July 1st is One Busy Day in History

calendar-1847346_1280.pngMore than most calendar days, it seems like a LOT happened in this date throughout history. 

Thanks to the This Day in History site and other assorted sources , we note the following events among those that took place on JUL 1:

1798 – Napoleon Bonaparte captures Alexandria, Egypt. People named Napoleon probably should stay focused on places other than Russia…

1804 – George Sand is born. Still great reading!

1838 – Charles Darwin presents a paper on the theory of evolution to the Linnean Society in London. Science was about to be turned on its head – for the better.

1863 – The Battle of Gettysburg begins. The first day does not go well for Union forces. For a period there, it appeared Lee’s gamble in this campaign might pay off.

1898 – The Battle of San Juan Hill begins, with important rolls provided by black troops and Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Only the latter gained recognition for their contributions.

1916 – The Battle of the Somme begins. Some 30,000 (mostly British) die in the field of battle this day. Likely no one imagined the carnage yet to come in WW I. 

1942 – The Battle of El Alamein begins. It is a high point in British military history (thanks in large measure to reinforcements from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) and the turning point in the war for North Africa. 

1947 – George Keenan’s “Mr X” article appears in Foreign Affairs, laying out the strategy of containment that guided US foreign policy for decades. 

1950 – American ground troops arrive in South Korea to halt the advancing North Koreans. A tough, cold war was beginning, one that only intermittently receives the study and attention it merits.

1956 – Eisenhower calls for creation of a National Interstate Highway System. The changes this system wrought on America were profound, wide and deep.

1961- Diana, Princess of Wales, is born. Surely no one at that time could even have remotely imagined the future before her.

1979 – The first Sony Walkman goes on sale. They created and owned a market- until some guy named Steve Jobs came along. If you are in business, always be listening for those footsteps coming up behind you.

1997 – Britain hands over Hong Kong to China. A LOT of people in Hong Kong are still not happy about that, and China remains nervously distrustful. “One country, Two Systems” effectively had a short run. 

2005 – The last Ford Thunderbird rolls off the assembly line. Few cars made such a mark for style and loyalty as the Thunderbird. I personally thought the 1957 model was the high-water mark, but that’s just me.

And there is more, of course. Over 300 events of some historical significance are recorded for this day.

All in all, July 1 has been one busy day throughout history, with an unusually large military component. What will go in the history books next year?  

Bill Clontz

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