On this Day July 14

History Highlights

1789 – French revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress and prison that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signals the beginning of the French Revolution. Today, it is observed as the national holiday of Bastille Day in France.

1881 – William H. Bonney, better known as the outlaw Billy the Kid, is shot and killed at the age of 21 by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The gunfighter, also known as Henry McCarty, had led authorities on a three-month manhunt after escaping from prison where he was awaiting execution on murder charges.

1955 – Volkswagen introduces the iconic, rear-engine Karmann-Ghia coupe in Europe. One year later, VW introduces the vehicle to the U.S. auto market, and in 1958, rolls out a convertible model. The Karmann-Ghia remains in production through 1974.

1965 – Mariner 4 takes the first close-up photos of Mars. Its blurry views of craters and bare ground lead some scientists to believe that Mars has an environment that is similar to the moon. 

1966 – One of the nation’s most notorious killers, Richard Speck, brutally murders eight student nurses at the home they share on Chicago’s South Side. Authorities conduct a manhunt and capture Speck two days later. He spends the rest of his life in prison until his death from a heart attack in 1991 at age 49.

1968 – Atlanta Braves slugger Henry “Hank” Aaron becomes the  seventh major league player to achieve 500 career home runs when he knocks the ball out of the park during a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants.

1969 – The U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve officially remove the $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills from circulation. 

2016 – A terrorist drives a truck at high speed down a crowded sidewalk in Nice, France during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 86 people, including 10 children. More than 300 other people are injured.

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