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1955–Disneyland opens the gates to “The Happiest Place on Earth” in Anaheim, California. Approximately 60,000 people visit the park on opening day and in the famous theme park’s first year of operation, four million people will visit Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Adventureland, and Main Street U.S.A. On this opening day, Disneyland holds a gala TV broadcast featuring Walt Disney, Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, and Ronald Reagan. ABC-TV provided some of the $17 million funding for the park in exchange for a weekly Disney TV show.



1054–Siward, Earl of Northumbria, invades Scotland and defeats Macbeth, King of Scotland. somewhere north of the Firth of Forth.

1101–Conrad II, of Italy, dies suddenly of a fever possibly related to poisoning in Florence, Italy, at age 28. He was the Duke of Lower Lorraine (1076-1087), King of Germany (1087-1098), and King of Italy (1093-1098).

1189–Friedrich Barbarossa arrives at Nis, the capital of Serbian King Stefan Nemanja, during the Third Crusade.

1214–Philip II of France decisively defeats Imperial, English, and Flemish armies, ending John of England's Angevin Empire.

1276–James I of Aragon dies in Valencia, Spain, at age 68.

1299–Osman I invades the territory of Nicomedia for the first time, and this is usually considered to be the founding day of the Ottoman state.

1302–The Battle of Bapheus is a decisive Ottoman victory over the Byzantines, opening up Bithynia for Turkish conquest.

1382–Joanna I of Naples dies.

1549–Jesuit Priest Francis Xavier's ship reaches Japan.

1612–Murad IV, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1623-1640), is born.

1663–The English Parliament passes the second Navigation Act, requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies have to be sent in English ships from English ports.

1694–The Bank of England is granted a charter by an Act of Parliament.

1720–The Battle of Grengam marks the second important victory of the Russian Navy.

1775–The founding of the U.S. Army Medical Department takes place, as the Second Continental Congress passes legislation establishing a hospital for an army consisting of 20,000 men.

1784–Courier De L’Amerique becomes the first French newspaper to be published in the United States. It is printed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1789–The first U.S. federal government agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs, is established (it will be later renamed Department of State).

1794–Maximilien Robespierre is arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 “enemies” of the French Revolution.

1844–Physicist, meteorologist, and chemist, John Dalton, dies after a series of strokes in Manchester, England, at age 77. He is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory, and his research into color blindness, sometimes referred to as Daltonism in his honor.

1854–Politician, Takahashi Korekiyo, is born. He was the 20th Prime Minister of Japan.

1862–Sailing from San Francisco, California, to Panama City, Panama, the SS Golden Gate catches fire and sinks off Manzanillo, Mexico, killing 231 people.

1866–A transatlantic cable laid by the steamer Great Eastern, establishes reliable communication by telegraph between the United States and England.

1866–Politician, António José de Almeida, is born. He was the sixth President of Portugal.

1880–During the second Anglo-Afghan War, Afghan forces, led by Mohammad Ayub Khan, defeat the British Army in battle near Maiwand, Afghanistan.

1890–Artist, Vincent van Gogh, shoots himself. He will die two days later.

1900–Kaiser Wilhelm II makes a speech comparing Germans to Huns and for years afterwards, "Hun" would be a disparaging name for Germans.

1903–Politician, Michail Stasinopoulos, President of Greece, is born.

1905–Baseball player and manager, Leo Durocher, is born.

1916–Keenan Wynn, is born. His father was actor, Ed Wynn.

1919–The Chicago Race Riot erupts after a racial incident occurs on a South Side beach, leading to 38 fatalities and 537 injuries over a five-day period.

1921–Researchers at the University of Toronto, led by biochemist Frederick Banting, prove that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar.

1922–TV producer, Norman Lear, is born.

1924–Journalist and critic, Vincent Canby, is born in Chicago, Illinois. He became the chief film critic for The New York Times in 1969, and reviewed more than 1,000 films during his tenure there.

1929–The Geneva Convention of 1929, dealing with treatment of prisoners-of-war, is signed by 53 nations.

