19th July In History

American screenwriter Michael Crichton once said, "If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is a part of a tree." Is it not true that in the pages of past are stored the answers to all our queries? From evolution to discoveries to grueling wars, the annals of history are a kaleidoscope of events that have shaped the world into what it is today. Ever since the inception of mankind and human civilization, numerous such incidents have occurred and here we have made an effort to chronicle the events that took place on July 19. On this day in history watershed battles have been fought, peace talks have been initiated between rivals, great leaders have lost their lives, technology and science has taken huge leap forward, several accidents and natural disaster have taken place. In the sphere of politics too several strategic decisions have been taken, criminals have been indicted and many new organizations have been formed. Sportsmen from across all the seven continents have created records and broken previous ones. Without any further fuss let’s delve into the annals of history. Tune in to Today In History!


HISTORICAL EVENTS ON 19th July



1553

Politics

Lady Jane Grey Removed From The Throne Of England

After the death of King Edward, Lady Jane Grey was appointed the ruler of England but her accession to the throne lasted a mere nine days. On July 19, 1553 she was deposed and was later executed.


1821

Politics

Coronation Of King George IV Of The United Kingdom

On this day in 1821, King George IV was crowned the King of the United Kingdom in a pompous event, held at Westminister Abbey. The ceremony was organized at an expense of £243,000 (approximately £19,970,000, as of 2016).


1884

Politics

US Imposes Quarantine On Immigrants

It was on July 19, 1884, that the United States put into effect a law that imposed quarantine on immigrants entering the nation. The decree, issued by the government of President Arthur Chester, came after the epidemic Tuberculosis broke out in the continents of Europe and Asia.


1919

Politics

Luton Town Hall Burns As Ex-Servicemen Engage In Riots

July 19, 1919 was a day of merrymaking as most people were celebrating the end of World War I. Dubbed as the Peace Day, on July 19th Luton, England, witnessed people marching to the Town Hall. However, as the clock ticked by in merrymaking no one anticipated what was about to happen. A small group of people started a riot that would end in the destruction of the Town Hall and it was not before the wee hours of the next day that the riot could be controlled.


1956

Politics

United States Withdraws Offer Of Aid For Aswan Dam

Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser had criticized the Western ideology of manifest destiny, which justified US expansion throughout the American continent. John Foster Dulles, the then Secretary of State, revoked the funds allotted to Egypt for construction of a dam over the Nile River. The move was supposed to hinder the Egyptian alliance with Soviet, but it backfired and became one of the main reasons that caused the Suez Crisis of 1956.


1976

Politics

British Fishermen Fight For Exclusive Fishing Zone Around The Country

Prior to United Nations Law of the Sea Conference, Britain's foreign secretary Anthony Crosland was in talks with his other counterparts from the ‘European Economic Community (EEC)’, on this day in 1976. The British Fishermen demanded that a 50-mile fishing zone be reserved around the country exclusively for the British fishing industry, as opposed to a cumulative 200-mile radius for the entire ‘EEC’.


1981

Politics

‘Farewell Dossier’ Is Revealed

On this day in 1981, the French Prime Minister François Mitterrand met US President Ronald Reagan to probably make one of the most profound revelations of the 20th Century. The French premier presented documented evidence that clearly proved that the Soviet was organizing a stealth operation to obtain American technology. Named as the 'Farewell Dossier', the document contained more than 3000 pages and names of over four hundred KGB spies working on the operation.


1996

Politics

President Radovan Karadzic Resigns After Being Declared 'War Criminal'

Radovan Karadzic is deposed from his post of President of Bosnian Serbs on this day in 1996. The order from Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic came after the International War Crimes Tribunal found Radovan guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.


1997

Politics

The Irish Republican Army Announces A Ceasefire

On July 19, 1997, the Irish Republican Army accepted the suggestion of ‘Sinn Fein’, the republican political party and suspended their revolutionary activities for the second time. The ceasefire came at a time when the prospect of fresh peace negotiations between the two nations was brewing.


