July 1, 69 CE – Vespasian Declared Emperor by His Egyptian Legions

No Picture

July 1, 69 CE – Vespasian Declared Emperor by His Egyptian LegionsRate this post In the wake of Nero’s death in 68 CE, the Roman Empire became a free-for-all. The Year of the Four Emperors – a civil war by another name – saw Galba assume the throne, only to be murdered by Otho, a man soon overtaken by Vitellius in April. Otho’s backers, eager to find someone to remove the new Emperor, were pleased to see Vespasian declared the rightful heir by the Roman Army in Egypt on July 1, 69. (Not without a little help, for what it’s worth.) Titus Flavius Vespasianus was an Italian by birth. He’d […]

July 1 1991 – The Warsaw Pact, the Communist answer to NATO in Europe, is dissolved in Prague

No Picture

July 1 1991 – The Warsaw Pact, the Communist answer to NATO in Europe, is dissolved in PragueRate this post In 1955, when the United States and other NATO members decided to include West Germany as a member of the organization and made way for the nation to remilitarize, the move was perceived as a direct threat by erstwhile USSR and the communist bloc. The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, popularly called Warsaw Pact, signed in 1955, came as a natural consequence. With the pact the communist nations pledged mutual cooperation and defense alliance. The Warsaw Pact dominated the political scenario in the communist world (namely […]

July 2, 1908 CE – Birth of Thurgood Marshall, First African-American Supreme Court Justice

No Picture

July 2, 1908 CE – Birth of Thurgood Marshall, First African-American Supreme Court JusticeRate this post The American judicial system – an effective instrument for social change in the middle of the 20th century – would be forever changed thanks to a humble birth in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908. William Marshall, a porter for the local railroad, and his wife Norma, a teacher, welcomed a baby boy named Thoroughgood to their family on this summer Thursday. Nearly six decades later, Thurgood – a name he created in second grade because it was easier to spell – would be approved by the United States Senate as the first African-American […]

July 3, 1976 CE – Israel Launches Operation Entebbe on Air France Flight 139

No Picture

July 3, 1976 CE – Israel Launches Operation Entebbe on Air France Flight 139Rate this post For seven days, Air France Flight 139 out of Athens had been out of its owners’ hands. Having left Greece on June 27th bound for Paris, the aircraft was soon diverted to Libya after four hijackers – two Palestinians and two Germans – stormed the cockpit. Late in the evening on July 3, 1976, a team of 100 commandos from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) launched Operation Entebbe, one of the most daring counter-terrorism rescues in history. The ordeal began after the Airbus A300 lifted off from Athens International Airport. The hijackers commandeered the […]

July 4, 1826 CE – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams Die 50 Years After Signing the Declaration of Independence

No Picture

July 4, 1826 CE – Thomas Jefferson and John Adams Die 50 Years After Signing the Declaration of IndependenceRate this post On July 4, 1776, the 13 American colonies famously declared independence from the British Monarchy by issuing a decree signed by the 56 men of the Second Continental Congress. Two of them, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, would go on to have one of the most contentious and productive political relationships in the history of the United States. Fifty years after helping giving birth to a new nation, Jefferson and Adams would die on the same day, July 4, 1826. The story of these two legendary figures is defined […]

July 5, 1989 CE – South African President Pieter Botha Visits Nelson Mandela in Prison

No Picture

July 5, 1989 CE – South African President Pieter Botha Visits Nelson Mandela in PrisonRate this post Four miles off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, Robben Island stands as a monument to the quest to end apartheid. For three decades, it housed the activists regarded by the government as the most dangerous in the country – typically with little in the way of legal proceedings – just a short distance from the offices of the country’s chief executive. Among the hundreds of political prisoners behind bars or working fields on July 5, 1989, one had been transported to a very important meeting. Pieter Botha, the President of South […]

July 6, 1535 CE – The Death of Sir Thomas More

No Picture

July 6, 1535 CE – The Death of Sir Thomas MoreRate this post Three years after resigning his position as Chancellor to King Henry VIII due to the growing conflict between the monarchy and the Pope, Sir Thomas More was executed for treason on July 6, 1535. The prolific philospher and devout Catholic had defied the irascible Henry in the quest to annul the royal marriage to Queen Catherine, siding with his beloved church. Standing on the gallows before meeting his end, More proclaimed himself “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Born into a successful London family, More showed tremendous promise from the start. Working as a page for […]

July 7, 1937 CE – Japan Begins an Undeclared War on China

No Picture

July 7, 1937 CE – Japan Begins an Undeclared War on ChinaRate this post A mere four decades after the First Sino-Japanese war (and after six years of fighting on and off), the Japanese launched an all-on assault against the Chinese on July 7, 1937 at Marco Polo Bridge. Superior in every way to their counterparts on the mainland, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) soon controlled Beiping and Tianjin, opening up what would become the Pacific Theater in World War II. The Marco Polo Bridge had tremendous strategic value. Sitting on the Yongding River less than ten miles from Beijing, the structure was once praised by the Venetian traveler when […]

July 8, 1497 CE – Vasco da Gama Leaves Lisbon in Search of a Southern Sea Route to India

No Picture

July 8, 1497 CE – Vasco da Gama Leaves Lisbon in Search of a Southern Sea Route to IndiaRate this post Four ships and 170 men caught a gentle Portuguese breeze, floating majestically out of the Lisbon harbor in search of a new route to India. The Sao Gabriel, under the command of Vasco da Gama, led the envoy out into the Atlantic Ocean on July 8th, 1497. Only two of the boats and less than half the crew would return from the voyage east. For much of the early part of the journey, da Gama and his men sailed along known routes hugging the western coast of Africa. As […]

July 9, 1900 CE – The Commonwealth of Australia is Decreed by Queen Victoria

No Picture

July 9, 1900 CE – The Commonwealth of Australia is Decreed by Queen VictoriaRate this post The House of Lords and House of Commons, more than 10,000 miles away from six self-governing states in the South Pacific, passed an act to create the federation of Australia, a law decreed by Queen Victoria on July 9th, 1900. After more than 125 years of serving as variously as a prison colony and a collection of independent territories, a new Commonwealth would be officially created on January 1, 1901. The process to create a new nation out of six unique colonies had taken decades. The initial rumblings of the need for sovereignty were […]