Ask

Submit

Useful tags  About  

Here you’ll find interesting bits of history from all periods and countries that occurred on a particular day.

If you have any suggestions or comments please ask or submit and thanks for following!

Disclaimer: None of these pictures included are mine and I do not claim ownership of them. If you see your picture and wish to be credited/have it removed then please don’t hesitate to ask

July 27th 1963: Garrett Morgan dies

On this day in 1963 the prominent African-American inventor Garrett Morgan died in Cleveland aged 86. Born in Kentucky in 1877 the seventh of eleven children and with only an elementary school education, Morgan went on to develop patents for several inventions. His patents included: a new sewing machine (his first job was as a sewing-machine mechanic); an improved traffic signal (he was the first black man in Cleveland to own a car); a hair-strengthening product; and a breathing device. His model of a breathing device, initially meant to help firefighters, went on to be used as the basis for gas masks in World War One. The hair-strengthening product he invented allowed him to start a business which sold these products to African-Americans - the G.A Morgan Hair Refining Company - which had great financial success. However, Morgan faced considerable racial prejudice throughout his career. Some refused to purchase his devices, which led Morgan to hire a white actor to pose as ‘the inventor’ when showcasing some of his inventions. After his heroism during the Cleveland Tunnel Explosion, when Morgan and his brother put on breathing devices and helped save some of the trapped workers, people realised he was African-American and sales of his products dropped. However after his patent of the traffic signal, which he sold to General Electric for $40,000 and provided the basis for the modern signal, he was honoured and respected by many in the business community. Garrett Morgan, who tirelessly supported the African-American community and whose inventions and personal heroism improved countless lives, died on July 27th 1963 in Cleveland.

1 day ago
226 notes

July 23rd 1885: Ulysses S. Grant dies

On this day in 1885, former Civil War general and 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant died. He became a national icon after he led the Union to victory over Robert E. Lee’s Confederate forces in the Civil War and secured Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865. He became President in 1869, and enforced Reconstruction and civil rights laws. However, his presidency was marred by stories of his alcoholism and corruption in his administration. He left the office in 1877, and launched an unsuccessful bid for a third term in 1880. In 1885 he died of throat cancer at the age of 63 and his body lay in state.

"I hope that nobody will be distressed on my account."
- Grant’s last words

5 days ago
251 notes
July 16th 1999: John F. Kennedy Jr. dies

On this day in 1999 John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette died in a plane crash. JFK Jr., the son of the late President, was flying the aircraft when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The crash was supposedly due to pilot error. They were reported missing on July 16th and their bodies were found on the ocean floor on July 21st. The tragic death of the assassinated President’s son at age 38, who captured the heart of the nation when he saluted his father’s coffin, fueled the idea of a ‘Kennedy curse’ on the family.

"We dared to think, in that other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair, with his beloved Carolyn by his side.But, like his father, he had every gift but length of years”
- John’s uncle Senator Edward Kennedy at his memorial service

1 week ago
360 notes

July 13th 1985: Live Aid

On this day in 1985, the Live Aid benefit concerts took place at Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. Bob Geldof and Midge Ure organised the concerts to raise money to provide aid for victims of the famine in Ethiopia. Notable artists such as Queen, Phil Collins, David Bowie, U2, The Who, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney performed. The London concert drew 72,000 and the Philadelphia concert was attended by 100,000. The global audience watching the live broadcast is estimated to have been at around 1.9 billion. The event was a great success, ultimately raising around £150m.

2 weeks ago
476 notes

July 10th 1925: Scopes Monkey Trial begins

On this day in 1925 the trial of John Scopes, who stood accused of teaching evolution and thus violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, began. The trial drew the attention of the nation, as to many it seemed as if Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution itself was on trial, especially its compatibility with religion (namely Christian Creationism). The most famous lawyers of the day argued the case, with former Democratic nominee for President William Jennings Bryan prosecuting and Clarence Darrow defending. Scopes was ultimately found guilty of teaching evolution, but was let free on a technicality. The trial was one of the most dramatic and famous in history and has since become synonymous with religious backlash against scientific progress.

