This Day in History July 30th

This day in history

July 30 is the 211th day of the year (212th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 154 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 762,  Baghdad is founded by caliph Al-Mansur.

In 1419,  First Defenestration of Prague: A crowd of radical Hussites kill seven members of the Prague city council.

In 1502,  Christopher Columbus lands at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.

In 1511, Giorgio Vasari, Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect (d. 1574) was born.

In 1609,  Beaver Wars: At Ticonderoga (now Crown Point, New York), Samuel de Champlain shoots and kills two Iroquois chiefs on behalf of his native allies.

In 1619,  In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time.

In 1626,  An earthquake in Naples, Italy, kills about 10,000 people.

In 1635,  Eighty Years’ War: The Siege of Schenkenschans begins; Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, begins the recapture of the strategically important fortress from theSpanish Army.

In 1656,  Swedish forces under the command of King Charles X Gustav defeat the forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth at the Battle of Warsaw.

In 1676,  Nathaniel Bacon issues the “Declaration of the People of Virginia”, beginning Bacon’s Rebellion against the rule of Governor William Berkeley.

William Penn.pngIn 1718,  William Penn, English businessman and philosopher, founded the Province of Pennsylvania (b. 1644) dies. He was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker and founder of theProvince of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy andreligious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.

In 1681 King Charles II handed over a large piece of his American land holdings to William Penn to satisfy a debt the king owed to Penn’s father. This land included present-day Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn immediately set sail and took his first step on American soil in New Castle in 1682. On this occasion, the colonists pledged allegiance to Penn as their new proprietor, and the first general assembly was held in the colony. Afterwards, Penn journeyed up river and founded Philadelphia. However, Penn’s Quaker government was not viewed favourably by the Dutch, Swedish, and English settlers in what is now Delaware. They had no ‘historical’ allegiance to Pennsylvania, so they almost immediately began petitioning for their own assembly. In 1704 they achieved their goal when the three southernmost counties of Pennsylvania were permitted to split off and become the new semi-autonomous colony of Lower Delaware. As the most prominent, prosperous and influential “city” in the new colony, New Castle became the capital.

As one of the earlier supporters of colonial unification, Penn wrote and urged for a union of all the English colonies in what was to become the United States of America. The democratic principles that he set forth in the Pennsylvania Frame of Government served as an inspiration for the United States Constitution. As a pacifist Quaker, Penn considered the problems of war and peace deeply. He developed a forward-looking project for a United States of Europe through the creation of a European Assembly made of deputies that could discuss and adjudicate controversies peacefully. He is therefore considered the very first thinker to suggest the creation of a European Parliament.

A man of extreme religious convictions, Penn wrote numerous works in which he exhorted believers to adhere to the spirit of Primitive Christianity. He was imprisoned several times in the Tower of London due to his faith, and his book No Cross, No Crown (1669), which he wrote while in prison, has become a Christian classic.

In 1729,  Foundation of Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1733,  The first Masonic Grand Lodge in the future United States is constituted in Massachusetts.

In 1739, Caspar Wistar begins glass manufacturing in Allowaystown, NJ.

In 1756,  In Saint Petersburg, Bartolomeo Rastrelli presents the newly built Catherine Palace to Empress Elizabeth and her courtiers.

In 1760, three of London’s city gates are sold for scrap, marking the end of London as a walled city (the fourth burns down 20 years later).

In 1792, the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, was first sung in Paris.

In 1811,  Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Mexican insurgency, is executed by the Spanish in Chihuahua City, Mexico.

In 1825,  Malden Island is discovered by captain George Byron, 7th Baron Byron.

In 1859,  First ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps.

In 1863,  American Indian Wars: Representatives of the United States and tribal leaders including Chief Pocatello (of the Shoshone) sign the Treaty of Box Elder.

In 1864,  American Civil War: Battle of the Crater: Union forces attempt to break Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia by exploding a large bomb under their trenches.

In 1865,  The steamboat Brother Jonathan sinks off the coast of Crescent City, California, killing 225 passengers, the deadliest shipwreck on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. at the time.

In 1866,  Armed Confederate veterans in New Orleans riot against a meeting of Radical Republicans, killing 48 people and injuring another 100.

In 1871,  The Staten Island Ferry Westfield’s boiler explodes, killing over 85 people.

GeorgePickett.jpegIn 1875,  George Pickett, American general (b. 1825) dies of a liver abscess. He was a career United States Army officer who became a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He is best remembered for his participation in the futile and bloody Confederate offensive on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg that bears his name, Pickett’s Charge.

