July 1, 1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signed the first income tax bill, levying a 3% income tax on annual incomes of $600-$10,000 and a 5% tax on incomes over $10,000. Also on this day, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was established by an Act of Congress.
July 1, 1863 – Beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
July 2, 1776 – The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the following resolution, originally introduced on June 7, by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia: “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.”
July 2, 1964 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, publicly owned or operated facilities, employment and union membership and in voter registration. The Act allowed for cut-off of Federal funds in places where discrimination remained.
July 3, 1988 – Iran Air Flight 655 was destroyed while flying over the Persian Gulf after the US Navy Warship Vincennes fired two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 290 passengers aboard. A subsequent US military inquiry cited stress related human failure for the mistaken identification of the civilian airbus as an enemy F-14 fighter jet.
July 4, 1187 – Saladin defeats Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem, at the Battle of Hattin.
July 5, 1687 – Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica is published.
July 5, 1791 – George Hammond was appointed the first British Ambassador to the USA.
July 5, 1975 – American Arthur Ashe becomes the first black man to win the Wimbledon singles title.
July 6, 1785 – Following Thomas Jefferson’s recommendation, the US adopts the dollar as the world’s first decimal currency system.
July 6, 1923 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed.
July 6, 1885 – Louis Pasteur gave the first successful anti-rabies inoculation to a boy who had been bitten by an infected dog.
July 7, 1456 – Joan of Arc acquitted, 25 years after her execution.
July 7, 1898 – President William McKinley signed a resolution annexing Hawaii. In 1900, Congress made Hawaii an incorporated territory of the US, which it remained until becoming a state in 1959.
July 8, 1822 – Leading romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned in the Bay of Spezia, when his boat sunk in a storm.
July 9, 1868 – The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. The Amendment defined US citizenship and prohibited individual States from abridging the rights of any American citizen without due process and equal protection under the law. The Amendment also barred individuals involved in rebellion against the US from holding public office.
July 10, 48 BC – Battle of Dyrrhachium: Julius Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia.
July 10, 138 – Death of the Roman Emperor Hadrian who ordered the building of a wall across northern England to keep out the barbarian Scottish tribes.
July 11, 1740 – Jews are expelled from Little Russia.
July 11, 1859 – A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was published.
July 11, 1955 – The national motto ‘In God We Trust’ was added to US currency.
July 12, 100 BC – Born: Roman King Julius Caesar.
July 12, 1943 – During World War II, in the Battle of Kursk, the largest tank battle in history took place outside the small village of Prohorovka, Russia. About nine hundred Russian tanks attacked an equal number of German tanks fighting at close range. When Hitler ordered a cease-fire, 300 German tanks remained strewn over the battlefield.
July 13, 1978 – Chairman Henry Ford II fired Lee Iacocca as president of Ford Motor Company. (Iacocca then became head of Chrysler Corp., and is credited with saving Chrysler from bankruptcy and liquidation.)
July 14, 1789 – The fall of the Bastille occurred at the beginning of the French Revolution.
July 15, 1606 – Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden, Holland. Best known for The Night Watch and many portraits and self portraits.
July 16, 1945 – The US exploded its first atomic bomb, in the desert of Alamogordo, N.M.
July 16, 1969 – The Apollo 11 Lunar landing mission began with a liftoff from Kennedy Space Center at 9:37 a.m.
July 17, 1918 – In the Russian town of Ekaterinburg in Siberia, former Czar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their five children were brutally murdered by Bolsheviks.
July 18, 64 AD – The Great Fire of Rome erupted on this night. (Did Nero really play a fiddle and watch?)
July 18, 1947 – Nelson Mandela was born the son of a Tembu tribal chieftain on July 18, 1918, at Qunu, near Umtata, in South Africa.
July 19-20, 1848 – A women’s rights convention was held at Seneca Falls, New York. Topics discussed included voting rights, property rights and divorce. The convention marked the beginning of an organised women’s rights move ment in the US.
July 21, 1899 – Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. His works included; The Sun Also Rises (1926), A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) and The Old Man and the Sea (1952). Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954, he wrote little afterward, became ill and shot himself to death on July 2, 1961.
July 22, 1946 – More than a year after the end of World War II, bread is rationed in Britain. The shortage is blamed upon a poor harvest and drought.
July 23, 1952 – Egyptian military officers led by Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk I.
July 24, 1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte defeats Turks at Aboukir in Egypt.
July 25, 1943 – World War II ‘Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and reasserted his authority.)
July 25, 1978 – Louise Joy Brown, the first test-tube baby, was born in Oldham, England; she’d been conceived through the technique of in-vitro fertilization.
July 26, 1953 – The beginning of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary “26th of July Movement.” In 1959, Castro led the rebellion that drove out dictator Fulgencio Batista.
July 26, 1856 – Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland.
July 27, 1794 – French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre was overthrown and placed under arrest; he was executed the following day.
July 27, 1974 – Watergate Scandal ‘The House Judiciary Committee voted 27-11 to recommend President Nixon’s impeachment on a charge that he had personally engaged in a “course of conduct” designed to obstruct justice.
July 28, 1945 – A US army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York’s Empire State Building, killing 14 people.
July 29, 1957 – The International Atomic Energy Agency is established.
July 29, 1981 – Diana, Princess of Wales, the Lady Diana Frances Spencer, marries Charles, Prince of Wales at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)
July 30, 1945 – WW II ‘A Japanese submarine sank the USS Indianapolis, killing 880 of the 1196 total on board in the worst single loss in the history of the US Navy.
July 30, 1980 – The Israeli Knesset passed a law reaffirming all of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
July 31, 1498 – On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.
July 31, 1776 – During the American Revolution, Francis Salvador became the first Jew to die in the conflict. He had also been the first Jew elected to office in Colonial America, voted a member of the South Carolina Provincial Congress in January 1775.