, the crew would also:

  • Transmit signals to Earth, live;
  • Conduct a solar wind composition experiment and a seismic experiment;
  • Gather samples from the surface;
  • Photograph the terrain.

Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, from Cape Kennedy with Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin on board. The first steps, broadcasted live to roughly 650 million people, were taken four days later, on July 20. 20 minutes later, Aldrin followed. 30 minutes after they had returned to the Apollo 11, President Nixon spoke to the astronauts to congratulate them. 

Armstrong and Aldrin spent roughly 21 hours on the surface of the moon, took a 7-hour rest, and finally set to return to Earth. Re-entry procedures were started on July 24, 44 hours after leaving the lunar orbit.

How it Unfolds

In 2019, the Apollo 11 mission celebrates its 50th anniversary, for which the U.S. Mint prepared special coins to mark the occasion. 

The Smithsonian Institution also announced it’s remodeling the moon gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., planning for a 2021 launch. There will be several national events celebrating the Apollo 11 landing. In fact, some will even remain open until December this year. You can see a full list of these events here.

Though widely celebrated at the time, America’s excitement for space travel quickly diminished after Apollo 11, the following trip never getting the same reaction from the public. Many believe this was partially due to the complexity of the following missions – Apollo 11’s goal of landing on the moon was simple enough for most Americans to follow, while the other missions needed further astronomy knowledge to be understood. 

But even if space missions aren’t what they used to be, the public’s interest still gravitates towards the memory of Apollo 11 every July on this day. In 2019, the NASM hosted a gala for Apollo 11-s 40th anniversary and enjoyed the presence of all three crew members. When the autograph session launched, the queues of people quickly covered the entire floor of the museum. It’s very likely for something similar to repeat this year.

Related Events on This Date

  • In 1960, 9 years before the launching of Apollo 11, the USSR recovers two dogs from space. While the U.S. was sending monkeys into space, the Soviets used dogs, though generally, these were one-way trips. But in 1960, the Soviets managed to successfully return the dogs to Earth. 
  • In 1976, the US Viking 1 landed on Mars at Chryse Planitia, becoming second Martian landing, but the first to complete its mission. The first-ever Martian landing was achieved by the Soviet Union’s Mars 3 on December 2, 1971, but it completely stopped transmitting after 14.5 seconds.

Famous Birthdays

356 BC: Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Macedon. He took the throne of the kingdom at the age of 20 and spent most of his reigning years conquering various areas of Asia and Africa. By the time he reached 30, he had created one of the biggest empires of ancient times, from Greece all the way to parts of India. Records attest he was undefeated in battle, was tutored directly by Aristotle in his youth, founded nearly 20 cities that had its name, and is still regarded as one of the great military leaders of the world. At age 32, he dies but it is not exactly known what lead to his death.

1919: Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer and, together with Tenzing Norgay, became the first climbers to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1953. From 1985 to 1988, Hillary becomes New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh, as well as Ambassador to Nepal. After climbing Mount Everest, the mountaineer dedicated a good part of his career helping the Sherpa people in Nepal through the Himalayan Trust, a humanitarian organization he established to help the local people.

1962: Julie Bindel

Julie Bindel is an English writer, feminist, and co-founder of the Justice of Women group which helps give legal counsel to women prosecuted for killing their violent male partners. Much of her professional activity concerns violence against women and children, focusing on subjects such as pornography, prostitution, or human trafficking. 

This day in history seems filled with many more stories, doesn’t it? Discover some of them here.

On July 14

July 14 is the national day of France or, as English-people would call it, Bastille Day, marking a great turning point in the French Revolution of the 18th Century which ultimately lead to the unity of the French people. 

Since that day, July 14 is a day of celebration in France, marked by several events held all throughout the country, but none as grand as the military parade marching along the Champs-Elysees in Paris in front of the President of the country and other prominent state officials.

What This Day Represents

In the 18th century, France was lead by King Louis XVI and was facing one of the worst economic crises of its time. It was in part due to its involvement in the American Revolution in combination with a draining taxing system.

There had been tension building between the first estate (royalty,) second estate (nobility,) and third estate (commoners) in France for a while, and soon the third estate founded the National Assembly and pushed for the creation of the French constitution. Though things at first seemed to be going as the National Assembly planned, the dismissal of Jacques Necker, the finance minister who was supportive of the third estate’s views and values, quickly changed the pace and sparked an outcry among people. 

News of Necker’s firing reached Paris on July 12, which lead the Parisians to think it was the sign of a coup from the conservative, who greatly opposed the new changes to French society. Armed conflict quickly ensued, and on the morning of July 14, 1789, the third estate had reached the Hotel des Invalides. Their plan was to gather weapons and move on to the Bastille to store them.