2 weeks ago
494 notes

July 4th 1776: American independence

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved and adopted by the Continental Congress. Thus, independence of the United States from the United Kingdom was secured. The Declaration was written mainly by Thomas Jefferson and it explained how Britain’s actions had led to American desire for independence. Congress had voted on July 2nd to declare independence but approved the wording of the official Declaration on July 4th, thus this day is celebrated as Independence Day. The date of its signing by the 56 delegates to Congress has been disputed, but it is generally held to be on August 2nd.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

3 weeks ago
586 notes

July 2nd 1964: Civil Rights Act signed

On this day in 1964, US President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. The 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which outlawed school segregation, had sparked a new and more direct phase of the struggle for racial equality in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement that followed involved defiance of discrimination in the United States, especially Jim Crow segregation in the South and restriction of black voting rights. The movement initially had little support from the federal government, who instead focused mainly on foreign Cold War policy. It was in 1963 that the violent resistance encountered by peaceful black protestors, including children, by whites in Birmingham, Alabama, led President John F. Kennedy to call for a civil rights bill. After his assassination Kennedy’s successor Johnson, who was a vocal supporter of civil rights, took charge of the fight for the bill. Facing opposition from conservative Democrats and Republicans, Johnson utilised his personal forceful nature (known as ‘The Johnson Treatment’), the power of the executive to provide incentives for congressional support, and the legacy of Kennedy to push the bill through Congress. The Civil Rights Act passed the House in February 1964 and the Senate in June, before it was signed into law in July by Johnson. Those present at the signing ceremony on July 2nd included prominent African-American leaders of the Civil Rights Movement such as Martin Luther King Jr. The Act focused on racial discrimination, banning segregation and unequal voter requirements. However it also included a prohibition on sex-based discrimination which fuelled the burgeoning feminist movement; though some claim it was added by a Virginia Democrat in an attempt to derail the passage of the act. The Civil Rights Act, along with the Voting Rights Act a year later, were the primary legislative achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, and remain the cornerstone of American civil rights legislation. 50 years on, it is a time for reflection on how far America has come since the days of Jim Crow segregation and black disenfranchisement, but also how much further is still left to go in the struggle for racial equality.

50 years ago today

3 weeks ago
203 notes

June 27th 1844: Joseph Smith murdered

On this day in 1844, the founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith Jr and his brother Hyrum were killed by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois. They were attacked at the prison where they was held on charges of conspiracy and treason. Smith claimed to have had visions telling of Golden Plates which contained the true gospel, which he translated and published as the Book of Mormon in 1830. Many feared his power and criticised his practice of polygamy. Tensions came to a head when, in 1844, a mob repeatedly shot Smith at the prison, and he died when he fell from his window. The Church of the Latter Day Saints consequently saw the brothers as martyrs.

"Oh Lord, my God!"
- Joseph Smith’s last words

1 month ago
95 notes

July 26th 1948: Desegregation of US military

On this day in 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 to abolish racial discrimination in the military. The order established the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, which committed the United States government to the desegregation of the military and equality within the ranks. This came in the aftermath of the Second World War, where thousands of African-American men and women joined the armed forces. The discrimination faced by African-American soldiers while fighting for their country led to a ‘Double V’ campaign against fascism abroad and racism at home. Activists like A. Philip Randolph had pushed for integration of the armed forces for a long time before Truman’s action. President Truman aimed to implement limited civil rights legislation to protect African-Americans but was thwarted by the threat of Southern filibuster in Congress; he therefore resorted to executive action and by the end of the Korean War the US military was almost completely integrated. Full civil desegregation in the United States did not begin until after the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka which ruled school segregation unconstitutional.

2 days ago
369 notes

July 18th 1969: Chappaquiddick incident

On this day in 1969, after a party on Chappaquiddick island, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) drove his car off a bridge, killing his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy, brother of late President John F. Kennedy, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and admitted he failed to report the incident to the authorities until fishermen found the car and Kopechne’s body. He denied that he was under the influence of alcohol, but whilst negligent driving was considered the cause of Kopechne’s death Kennedy was not prosecuted. Chappaquiddick continued to haunt Kennedy’s political career, and weakened his hopes of a run for the office of President of the United States. Some have taken the incident as another indication of a ‘Kennedy curse’.