Pickett graduated last out of 59 cadets in the West Point Class of 1846. He served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War, and is noted for his service in the Battle of Chapultepec in September 1847. After this, he served in the Washington Territory, and eventually reached the rank of captain. Pickett participated in the Pig War of 1859. Near the beginning of the American Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, and he attained the rank of brigadier general in January 1862. He commanded a brigade that saw heavy action during the Peninsula Campaign of 1862. Pickett was wounded at the Battle of Gaines’s Mill on June 27.

He did not return to command until September, following the Battle of Antietam, when he was given command of a division in the Right Wing of the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by Major General James Longstreet, which became the I Corps that December. His division was lightly engaged at theBattle of Fredericksburg, and, along with most of Longstreet’s Corps, missed the Battle of Chancellorsville while participating in the Suffolk Campaign in 1863. During the Gettysburg Campaign, his division was, much to Pickett’s frustration, the last to arrive on the field. However, it was one of three divisions under the command of General Longstreet to participate in a disastrous assault on Union positions on July 3, the final day of the battle. The attack has been given the name “Pickett’s Charge“. In February 1864, Pickett commanded the Confederate forces at the Battle of New Bern, and ordered the execution of 22 Confederate deserters found to be fighting amongst the U.S. troops. On April 1, 1865, he was defeated while in overall command of Confederate troops at the Battle of Five Forks.

Following the war, Pickett feared prosecution for his execution of deserters and temporarily fled to Canada. He returned to Virginia in 1866, where he died at age 50 in 1875. Legend says that after the war he remained bitter and dwelt extensively upon the loss of his men at Gettysburg.

The Adventure of the Naval Treaty 02.jpg

Watson, Holmes, Anne Harrison and Percy Phelps, 1893 illustration by Sidney Paget

In 1889, Start of Sherlock Holmes adventure “The Adventure of the Naval Treaty“.

In 1898, “Scientific America” carried the first magazine automobile ad. The Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, OH, invited readers to “dispense with a horse” this day.

In 1898, Corn Flakes were invented by Will Kellogg.

In 1912,  Japan’s Emperor Meiji dies and is succeeded by his son Yoshihito, who is now known as the Emperor Taishō.

In 1916,  Black Tom Island explosion in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Kilmer 1908 columbia yearbook picture.pngIn 1918,  Joyce Kilmer, American soldier, journalist, and poet (b. 1886) was killed by a sniper’s bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31. He was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled “Trees” (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his Roman Catholic religious faith, Kilmer was also a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. While most of his works are largely unknown, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies. Several critics—including both Kilmer’s contemporaries and modern scholars—have disparaged Kilmer’s work as being too simple and overly sentimental, and suggested that his style was far too traditional, even archaic. Many writers, including notably Ogden Nash, have parodied Kilmer’s work and style—as attested by the many parodies of “Trees”.

“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree; a tree whose branches wide and strong…”

At the time of his deployment to Europe during World War I, Kilmer was considered the leading American Roman Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, whom critics often compared to British contemporaries G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) and Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953). He enlisted in the New York National Guard and was deployed to France with the 69th Infantry Regiment (the famous “Fighting 69th”) in 1917. He was married to Aline Murray, also an accomplished poet and author, with whom he had five children.

In 1930,  In Montevideo, Uruguay wins the first FIFA World Cup.

In 1932,  Premiere of Walt Disney‘s Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.

In 1935, The first Penguin book was published, starting the paperback revolution. The idea came from Sir Allen Lane, who wanted to provide “a whole book for the price of 10 cigarettes.” The first one to be issued was “Ariel” by Andre Maurois.

In 1945,  World War II: Japanese submarine I-58 sinks the USS Indianapolis, killing 883 seamen.

In 1946, the U.S. joins UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

In 1956,  A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God we trust as the U.S. national motto.

In 1956, A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God we trust as the U.S. national motto.

In 1962,  The Trans-Canada Highway, the longest national highway in the world, is officially opened.

Kim Philby.jpgIn 1963, British spy Kim Philby found in Moscow. He was a high-ranking member of British intelligence who worked as a double agent before defecting to the Soviet Union in 1963. He served as both an NKVD and KGB operative. In 1963, Philby was revealed to be a member of the spy ring now known as the Cambridge Five, the other members of which were Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and, possibly, John Cairncross. Of the five, Philby is believed to have been most successful in providing secret information to the Soviet Union. His activities were moderated only by Joseph Stalin‘s fears that he was secretly on Britain’s side. Philby was an Officer of the Order of the British Empire(OBE) from 1946 to 1965.