At this time, the Bastille was only housing seven prisoners and was not all that difficult to storm. However, it was seen by many as a symbol of tyranny of the monarchy. The fortress has a limited purpose but needed a great deal of resources to run, so it was considered by the revolutionaries as an immense achievement when it fell. 

After this day, the 14 of July became a day of great celebration for the French people. From 1798 until today, these festivities are meant to celebrate France’s unity and its national identity, while also giving tribute to the revolutionaries that freed the country from the monarchy’s reign.

How This Day Unfolds

The most important part of Bastille Day is undoubtedly the military parade which has been held in Paris each year on the morning of 14 July since 1880. The fanfare marches down the Champ-Elysee from the Arc de Triomphe, and right towards the Palace de la Concorde where the president of the republic and his guests (generally meaning his administration, foreign ambassadors, and other prominent figures) stand. 

The event itself is broadcast live on television and is one of the oldest military parades in the entire world. Other, smaller, military parades also take place on this day in Toulon or Marseille, for instance. 

Other events such as concerts or plays also take place around this time, but a common tradition is to go for a picnic in a public park, waiting for the traditional fireworks show from Place de la Concorde to close off the night right.

Additionally, Bastille Day is also celebrated in many other countries around the world:

  • Belgium – In Liege, who started celebrating on 14 July right after the end of the First World War;
  • Canada – organized by the local French community.

Many other former colony countries or areas with high French populations also organize certain events around this day. Local French Institutes often put together several educational and entertaining events around this time as well.

Related Events on This Date

  • In 1795, The French National Convention makes “La Marseillaise” by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle France’s national anthem. The song’s name comes from the Marseille volunteers who marched to Paris while singing this tune. It’s considered one of the first examples of the European march style of songs and has been used in many pieces of classical and popular music through the years.  
  • In 1964, 14 of July was cause for a double celebration. Jacques Anquetil won the 51st Tour de France for the fifth time. He is the first cyclist to ever win this many times.

Famous Birthdays

1868: Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell was an English writer, political officer, and archaeologist, most famous for her role in establishing and administering the modern state of Iraq. As a frequent traveler, Gertrude would routinely visit Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, or Arabia and keep a detailed journal of her adventures. Through her attained knowledge, she managed to improve the relationship between British officials and representatives of the new state of Iraq.

1913: Gerald Ford

President Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford was the 38th president of the United States of America, serving in the Oval Office from August 1974 to 1977. He is the only U.S. president to serve as both vice president and president to the U.S. without being elected by the Electoral College. In 1973, Ford was the first person appointed by Nixon as vice-president. After the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation, Ford assumed the presidency and pardoned Nixon. He continued to serve only for 895 days, having the shortest one in U.S. history for any president who did not die in office.

1918: Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman is, to this day, one of the most prominent names in the film industry. The Swedish director and writer worked on over sixty movies and documentaries. His movies generally dealt with character’s existential subjects such as morality or religion. His most famous films include Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, and Persona

If you want to learn more about the Falling of the Bastille and what this day truly means for the French society, you should check out this great article.

On July 13

It’s normal to look back into the past and mark certain dates on our calendar to commemorate or celebrate events that happened on this day and that changed the face of the world, maybe contributing to what is surrounding us at this very moment. July 13 was a date full of events, births, and deaths of people who made history and are still remembered by us.

Events That Took Place on the 13th of July

  • 1772:  Captain Cook begins his second expedition in search for Terras Australis, sailing on the South Seas on the Resolution ship. In January 1883 they became the first known ships to cross the Antarctic Circle.
  • 1871: Harrison Weir organizes the first ever cat championship show in history. It was held in London, at the Crystal Palace. Weir was also the one to set the standards for “fancy” cats, which still serves as a base for today’s competitions.
champion British shorthair kitten cup
  • 1923: The Hollywood sign is dedicated officially on the hills surrounding Hollywood, LA. At first, it wrote “HollywoodLand”.
  • 1930: Uruguay is the place where the first ever Football World Cup takes place after soccer was not included in the Olympics anymore. 
  • 1939: Frank Sinatra’s first record debuts. He became one of the most prolific singers in history as his career spanned for over 50 years. He performed for presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
  • 1985: Humanitarian concerts called “Live Aid” are held in Wembley Stadium in London and the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. 
  • 2016: Theresa May is elected the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Theresa May

Famous Birthdays on July 13th

  • 1940: Patrick Stewart, actor in movies like X-Men and Star Trek,  is born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England.
Patrick Stewart
  • 1942: Harrison Ford, actor in movies like Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Blade Runner, is born in Chicago, Illinois.
Harrison Ford
  • 1944: The inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, Erno Rubik, is born in Budapest, Hungary.
Rubik's Cube

Deaths on July 13th

  • 1793: Jean-Paul Marat, a journalist and politician during the French Revolution is murdered in a bath and dies on this day. He was killed by a young woman named Charlotte Corday, a Girondin sympathizer who claimed that by killing one man, she saved the lives of 100.000. 
  • 1954: Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter who was part of the expressionist and surrealist movement, dies at 47 from complications following a pulmonary embolism.
  • 2013: Canadian actor and musician Cory Monteith died from a heroin overdose at 31.