1333

Wars

Battle Of Halidon Hill

On July 19, 1333, the forces of King Edward III of England and the troops of Sir Archibald Douglas of Scotland engaged in what is known today as the Battle of Halidon Hill. The skirmish ended in a thumping victory for England.


1779

Wars

American Revolution: The Penobscot Expedition Began

This day in 1779 witnessed what would be later on regarded in history as a suicidal mission. Commodore Dudley Saltonstall led a naval fleet, consisting of 19 warships, 24 transport ships and more than 1,000 soldiers to the Penobscot Peninsula on an unauthorized mission, to launch an attack on a British garrison which stationed 750 redcoats. The Americans suffered heavy casualties and lost their ships.


1863

Wars

American Civil War: Corn-fed General John Hunt Morgan Defeated

General John Hunt Morgan was a brave and revered leader of the Confederates. Throughout his career, he led the secessionists in four audaciously bold raids against the Union. The last of his invasions was the one at Buffington Island which ended in his defeat on July 19, 1863 and he was captured later.


1864

Wars

Third Battle Of Nanking Concludes

China was grappled by a civil war raging between the Qing Dynasty and Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Known as the Taiping Rebellion, the war concluded with the Third Battle of Nanking. On July 19, 1864, the Qing dynasty finally succeeded in thwarting the rebels of Taiping Kingdom.


1870

Wars

Franco-Prussian War Begins

To further the cause of German unification under the Prussian banner, the states engaged in a war with the French troops of Napoleon III. On this day in 1870, 400,000 German soldiers launched an attack, that marked the beginning of Franco-Prussian war.


1916

Wars

Battle Of Fromelles

On this day in 1916, the combined troops of Britain and Australia launched an attack on the Germans stationed at Fromelles, France. The assault by the Allied forces on the enemy trenches was a part of a much larger action that was to take place at the Somme region.


1940

Wars

Battle Of Cape Spada

On July 19, 1940 the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom and Regno d'Italia (navy of Kingdom of Italy) confronted each other at Cape Spada. The encounter which was a part of World War II, witnessed the destruction of the cruiser 'Bartolomeo Colleoni'. The sinking warship caused over a hundred casualties for the Italians.


1940

Wars

Intelligence Corps Of The British Army Is Formed

Military intelligence and counter-intelligence work in the Great Britain is handled by the Intelligence Corps of the British Army. The unit in its present form was created by the Army Order 112 issued on July 19, 1940.


1942

Wars

Battle Of The Atlantic: German U-Boats Retreat From US Atlantic Coast

The Germans employed U-Boats or undersea boats during the World Wars. On July 19, 1942, the strong and vigilant convoy system employed by the American Navy, forced German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz to order the U-boats stationed at the Atlantic coast along the United States to retreat.


1943

Wars

World War II: Rome Is Bombed By Allied Forces

The British appealed to Italian citizens to not to pay heed to their leader Benito Mussolini. In an effort to further drive a wedge between the dictator and its citizens, the British attacked the Holy City of Rome on July 19, 1943. Mussolini had led the citizens to believe that Allied Forces will refrain from attacking Rome, but the bombings on the railway stations dispelled all myths.


1961

Wars

Bizerte Crisis Ensues

The French and Tunisian forces engaged in a three day battle known as the Bizerte Crisis. The root cause of the conflict was the blockade imposed by Tunisian troops on the French naval base in Bizerte. Though the Tunisians suffered over six hundred casualties, the French ultimately handed over the control of the naval base to them.


1964

Wars

South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Khánh Calls For Expanding The War

On July 19, 1964, the South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Khánh, attended a rally in the city of Saigon. He delivered a speech to motivate the masses into taking the war to North Vietnam. Though the U.S refused to comment on Khánh's statement, the office of the president viewed it as a breach of agreement that any decision regarding the war had to be consulted with the U.S.


