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On This Day
July
14 July

On This Day: 14 July

The Third Council of Nimes – presided over by Pope Urban II, and resulting in the adoption of sixteen disciplinary canons – ends Click to show or hide the answer
King Philip II of France dies, and is succeeded by his son Louis VIII Click to show or hide the answer
Czech Hussite forces, commanded by Jan Žižka, gain a decisive victory against the Crusade army led by Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, at the Battle of Ví¬≠tkov Hill (on the outskirts of Prague) Click to show or hide the answer
The Spanish Portolá Expedition (led by Gaspar de Portolá) leaves its base in California and sets out to find the Port of Monterey (first documented in 1602, but since lost) Click to show or hide the answer
Citizens of Paris storm the mediaeval armoury, fortress and political prison known as the Bastille – representing royal authority in the centre of the city, and seen as a symbol of the abuse of power by the monarchy, even though it held only seven inmates at the time Click to show or hide the answer
Scottish explorer Alexander Mackenzie finally completes his journey to the mouth of the great river that he hoped would take him to the Pacific, but which turns out to flow into the Arctic Ocean. Later named after him, the Mackenzie is the second–longest river system in North America Click to show or hide the answer
The controversial English polymath Joseph Priestley, an outspoken supporter of the French Revolution, is forced to flee Birmingham when over thirty buildings, including his house and four Dissenters' chapels, are burnt down by rioters as Priestley and other sympathisers prepare to celebrate the second anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille Click to show or hide the answer
The King and Queen of Hawaii die of measles during a visit to Britain Click to show or hide the answer
The Oxford Movement is launched after a sermon by John Keble Click to show or hide the answer
Battle of Waitzen (Russia vs. Hungary) begins Click to show or hide the answer
The Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations – the United States' first major 'world's fair' – opens in New York City Click to show or hide the answer
US Commodore Matthew Perry is permitted to land at Kurihama, at the mouth of Tokyo Bay, to present Japanese officials with a letter from President Millard Fillmore. This was the first step in the process of forcing Japan to open its ports to American traders, which would be completed the following March by the signing of the Kanagawa Treaty Click to show or hide the answer
Edward Whymper's party makes the first ascent of the Matterhorn; but four of them (not including Whymper himself) would fall to their deaths when a rope broke during the descent. 56 years later, William Platt would write (in The Joy of Mountains) that the four went "as brave men do, without a single cry" Click to show or hide the answer
Alfred Nobel demonstrates dynamite for the first time, at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey Click to show or hide the answer
Chigago is devastated by a fire in which 47 acres of buildings are destroyed Click to show or hide the answer
Henry McCarty ('Billy the Kid', a.k.a. William H. Bonney) is shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in (or outside) Fort Sumner, New Mexico Click to show or hide the answer
The Cunard steamship Etruria reaches Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, after sailing from New York in 6 days, 4 hours and 50 minutes Click to show or hide the answer
During the Boxer Rebellion, armies of the Eight–Nation Alliance (Germany, Japan, Russia, Britain, France, the United States, Italy and Austria–Hungary) capture the city of Tientsin Click to show or hide the answer
Edmund Barton is appointed as the first Governor–General of Australia Click to show or hide the answer
The campanile (bell–tower) of St. Mark's Cathedral, Venice, collapses during a safety investigation Click to show or hide the answer
Harry Atwood, an exhibition pilot for the Wright brothers, lands his aeroplane at the South Lawn of the White House. He is later awarded a Gold medal from President William Howard Taft Click to show or hide the answer
The BBC transmits its first television play – Pirandello's The Man with a Flower in his Mouth Click to show or hide the answer
As part of the process of Gleichschaltung (co–ordination) – by which they successively established a system of totalitarian control over all aspects of German society – Hitler and the Nazi Party outlaw all political parties except their own Click to show or hide the answer
Hitler and the Nazi Party proclaim the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring, calling for the compulsory sterilisation of any citizen who suffers from alleged genetic disorders Click to show or hide the answer