As you can see, a lot has happened on July 13, from centuries ago to the recent years. Important figures in history were born and died, and crucial events took place in the political and economic scene. Remembering such highlights from the past will help us understand our present better and lead to a more responsible future. 

On July 12

Imagine a time machine that allows you to travel back in time on this day in history. What famous, world-changing event would you attend? Who would you talk to and who would you want to see perform? 

While this spectacular machine hasn’t been invented yet, we can use the sources we have, to depict how this day looked like during different moments in time. Here is a short breakdown of the events that took place on this day in history.

Famous Events on This Day in History

  • 1679: Habeas Corpus Act – This act of Parliament was passed during the reign of King Charles the II. Habeas Corpus Act states that prisoners have the right to be examined by court before being imprisoned. 
  • 1804: The Death of Alexander Hamilton – Alexander Hamilton, the former US Secretary of the Treasury is shot in a pistol duel with Vice President Aaron Burr. The duel was the result of a long-standing rivalry between the two men. It took place in a time in history when pistol duels where prohibited. 
  • 1920: The Soviet-Lithuanian Peace Treaty – The Soviet Union recognizes Lithuania’s sovereignty. The small nation offered in exchange for safe passage for the Russian troops to Poland as well as it’s neutrality. 
  • 1957: Smoking and Cancer – Doctor Leroy Burney published a study in which he proved the connection between lung cancer and cigarette smoking
  • 1962: The Rolling Stones performs for the first time on this day that age. The concert took place at the Marquee Club in London.
  • 1998:France wins its first FIFA World Cup against Brazil, beating the favorite player with 3-0. Zinadine Zidane scores twice during the game.

Famous Birthdays

1817: Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was an American philosopher, essayist and poet known for his unique and often challenging views of the world. He focused on simple living in a natural surrounding, ideas that he described in his book “Walden.” Another famous work of his is Civil Disobedience, an essay in which he pleads for disobedience against an unjust state.

1904: Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto or better known as Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize-winning poet. He began writing poetry when he was 12 years old and he experimented with many different styles, such as surrealism or political manifestos. He was also a politician and held numerous diplomatic positions in various countries. He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1971.

1937: Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby was a prolific American actor and stand-up comedian. He started his career as a stand-up comedian before landing his first starring role in a TV show. Soon after that, he created his own sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show, which turned him into a legend and a role model for African-Americans. In 2018, he was convicted and imprisoned after tens of women accused him of sexual harassment.

1997: Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist and the youngest Nobel prize winner. She is an advocate for female education, especially in her native region, Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan, which has been occupied by the Taliban. Malala began her activist career by writing for BBC Urdu under a pseudonym. As she rose to fame, she was shot by a Taliban gunman in retaliation for her activism. Although her condition was critical, she survived the attack and continues to fight for girls’ right to education.

Famous Deathdays

1926: Gertrude Bell

On this day that age, Gertrude Bell dies after taking a fatal dose of sleeping pills. She was a British writer, archaeologist, and political officer.
This day in time was full of events that marked and changed the world. If you want to read more about what happened on this day in history, check this in-depth article here.

On July 11

Time travel is something that’s fascinated humanity for centuries. But the first work to envision a way to travel through time didn’t happen until the publication of H.G. Wells’ famous book, The Time Machine in 1895. While we can’t give you a time machine or an entire book that can take you back in time, we can give you a rundown of what happened on this day, that age in history. Who was born, who died, and what unprecedented historical events happened on this day, July 11? Keep on reading and journey with us through time.