1972

Wars

Dhofar Rebellion: The Battle Of Mirbat

A rebellion rose in the province of the Dhofar, against the Communist guerrillas, in the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman. The Dhofar rebels were assisted in their mission by Britain and Iran. The Battle of Mirabat was fought as a part of the rebellion on this day in 1972. The British Special Air Service fought alongside the rebel forces and even trained their troops.


1972

Wars

Peace Negotiations To Resolve Vietnam War Resumes

The peace talks between North Vietnam and South Vietnam, mediated by Paris, were interrupted as North Vietnamese troops launched the Nguyen Hue Offensive. However, on July 19th, 1972, an announcement from the capital cities of Washington and Hanoi, confirmed that the peace negotiations had resumed.


2014

Wars

Egypt's Western Desert Province Of New Valley Governorate Attacked

20 gunmen armed with machine guns and grenades attacked a military checkpoint in the New Valley Governorate in Egypt. The assault resulted in the death of 22 Egyptian border troops and destruction of the check post. An emergency was declared by the Egyptian President along the border the nation shares with its neighbor, Sudan.


1979

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Oil Tankers Collide In Caribbean Sea

A collision between two Greek crude oil tankers occurred on this day in 1979, creating the fifth largest oil spill incident in history. The oil tanker ‘SS Atlantic Empress’ crashed against the ‘Aegean Captain’ in the Caribbean Sea and the former sank after fire caused an explosion.


1985

Disasters & Natural Calamities

The Val Di Stava Dam Collapse In Italy

Italy witnessed one of its worst disasters on July 19, 1985, when the Val Di Stava Dam collapsed. As two tailing dams crumpled, 1, 80,000 cubic meters of water and sediment flowed down the Rio di Stava valley, causing massive destruction and loss of life.


1989

Disasters & Natural Calamities

United Airlines Flight 232 Crash

The Sioux City in Iowa was the place where the ill-fated ‘United Airlines Flight 232’ crashed. On July 19, 1989 while the jet airliner was flying to the ‘O'Hare International Airport’ from ‘Stapleton International Airport’, a technical failure in the engine caused malfunction in flight controls, causing the crash. However, owing to splendid crew resource management, 185 of the 296 passengers managed to survive.


1992

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Italian Judge Paolo Borsellino And Five Members Of His Escort Killed

On July 19, 1992, a bomb explosion in Sicily killed the Italian anti-mafia judge Paolo Borsellino. The bomb which was planted in Borsellino's car by the members of mafia also caused the death of five police officers, who were a part of the judge's security team.


1903

Sports

The First Tour De France Concludes

Cyclist Maurice Garin emerged victorious in the first Tour de France event, which concluded on this day in 1903. This historic event was sponsored by the renowned French newspaper ‘L'Auto’.


1952

Sports

The 1952 Summer Olympics Opens In Helsinki

On this day in 1952, Helsinki, Finland, became the northernmost city to have hosted the Summer Olympics. The Games of the ‘XV Olympiad’ witnessed the most number of world records being broken, a feat that was surpassed only during the ‘2008 Beijing Olympics’.


1980

Sports

The Summer Olympics Begins In Moscow

On July 19, 1980, the much-awaited Summer Olympics started in Eastern Europe. It was the first time ever in the history of Olympics that a socialist nation was selected to host the event like the ‘Games of the XXII Olympiad’. However, due to the Soviet-Afghan War, the Moscow Olympics was boycotted by 65 nations, including the US.


1992

Sports

Nick Faldo Clinches British Open

The youngest winner of British amateur golf title, Nick Faldo, added another jewel to his crown by clinching the ‘British Open’ contest on this day in 1992. He defeated American John Cook at Muirfield to win his third British Open title.