In 1965,  U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

In 1966,  England defeats West Germany to win the 1966 FIFA World Cup at Wembley after extra time.

In 1969,  Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon makes an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and meets with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and U.S. military commanders.

In 1971,  Apollo program: Apollo 15 Mission: David Scott and James Irwin on the Apollo Lunar Module Falcon land on the Moon with the first Lunar Rover.

In 1971,  An All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 and a Japanese Air Force F-86 collide over Morioka, Iwate, Japan killing 162.

In 1974,  Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.

In 1974,  Six Canadian Army cadets are killed and fifty-four are injured in an accidental grenade blast at CFB Valcartier Cadet Camp.

In 1975,  Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. Although presumed dead, his remains have never been found. His 13-year prison sentence had been mysteriously commuted by President Richard Nixon. Hoffa was declared legally dead in 1982.

In 1978,  The 730 (transport), Okinawa Prefecture changes its traffic on the right-hand side of the road to the left-hand side.

In 1980,  Vanuatu gains independence.

In 1980,  Israel’s Knesset passes the Jerusalem Law

In 1989, In Lebanon, the pro-Iranian group Organization for the Oppressed on Earth threatened to kill an American hostage, Marine Lieutenant Colonel William R. Higgins, unless Israel released Sheik Abdul-Karim Obeid, a cleric seized by Israeli commandos.

In 1990,  George Steinbrenner is forced by Commissioner Fay Vincent to resign as principal partner of New York Yankees for hiring Howie Spira to “get dirt” on Dave Winfield.

In 1993, the National Postal Museum becomes the Smithsonian Institute’s 14th museum.

Buffalo Bob Smith and Howdy Doody.jpgIn 1998,  Buffalo Bob Smith, American television host (b. 1917) dies of cancer on July 30, 1998, in a hospital in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He was the host of the children’s show Howdy Doody.

The puppet, Howdy Doody was based on a caricature of Bob Smith’s sister, Esther. Esther was employed at Sattler’s department store in the drapery department and Howdy was the spitting image of her. Smith also was known as a singer and musician, appearing on many top shows of the time before and even after becoming nationally known for the Howdy Doody Show. At first it aired on Saturdays, then on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and finally, five times a week. In 1954, Mr. Smith suffered a heart attack and for a time, he did the show from a studio built in the basement of his home in Mount Vernon, New York. He returned to the NBC studio in 1955. The final NBC Howdy Doody episode aired in 1960. Later, in 1976, Smith reunited with longtime show producer Roger Muir and several of the original cast to produce a new daily syndicated Howdy Doody Show.

In 1970 and 1971, Smith embarked on a live tour of college campuses. The shows, organized by producer Burt DuBrow, mixed nostalgia with more contemporary humor, such as Buffalo Bob finding a package of Zig Zags (rolling paper) allegedly belonging to Clarabelle. One show, on April 4, 1971, was recorded and released as an LP, on the label “Project 3 Total Sound Stereo”. It was titled, “Buffalo Bob Smith Live at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East”. He had a summer residence in Grand Lake Stream, Maine, as well as owning radio station WQDY in Calais, Maine. He was well liked by locals, and occasionally hosted local events. He also owned WMKR (now WSYY) radio in Millinocket, Maine.

In 1999, Linda Tripp, whose secretly recorded phone conversations with Monica Lewinsky led to the impeachment of President Clinton, was charged in Maryland with illegal wiretapping (prosecutors later dropped the charges).

In 2003,  In Mexico, the last ‘old style’ Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.

In 2006,  The world’s longest running music show Top of the Pops is broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years.

In 2012,  A train fire kills 32 passengers and injures 27 on the Tamil Nadu Express in Andhra Pradesh, India.

In 2012,  A power grid failure in Delhi leaves more than 300 million people without power in northern India.

In 2014,  One hundred and fifty people are trapped after a landslide in the village of Ambe in the Pune district in India’s Maharashtra state with 20 killed.

In 2016, An oversight report by an independent taxpayer watchdog into the Veterans Affairs administration reveals more troubling information connected to the VA scandal, Fox News reports. According to the report’s findings, the VA spent $20 million on artwork and sculptures and added nearly 40,000 new jobs, though just one in 11 were medical positions, all while more than a thousand veterans died awaiting medical care.

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