on this day … 7/20


1801 – A 1,235 pound cheese ball was pressed at the farm of Elisha Brown, Jr. The ball of cheese was later loaded on a horse-driven wagon and presented to U.S. President Thomas Jefferson at the White House.

1810 – Colombia declared independence from Spain.

1859 – Brooklyn and New York played baseball at Fashion Park Race Course on Long Island, NY. The game marked the first time that admission had been charged for to see a ball game. It cost $.50 to get in and the players on the field did not receive a salary (until 1863).

1861 – The Congress of the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, VA.

1868 – Legislation that ordered U.S. tax stamps to be placed on all cigarette packs was passed. 

1871 – British Columbia joined Confederation as a Canadian province.

1881 – Sioux Indian leader Sitting Bull, a fugitive since the Battle of the Little Big Horn, surrendered to federal troops. (Montana)

1917 – The draft lottery in World War I went into operation.

1935 – NBC radio debuted “G-men.” The show was later renamed “Gangbusters.”

1942 – The first detachment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, (WACS) began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.

1944 – An attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler failed. The bomb exploded at Hitler’s Rastenburg headquarters. Hitler was only wounded.

1944 – U.S. President Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

1947 – The National Football League (NFL) ruled that no professional team could sign a player who had college eligibility remaining.

1961 – “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” opened in London.

1969 – Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon. 

1974 – Turkish forces invaded Cyprus.

1976 – America’s Viking I robot spacecraft made a successful landing on Mars.

1982 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan pulled the U.S. out of comprehensive test ban negotiations indefinitely. 

1985 – Treasure hunters began raising $400 million in coins and silver from the Spanish galleon “Nuestra Senora de Atocha.” The ship sank in 1622 40 miles of the coast of Key West, FL.

1992 – Vaclav Havel, the playwright who led the Velvet Revolution against communism, stepped down as president of Czechoslovakia.

1998 – Russia won a $11.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help avert the devaluation of its currency.

2003 – In India, elephants used for commercial work began wearing reflectors to avoid being hit by cars during night work

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