1898

Literature & Entertainment

Emile Zola Flees France

Acclaimed writer Emile Zola was caught in the heat of Dreyfus affair scandal, after she published a letter ‘J’Accuse’, citing her views on the controversy. She was accused of defamation and on July 19, 1898, she absconded from France to avoid imprisonment.


1989

Literature & Entertainment

Sitcom Actress Rebecca Schaeffer Murdered

Rebecca Schaeffer, who appeared on the ‘CBS’ sitcom titled 'My Sister Sam', was murdered by her stalker Robert John Bardo on July 19, 1989. The incident became a turning point in the history of anti-stalking laws.


1545

Trivia

Warship Mary Rose Sinks

Under the guidance of King Henry VIII, the navy of the Kingdom of England built a carrack-type warship which was named ‘Mary Rose’. The vessel was in service for more than thirty years before it sank on July 19, 1545 at Portsmouth.


1799

Trivia

Rosetta Stone Discovered By Napoleon’s Troops

Monarch Napoleon Bonaparte's troops made a discovery on this day in 1799 that would later help historians unlock the key to understanding 'hieroglyphics'. The soldiers stumbled upon a black basalt slab with inscriptions in three different languages. As the stone fragment was found in the town of Rosetta, the discovery was christened Rosetta Stone.


1832

Trivia

The ‘British Medical Association’ Is Established

A precursor to the ‘British Medical Association’, the ‘Provincial Medical and Surgical Association’ was established on this day in 1832 by English physician Sir Charles Hastings. The philanthropist founded the organization to improve the quality of healthcare and proposed the idea during a board meeting at the Worcester Infirmary.


1843

Trivia

The ‘SS Great Britain’ Was Launched

English mechanical and civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, designed a passenger ship named the ‘SS Great Britain’, the longest at the time and retained the distinction from 1845 to 1854. On July 19, 1843, this iron steamer, known to be the first of its kind, was launched and the vessel made its maiden voyage two years later. The ‘SS Great Britain’ has now been converted into a museum ship.


1848

Trivia

Seneca Falls Convention Opens In New York

Abolitionists Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton along with others organized United States’ first woman's rights convention. The two-day event which commenced on July 19, 1848, at Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, was graced by 200 women.


1879

Trivia

Doc Holliday Commits His First Murder

Doc Holliday, the dentist turned outlaw, performed his first act of crime on this day in 1879. The gunfighter and gambler had abandoned his practice after he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and established a saloon in Las Vegas. Apparently, one of the customers was trying to lure one of the female employees to elope with him and when the woman refused began firing bullets at the saloon. However Doc intervened and fired a fatal shot at the guy who dropped dead instantly.


1900

Trivia

The First Line Of The Paris Métro Is Opened To Public

The first of the sixteen lines that constitute the Paris Metro began operating on this day in 1900. The subway provided connectivity between La Défense – Grande Arche and Château de Vincennes station and sprawled over a distance of 16.5 kilometers.


1919

Trivia

War Monument Cenotaph Is Unveiled

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George ordered the construction of the Cenotaph, a monument in honor of those who lost their lives in World War I. The unveiling ceremony of the monument took place on July 19, 1919, during the Peace Day celebrations held in Whitehall, London.


1940

Trivia

Hitler Appoints Field Marshals

On this day in 1940, German leader Adolf Hitler awarded the prestigious rank of field marshal to twelve of his generals for their achievements in the battle field. It was the first occasion when the grade was revived, following a ban after World War I.


1942

Trivia

George Washington Carver Begins Experimental Project With Henry Ford

George Washington Carver was an agricultural chemist, who along with Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motors, devised a technique to synthesize rubber artificially. Carver, who initially refused to join Ford, finally gave in and arrived at Dearborn, Michigan on this day in 1942. The chemist began working towards developing synthetic rubber.