1930–Drummer, Andy White, is born Andrew White in Glasgow, Scotland. He is best known as the drummer who replaced Ringo Starr on The Beatles first single Love Me Do. He was featured on the American single release of the song, which also appeared on the band’s first LP Please Please Me. He also played on the single’s B side P.S. I Love You. In the late 1980s, White moved to the United States and lived in Caldwell, New Jersey, where he taught Scottish pipe band drumming.

1931–Jerry Van Dyke, is born. He is the brother of actor, Dick Van Dyke.

1933–Nick Reynolds, bongo player for The Kingston Trio, is born.

1937–Actor, Don Galloway, is born.

1938–Game designer, Gary Gygax, is born. He co-created Dungeons & Dragons.

1940–The animated short, A Wild Hare, is released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.

1942–In World War II, Allied forces successfully halt the final Axis advance into Egypt.

1944–Country singer, Bobbie Gentry, is born. She had a bit hit with Ode to Billy Joe.

1948–Figure skater, Peggy Fleming, is born.

1948–Actress and director, Betty Thomas, is born.

1949–Child actress, Susan (Lynn) Gordon, is born in St. Paul, Minnesota. Susan began her career, at age eight, as a last minute substitute for another young actress in 1958's Attack of the Puppet People, directed by her father, Ben I. Gordon. She appeared in the films The Five Pennies, The Boy and the Pirates, Tormented, and Picture Mommy Dead. She was also seen in the TV shows Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, Make Room for Daddy, The Donna Reed Show, Route 66, The Twilight Zone, and My Three Sons.

1949–Singer, Maureen McGovern, is born.

1953–The armistice agreement that ended the Korean War is signed at Panmunjon, Korea. The war lasted three years and 32 days. The truce negotiations between North Korean and U.S. delegates (representing South Korea) lasted two years and 17 days.

1953–Actor, Yahoo Serious, is born in Australia.

1955–The Allied occupation of Austria (stemming from World War II) ends.

1955–Drummer, Bobby Rondinelli, is born. He played with Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Quiet Riot, and Black Sabbath.

1956–Actress, Carol Leifer, is born.

1960–Vice President Richard Nixon receives the Republican Presidential Nomination at the party’s convention in Chicago, Illinois.

1963–The Beatles spend the day with photographer Dezo Hoffman, who takes photos and 8mm movies of the boys at their hotel, on the beach dressed in Victorian bathing suits, and go-carting in jeans and tee-shirts. The exact date is not known, except that it is certainly one of the six days that The Beatles perform at Weston-super-Mare in Somerset (July 22-27).

1964–Five thousand more American military advisers are sent to South Vietnam, bringing the total number of U.S. forces in Vietnam to 21,000.

1971–An interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono by Sue Faulconbridge, which took place at their Tittenhurst mansion in Ascot, England, on July 20th, is published in The Liverpool Echo. She writes: “You can no longer consider John Ono Lennon apart from Yoko Ono Lennon... they are, if you like, one person.”

1974–The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee votes 27 to 11 to recommend the first article of impeachment (for obstruction of justice) against President Richard Nixon.

1975–Mayor of Jaffna and former MP, Alfred Duraiappah, is shot dead.

1976–Former Japanese Prime Minister, Kakuei Tanaka, is arrested on suspicion of violating foreign exchange and foreign trade laws in connection with the Lockheed bribery scandals.

1976–John Lennon's request to remain in the U.S. is finally approved and he is issued his “green card” (A17-597-321), which permits him to remain permanently in the country. He is now entitled to apply for U.S. citizenship in 1981. In a ceremony at the New York offices of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Lennon is given the green card by Judge Ira Fieldsteel, the same judge who had issued the deportation order against John on March 23, 1973.

1976–Former Japanese Prime Minister, Kakuei Tanaka, is arrested on suspicion of violating foreign exchange and foreign trade laws in connection with the Lockheed bribery scandals.

1976–Tina Turner files for divorce from her husband, Ike Turner. She says he can keep her earnings as long as he lets her live her own life. Tina Turner went on to have a fabulous comeback career throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, with her biggest hit being What's Love Got To Do With It. A bio-pic (of the same name) told Turner's life story.

1977–Actor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is born in Ireland.

1980–Iranian King, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, dies.