1 week ago
171 notes

July 15th 1979: Carter’s ‘Crisis of Confidence’ speech

On this day in 1979, the US President Jimmy Carter made a televised address that has become known as the ‘crisis of confidence’ or ‘malaise’ speech. The address came during an energy crisis which had its roots in the 1973 oil embargo, which led Carter to conclude that America needed a focus on conserving energy and the use of alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. Carter also encouraged people to be more responsible in their use of gas and electric. It was in this environment that the President made his July 15th speech, which he had spent many weeks preparing at Camp David. He identified a ‘crisis of confidence’ throughout the nation in the wake of the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. The reception to the speech was initially favourable, but came to be seen as a scolding lecture where Carter was blaming the American people for the crisis in his emphasis on over consumption and consumerism. The address has since become identified with the general period of ‘malaise’ that characterised America in the 1970s, with a flagging economy, uninspiring politicians, heightened racial tensions and seemingly endless war; however Carter never actually used the word in his speech. Jimmy Carter lost his re-election bid the year after this speech in 1980 against charismatic Republican challenger Ronald Reagan.

1 week ago
107 notes

July 11th 1960: To Kill a Mockingbird published

On this day in 1960, the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee was published by J.B Lippincott & Co. The novel tells the story of the trial of a young African-American man in Alabama in the 1930s, and is told from the perspective of the daughter of the defendant’s lawyer, Scout Finch. Lee was partly inspired by events she recalled from her own childhood growing up in Alabama in the days of Jim Crow segregation. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was released during a turbulent time for American race relations, as the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement was beginning to get underway with sit-ins and Freedom Rides in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The novel was originally going to be called ‘Atticus’ for Scout’s father and the moral centre of the story, but was renamed for one of Atticus’s iconic lines. The novel was an immediate success, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. In 1962 it was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck and featuring the film debut of Robert Duvall as the elusive Boo Radley. Harper Lee never published another novel and remains reclusive from the press, though she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. The influence of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has never faded in the 54 years since its release, and is a favourite of many for its warmth and humour while tackling some of the most troubling issues of its day.

"Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird"

2 weeks ago
1,395 notes

July 8th 1839: John D. Rockefeller born

On this day in 1839 the American industrialist John D. Rockefeller was born in Richford, New York. Even in his youth, Rockefeller displayed an aptitude for numbers and an entrepreneurial spirit, as he began selling food and other items to his neighbours. Rockefeller went on to establish the Standard Oil Company and became the richest man in the world, perhaps even the richest in history. Rockefeller used much of his wealth for philanthropy, creating many foundations which researched medicine, science and education and founding universities. He is often held as a notable success story of the capitalistic American Dream as Rockefeller rose from humble beginnings to become the first American to own a fortune of over one billion dollars. Rockefeller died in 1937 aged 97. His success established the Rockefeller family as one of the wealthiest and most influential in America, perhaps best known for their control of Chase Manhattan Bank. Even after his death his legacy continued in his relatives and descendants and his name became imbedded in American culture with the building of Rockefeller Centre in New York City in the 1930s.

2 weeks ago
113 notes

July 3rd 1863: Battle of Gettysburg ends

On this day in 1863 during the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg ended. The battle was a key turning point in the war with its decisive Union victory under George Meade which turned the tide in the Union’s favour. The Confederacy, whose forces were led by Robert E. Lee, were defeated and thus Lee’s invasion of the North was ended. The last day of the battle also saw Pickett’s Charge, a Confederate cavalry charge which was repulsed by Union fire and thus led to many Confederate deaths. The battle was the bloodiest of the war, and President Lincoln famously honoured the fallen with his Gettysburg Address.

3 weeks ago
423 notes

June 29th 2007: Original iPhone launched

On this day in 2007 the American company Apple Inc. released their first mobile phone: the iPhone. Apple was founded in 1976 and enjoyed some initial success with the 1984 release of the Macintosh computer. However they achieved major recognition with the development of the iPod music player in 2001 and the iPhone after 2007; Apple are now considered a global giant in the electronics business. After years of work, the iPhone was officially unveiled on January 9th 2007 by the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. Upon its commercial release in the United States in June, it was an instant success, eventually expanding sales across the world. The iPhone is now in its fifth incarnation (but seventh generation), with vastly improved technology and efficiency than the original model. It is now one of the world’s most popular mobile phones, selling millions of devices every year.

"This is only the beginning"
- slogan upon the release of the original iPhone 7 years ago today

4 weeks ago
190 notes