1963

Trivia

Joe Walker Makes World’s First Human Space Flight

NASA and U.S Air Force worked on a joint mission to develop hypersonic rocket-powered aircrafts which led to the inception of the ‘X’ series of aircrafts. On July 19, 1963, astronaut Joe Walker created history by flying the X-15 at an altitude of 106,010 meters. The X-15 Flight 90 which exceeded the conventional altitude of 100 m became the world's first space flight.


1976

Trivia

Sagarmatha National Park Is Established

The area surrounding Mount Everest and the Solu-Khumbu District of Nepal were declared protected on this day in 1976. Three years later, the Sagarmatha National Park was declared a world heritage site.


1983

Trivia

The First Three-Dimensional Image Of A Human Head Is Published

Michael W. Vannier, J. Marsh and J. Warren created the first ever 3D cranial image on this day in 1983. The trio used computer aided aircraft designing to reconstruct the spatial image of human brain from single computed tomography (CT) slices.


1983

Trivia

Flesh-Eating Dinosaur Skeleton Is Unveiled

It was on this day in 1983 that the Natural History museum in London exhibited the skeleton of a huge dinosaur for the first time. The entire skeleton was reconstructed after fossil hunter Bill Walker discovered a foot-long claw.


1991

Trivia

Mike Tyson Charged Of Sexual Assault By Model

It was widely believed that heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson raped ‘Miss Black America’ beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington on this day in 1991. The boxer, however, dismissed all charges against him and insisted that Washington had lent her consent.


2003

Trivia

A Funeral Procession For Celia Cruz Is Held In Miami

'Queen of Salsa', Celia Cruz, passed away after battling cancer on July 16, 2003. As per her last wish, the iconic singer's body was flown to Miami, Florida (the city being the closest to her home in Cuba) three days later. Fans flocked in large numbers to pay their last tributes to the musical legend.


People Born This Day

Charles Horace Mayo
(1865-1939)
Surgeon [ American ]
Abel Ferrara
(1951-)
Director, Screenwriter and Actor [ American ]
Samuel Colt
(1814-1862)
[ American ]
Brian May
(1947-)
[ British ]
Edgar Degas
(1834-1917)
Impressionist Painter [ French ]
Lizzie Borden
(1860-1927)
[ American ]
Howard Schultz
(1953-)
Chairman & CEO of Starbucks [ American ]
Khawaja Nazimuddin
(1894-1964)
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan [ Pakistani ]
Juan José Flores
(1800-1864)
First President of Ecuador [ Ecuadorian ]
Mangal Pandey
(1827-1857)
Revolutionary [ Indian ]
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
(1921-2011)
Medical Physicist [ American ]
Shane Lee Dawson (nee Yaw)
(1988-)
YouTuber, Director, Actor, Writer, Singer, Comedian [ American ]
Benedict Cumberbatch
(1976-)
Actor [ British ]
Baby Erin/ Princess of Bounce
(2005-)
Rapper [ American ]
Jared Padalecki
(1982-)
Actor [ American ]
Summerella
(1995-)
YouTuber, Viner [ American ]
Rosie Jones
(1990-)
Model [ British ]


People Died This Day

Francesco Petrarch
(1304-1374)
Poet, Scholar and Humanist [ Italian ]
Ada Cambridge
(1844-1926)
[ Australian ]
General Aung San
(1915-1947)
[ Burmese ]
Margaret Fuller
(1810-1850)
[ American ]
Petrarch
(1304-1374)
Poet & Philosopher [ Italian ]
James Garner
(1928-2014)
[ American ]
Alan Lomax
(1915-2002)
Folklorist [ American ]
Humayun Ahmed
(1948-2012)
Writer, Filmmaker [ Bangladeshi ]
Philippa of Lancaster
(1359-1415)
[ British ]
Syngman Rhee
(1875-1965)
Statesman [ Korean ]
Matthew Flinders
(1774-1814)
Voyager [ British ]
Agustín de Iturbide
(1783-1824)
Emperor of Mexico [ Mexican ]
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