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July 21, 1865: The Hickok – Tutt shootout occurred in the town square of Springfield, Missouri between Wild Bill Hickok, and cowboy, Davis Tutt. The first story of the shootout was detailed in an article in Harper's Magazine in 1867, making Hickok a household name and folk hero.
July 22, 1793: The Scottish explorer, Alexander Mackenzie, reached the Pacific Ocean becoming the first European to complete a transcontinental crossing of Canada. This was the first east to west crossing of North America north of Mexico and predated the Lewis and Clark expedition by 10 years.
July 23, 1914: Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia demanding that Serbia to allow the Austrians to investigate the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Serbia would reject the demand and Austria declared war on July 28.
July 24, 1983: George Brett batting for the Kansas City Royals against the New York Yankees, had a game-winning home run nullified in the what would become known as the "Pine Tar Incident." Yankees manager Billy Martin, had noticed a large amount of pine tar on Brett's bat and requested that the umpires inspect his bat. The umpires ruled that the amount of pine tar on the bat exceeded the amount allowed by rule, nullified Brett's home run, and called him out. As Brett was the third out in the ninth inning with the home team in the lead, the game ended with a Yankees win.
July 25, 1894: The First Sino-Japanese War began when the Battle of Pungdo took place offshore of Asan, Chungcheongnam-do Korea between cruisers of the Imperial Japanese Navy of Meiji Japan and components of the Beiyang Fleet of the Empire of China. The war was fought over the issue of control of Korea, and ended when China sued for peace in February 1895.
July 26, 1948: President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 desegregating the military of the United States. The order also established a committee to investigate and make recommendations to the civilian leadership of the military to implement the policy. The order eliminated Montford Point as a segregated Marine boot camp. It became a satellite facility of Camp Lejeune. The last of the all-black units in the United States military would not finally be abolished until September 1954.
July 27, 1794: Maximilien Robespierre was arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 "enemies of the Revolution." His goal had been to use the guillotine to create what he called a "republic of virtue." Robespierre argued, "Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie." Terror was thus a tool to accomplish his overarching goals for democracy.
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July 14, 1881: Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner. Rumors persist that Billy the Kid was not killed that night, but that Garrett, a known friend of the Kid's, may have staged it all so the Kid could escape the law.
July 15, 1799: The Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three different scripts (with some minor differences among them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
July 16, 1941: Joe DiMaggio hit safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as a Major League Baseball record. DiMaggio batted .408 during the streak, with 15 home runs and 55 RBI. The day after the streak ended, DiMaggio started another streak that lasted 17 games. The distinction of hitting safely in 73 of 74 games is also a record.
July 17, 1762: Catherine II became tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia. She was longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from July 1762 until her death at the age of sixty-seven. Russia was revitalized under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever and becoming recognized as one of the great powers of Europe.
July 18, 1976: Nadia Comăneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal, Canada. Comăneci was the first Romanian gymnast to win the Olympic all-around title. She also holds the record for being the youngest Olympic gymnastics all-around champion ever.
July 19, 1848: The two-day Women's Rights Convention opened in Seneca Falls, New York. Female Quakers local to the area organized the meeting along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a skeptical non-Quaker. The meeting had six sessions, included a lecture on law, a humorous presentation, and multiple discussions about the role of women in society.
July 20, 1969: Apollo 11 successfully maked the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon almost 7 hours later.