Howard Hughes completes a round–the–world flight in 91 hours, setting a new record Click to show or hide the answer
Victory for the Union of Labor Lithuania (ULL) in parliamentary elections called by the People's Seimas (a puppet regime set up by the Soviet Union) paves the way for Lithuania to become part of the Soviet Union a week later Click to show or hide the answer
Dr. Benjamin Spock's Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care is first published Click to show or hide the answer
Early in the Korean War, North Korean troops initiate the Battle of Taejon Click to show or hide the answer
Rawya Ateya becomes the first female parliamentarian in the Arab world, taking her seat in the National Assembly of Egypt Click to show or hide the answer
King Faisal II of Iraq is assassinated, during a military coup in Baghdad which allows Abd al–Karim Qasim to become prime minister, defence minister and commander–in–chief. King Hussein of Jordan calls for British and US military help to avert a similar rebellion in his country Click to show or hide the answer
USS Long Beach – the first nuclear warship – is launched Click to show or hide the answer
English primatologist Jane Goodall arrives at the Gombe Stream Reserve, in present–day Tanzania, to begin her famous study of chimpanzees in the wild Click to show or hide the answer
Mariner 4 makes the first successful flyby of the planet Mars, taking the first close–up pictures of a planet other than Earth Click to show or hide the answer
Yvette Vaucher becomes the first woman to reach the summit of the Matterhorn, on the centenary of Whymper's first ascent Click to show or hide the answer
Actress Brigitte Bardot marries millionaire playboy Gunter Sachs, the heir to two German engineering businesses including the car maker Opel, in Las Vegas. He is her third husband, and is said to have courted her by flying over her villa on the French Riviera in a helicopter and dropping hundreds of roses. They would divorce in October 1969 Click to show or hide the answer
The House of Commons passes a bill legalising abortion Click to show or hide the answer
Riots break out in Honduras against Salvadoran migrant workers, after Honduras loses against El Salvador, initiating the four–day (so–called) Football War Click to show or hide the answer
Cheshire Police call off the hunt for the murderer of three French tourists (two teachers and a student) two days earlier, after the body of Michael Bassett, 24, is found in his maroon Ford Escort in a beauty spot near the village of Barlaston, Staffordshire, with a sucide note including a confession to the murders Click to show or hide the answer
Capital punishment is abolished in Canada Click to show or hide the answer
Don Revie resigns as England manager (during the qualifying tournament for the 1978 World Cup) to take up a post in the United Arab Emirates Click to show or hide the answer
Martial law is formally lifted in Taiwan Click to show or hide the answer
In the most serious outbreak of industrial unrest since Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, Siberian coal mines are left idle as 300,000 miners in seven Siberian cities strike for better pay and working conditions Click to show or hide the answer
Scuffles break out in Paris during celebrations at the opening of a new concert hall, Opera Bastille, on the site where the French Revolution began 200 years ago Click to show or hide the answer
The Killyhelvin Hotel in Enniskillen is blown up Click to show or hide the answer
After a two–year court case, a jury in Washington orders tobacco companies to pay $145 billion to sick smokers in Florida Click to show or hide the answer
Six days of crisis talks at Weston Park in Staffordshire, aimed at saving the Northern Ireland peace process, end in deadlock Click to show or hide the answer
Maxime Brunerie, 25, a neo–Nazi activist, is restrained by bystanders as he attempts to shoot French President Jacques Chirac during the traditional Bastille Day review of troops Click to show or hide the answer
The Butler Committee reports that the evidence on which the case for the war in Iraq was based was "seriously flawed", but fails to hold anyone responsible Click to show or hide the answer
'The NatWest Three' – Gary Mulgrew, David Bermingham and Giles Darby, who together are accused of embezzling $7.3m (£4m) in a fraud involving the collapsed US energy company Enron – are released on bail in Houston, Texas after being extradited from the UK Click to show or hide the answer
NASA's New Horizons probe performs the first flyby of Pluto, completing 'the initial survey of the Solar System' Click to show or hide the answer
86 people lose their lives, and 458 others are injured, when Mohamed Lahouaiej–Bouhlel, a Tunisian immigrant, drives a 19–tonne cargo truck into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. He is shot dead by police Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2020