1981–Adam Walsh, six-year-old son of John Walsh, is kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida, and is found murdered two weeks later.

1981–Director, William Wyler, dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, at age 79. His films include These Three, Jezebel, Wuthering Heights, The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Heiress, Detective Story, Roman Holiday, The Desperate Hours, Friendly Persuasion, Ben-Hur, The Children’s Hour, and Funny Girl.

1983–Two victims and five attackers die in a Turkish embassy attack in Lisbon, Portugal.

1983–Eighteen Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo are massacred by Sinhalese prisoners.

1984–Actor, James Mason, dies of a heart attack in Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland, at age 75. He appeared in the films Madame Bovary, East Side, West Side, 5 Fingers, The Prisoner of Zenda, Face to Face, Charade, The Story of Three Loves, The Desert Rats, Julius Caesar, The Tell-Tale Heart, A Star Is Born, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Forever, Darling, Island in the Sun, Cry Terror!, North by Northwest, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Lolita, The Pumpkin Eater, Lord Jim, Georgy Girl, The Deadly Affair, Stranger in the House, Age of Consent, Spring and Port Wine, The Last of Sheila, The Mackintosh Man, 11 Harrowhouse, Heaven Can Wait, The Boys from Brazil, and The Verdict.

1987–RMS Titanic Inc. begins the first expedited salvage of wreckage of the RMS Titanic.

1988–Businessman and inventor, Frank Zamboni, dies. He founded the Zamboni Company.

1990–The Supreme Soviet of the Belarusian Soviet Republic declares independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union.

1990–The Jamaat al Muslimeen attempt a coup d'état in Trinidad and Tobago.

1995–The Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

1996–In Atlanta, Georgia, a pipe bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. One woman is killed, 111 people are injured, and a cameraman suffers a heart attack fleeing the scene.

1997–About 50 people are killed in the Si Zerrouk massacre in Algeria.

1998–Actress, Binnie Barnes, dies.

1999–Harry Edison, trumpet player for the Count Basie Orchestra, dies.

2001–Leon Wilkeson, of Lynyrd Skynyrd, dies of natural causes in a hotel room in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, at age 49. He had been suffering from chronic liver and lung disease.

2002–A Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine, killing 85 people and injuring more than 100 others.

2003–Entertainer, Bob Hope, dies in Toluca Lake, California, at age 100.

2005–After an incident during STS-114, NASA grounds the Space Shuttle, pending an investigation of the continuing problem with the shedding of foam insulation from the external fuel tank.

2007–News helicopters from television stations KNXV and KTVK in Phoenix, Arizona, collide over Steele Indian School Park while covering a police chase.

2011–Thai Princess, Bejaratana Rajasuda, dies.

2012–Actor, R.G. Armstrong, dies of natural causes at his home in Studio City, California, at age 95. He appeared in the films The Fugitive Kind, Ride the High Country, Major Dundee, The Great White Hope, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, My Name is Nobody, White Line Fever, Stay Hungry, Heaven Can Wait, Reds, Red Headed Stranger, and Predator.

2012–Singer and actor, Tony Martin, dies.

2013–Dancer, Fernando Alonso, dies. He co-founded the Cuban National Ballet.

2015–After nearly four decades, thousands of episodes, and one ratings-topping wedding, Anthony Geary says goodbye to the role of Luke Spencer on the soap opera General Hospital.

2015–At least seven people are killed and many others are injured, after gunmen attack a police station in Punjab, India.

2016–Tesla motors opens a “Gigafactory” in the middle of the desert near Reno, Nevada.

2016–Pope Francis addresses the murder of a priest in Rouen, France, by Islamic extremists, saying "the world is at war."

2016–A federal judge, Paul L. Friedman, rules that John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton on March 30, 1981, is to be released after 35 years at St. Elizabeths Hospital, as he no longer poses a danger to himself or others.

2016–Cartoonist and publisher, Jack Davis, dies from complications of a stroke in St. Simons Island, Georgia, at age 91. He was known for his advertising art, magazine covers, film posters, record album art, and numerous comic book stories. Davis was one of the founding cartoonists for Mad magazine in 1952.


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