Famous Events on This Day in History

  • 1405: Zheng He, Chinese fleet commander, sets sail for world exploration and domination
  • 1533: Pope Clement VII excommunicated Henry VIII for his divorce and remarriage shenanigans and ambitions
  • 1804: Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton duel and life-long fuel comes to an end with Hamilton’s death
  • 1818: John Keats wrote several of his most famous poems on this day in history
  • 1877: New Zealander Kate Edger became the first female graduate and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • 1877: Alexander Graham Bell married Mabel Hubbard in Cambridge, Massachusetts on this day
  • 1914: Babe Ruth makes his debut
  • 1944: FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) announces he is running for a fourth presidential term
  • 1960: To Kill a Mockingbird is published
  • 1969: David Bowie released “Space Oddity” 9 days before the Apollo 11 landing on the moon 
  • 1995: The UN haven of Srebrenica is overrun and the Bosnian Serbs massacre more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men
  • 2006: More than 700 people are injured and 200 killed in the Mumbai train bombings
  • 2013: Orange is the New Black premieres on Netflix – the first series ever nominated for a comedy and drama Emmy award
  • 2015: El Chapo escaped from the Altiplano maximum-security prison via a tunnel

Famous Birthdays

1274: Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce is revered in Scottish history as a hero and national legend of Scotland. King of the Scots from 1306 to 1329, Robert the Bruce led the First War of Scottish Independence against England. A series of intense battles against England rendered him one of the most sought-after and famous warrior kings of his time. His efforts eventually led the English monarchy to renounce all claims to the Scottish throne, effectively freeing Scotland and giving the tiny nation its hard-won independence.

1767: John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was the 6th president of the United States and was the son of John and Abigail Adams, the founders of the U.S. Quincy Adams lost the popular vote in the election of 1824, but won the office of president thanks to the electoral college. He lived to the ripe old age of 80 before suffering a stroke and dying in 1848.

Famous Deathdays

1989: Lawrence Olivier

Lawrence Olivier

The star of Wuthering Heights and The Marathon Man, Lawrence Olivier was a famous British actor who married actress Vivien Leigh of Gone with the Wind fame. He died on this day in history after living to age 82. 

What will the future bring? Check back on this day that age in history next year on July 11 for more unforgettable historical events.

On July 10

Time is an unforgiving master, and we are all subject to its relentless passage. But have you ever wondered what happened on this particular day in history? What if you had a crystal ball and could look back on every July 10th of your life thus far and see what you did, and how far you’ve come? While we can’t give you anything that personalized, we can offer you a breakdown of what incredible, world-shattering happenings took place on this day in history.

Famous Events on This Day in History

  • In 1040, Lady Godiva allegedly rode naked through the streets of Coventry to force her husband, the Earl of Mercia, to lower taxes. 
  • King Louis the 16th declared war on England as support for the American Revolution, but mostly, to be a thorn in England’s side. 
  • In 1913, Death Valley recorded the highest ever temperature on Earth. Death Valley reached a staggering 134 degrees Fahrenheit on July 10th. 
  • In 1940, the Battle of Britain commenced, when the German air force, the Luftwaffe, launched their terrifying and relentless campaign against Great Britain. 
  • In 1962, the world’s first communication satellite, Telstar, was launched. The satellite was the culmination of collaborative efforts between the U.S., U.K., and France. The satellite transmitted the first televised images from space. 
  • In 1975, a famous singer and actress Cher filed for divorce from Gregg Allman after just ten days of marriage. 
  • The Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, sinks in 1985 after it was bombed while in a harbor in New Zealand. French operatives were later found out to be responsible for the attack. 
  • The American Episcopal Church became the first to approve a rite for blessing same-sex marriages.

Famous Birthdays on July 10th

1830: Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro

Pissarro grew up in a well-to-do Jewish family in Saint Thomas of the West Indies. As a young man, he married his family’s non-Jewish servant, was shunned, and ran away with her to Europe, where they became the proud parents of six children. Pissarro is known as the father of the Impressionist movement, with other such famous members as Claude Monet, Gauguin, and Berthe Morisot.

1856: Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was a famous Serbian-American engineer, inventor, and futurist. His contributions to the design of the modern electricity system we enjoy today are unparalleled, and we have him to thank for alternating current. Nikola Tesla wanted to harness the Earth’s natural magnetic field to bring free energy for all of humanity. You could argue that he was the world’s greatest humanitarian. He lived most of his life alone in a series of hotel rooms, became friends with, and then was later betrayed by Thomas Edison, and died in poverty and relative obscurity.

1980: Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson is an American singer, songwriter, and actress from Abilene, Texas. She has been nominated for more than 100 awards for her contributions to the music scene and has won fifty of those nominations.

Famous Deaths

Emperor Hadrian

The emperor Hadrian died on this day and on that year – 138, in history. He rebuilt the Pantheon, but he is most famous for building a wall, called Hadrian’s Wall, which was used to mark the northern boundary of the Roman empire in what is now modern-day Britain.

A lot has happened on this day in history, July 10th, but this article doesn’t even begin to cover all of the profound changes that have occurred over the centuries in war, music, literature, and history. For a more detailed look at this day in history, check out this in-depth article.