July

List historic world events in July

Gorbachev re-elected as head of Communist Party

Gorbachev re-elected as head of Communist Party

In a vindication of his sweeping economic and political reforms, Mikhail Gorbachev withstands severe criticisms from his opponents and is re-elected head of the Soviet Communist Party by an overwhelming margin. Gorbachev’s victory was short-lived, however, as the Soviet Union collapsed in late 1991. Gorbachev came to power in the …

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Petain, leader of the Vichy government, dies

Petain, leader of the Vichy government, dies

On this day in 1951, General Henri-Philippe Petain, French national hero of World War I, who was convicted of collaboration with the German occupiers of his country during World War II and sentenced to life in prison, dies. He is 95. A graduate of Saint-Cyr Military Academy, Petain served as …

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JFK Jr. killed in plane crash

JFK Jr. killed in plane crash

On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr.; his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy; and her sister, Lauren Bessette, die when the single-engine plane that Kennedy was piloting crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr., was born on November 25, 1960, just a few weeks …

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Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Pacific Ocean

Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Pacific Ocean

More than a decade before Lewis and Clark, Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Euro-American to complete a transcontinental crossing north of Mexico. A young Scotsman engaged in the fur trade out of Montreal, Mackenzie made his epic journey across the continent without any of the governmental …

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Chevrolet builds 1 millionth Corvette

Chevrolet builds 1 millionth Corvette

The 1 millionth Corvette, a white LT1 roadster with a red interior and a black roof–the same colors as the original 1953 model–rolls off the assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky on this day in 1992. The Corvette, America’s first all-fiberglass-bodied sports car, made its splashy debut in January 1953 …

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The Dark Knight opens with highest-grossing weekend

The Dark Knight opens with highest-grossing weekend

On this day in 2008, The Dark Knight, the fifth film in the big-screen Batman series, opens in theaters around the United States, six months after the death of one of its stars, Heath Ledger, who played the Joker. The Dark Knight beat out the previous record-holder, 2007’s Spider-Man 3, …

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Lincoln tells his cabinet about Emancipation Proclamation

Lincoln tells his cabinet about Emancipation Proclamation

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln informs his chief advisors and cabinet that he will issue a proclamation to free slaves, but adds that he will wait until the Union Army has achieved a substantial military victory to make the announcement. Attempting to stitch together a nation mired …

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Bombing of North Vietnam continues

Bombing of North Vietnam continues

U.S. Air Force and Navy jets carry out a series of raids on fuel installations in the Hanoi-Haiphong area. The Dong Nam fuel dump, 15 miles northeast of Hanoi, with 9 percent of North Vietnam’s storage capacity, was struck on this day. The Do Son petroleum installation, 12 miles southeast …

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