On this Day July 21

History Highlights

1861 – In the first major clash of the Civil War, the Battle of Bull Run, a large Union force under General Irvin McDowell is routed by a Confederate army led by General Pierre G.T. Beauregard.

1925 – The so-called “Monkey Trial” ends with Tennessee high school biology teacher John Scopes found guilty of teaching evolution in class. He is fined $100.

1955 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower presents his “Open Skies” plan at the Geneva summit. It calls on the U.S. and Soviet Union to exchange maps showing the location of every military installation in their respective nations.

1961 – Astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom, piloting Liberty Bell 7, becomes the second American to go into space in a suborbital mission. 

1970 – After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt is completed.

1989 – Writer-director Spike Lee’s celebrated third feature film, “Do the Right Thing” about racial tensions boiling over in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on the hottest day of the year — opens in U.S. theaters. The movie receives Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Danny Aiello.

2005 – Terrorists attempt to attack the London transit system with bombs planted on three subways and a bus, however none detonates completely. The plot comes two weeks after terrorists killed 52 people and wounded over 700 others in the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II.

2011 – NASA’s 30-year space shuttle program comes to an end with the early-morning landing of shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 13-day mission to the International Space Station was the 33rd for Atlantis and 135th for NASA’s shuttle fleet.

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20 Greatest Hits

The Coasters

Appetite for Destruction

Guns N’ Roses

The Scopes Monkey Trial

Randy Moore and William McComas

Liberty Bell 7: The Suborbital Mercury Flight of Virgil I. Grissom

Colin Burgess

The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway

Good Will Hunting

Starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Minnie Driver, and directed by Gus Van Sant

On this Day July 10

History Highlights

1850 – Vice President Millard Fillmore is sworn in as the 13th U.S. president. President Zachary Taylor had died the day before of a severe intestinal ailment. Fillmore becomes only the second man to inherit the presidency due to death.

1925 – The so-called “Monkey Trial” begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law. 

1962 –  Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin receives a U.S. patent for the three-point, lap-and-shoulder vehicle seatbelt. It is considered one of the most significant safety innovations of all time.

1962 – NASA launches Telstar, the world’s first communications satellite, from Cape Canaveral. Two days later, the man-made orb relays the first transatlantic television signal from Maine to France.

1978 – The ABC News nightly “World News Tonight” broadcast premieres, featuring co-anchors Frank Reynolds in Washington, D.C., Max Robinson in Chicago and Peter Jennings in London. 

1985 – French secret service agents plant two bombs on the hull of the Rainbow Warrior, the flagship of international conservation group Greenpeace, and sink the vessel in Auckland Harbor New Zealand. One crew member is killed in the blast, which was aimed at stopping the Rainbow Warrior from a protest mission to a French nuclear test site in the South Pacific.

1992 – The Alaska court of appeals overturns the conviction of Joseph Hazelwood, former captain of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez, citing a federal statute that gave him immunity from prosecution for the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

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Tossin' and Turnin'

Bobby Lewis

Hot Rocks (1964-1971)

The Rolling Stones

The Scopes Monkey Trial: The History of 20th Century America’s Most Famous Court Case

Charles River Editors

Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist

Patrick Moore

Barney Miller, Season 1

Starring Hal Linden, Max Gail, Ron Glass, Abe Vigoda and Jack Soo

Entourage, Season 1

Starring Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Jeremy Piven

On this Day May 5

History Highlights

1862 – During the Battle of Puebla, Mexican troops under General Ignacio Zaragoza — outnumbered three to one — defeat invading French forces. The historic event is marked each year with Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

1925 – Teacher John Scopes is arrested for violating the Butler Act, which prevents the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools. He is later tried in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial.

1945 – One woman and five children are killed in rural Oregon while attempting to drag a Japanese balloon out the woods. The balloon was armed and exploded after the group began tampering with it. They were the first and only known American civilians killed in the continental U.S. during World War II.

1955 – The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) becomes a sovereign state when the U.S., France and Great Britain end their 10-year military occupation. The move clears the way for West Germany to rearm and become a full-fledged member of the western alliance against the Soviet Union.

1961 – Astronaut Alan Shepard becomes the first American to travel into outer space during a suborbital flight of 15 minutes aboard the Mercury capsule named Freedom 7.

1985 – President Ronald Reagan angers Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors by visiting the Bitburg war cemetery in Germany, unaware that the cemetery houses the graves of 49 Nazi officers.

2002 – “Spider-Man” becomes first movie to top $100 million in an opening weekend. Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire in the title role, the eagerly awaited comic book adaptation rakes in a staggering $114.8 million.

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West Side Story (The Original Sound Track Recording)

Music by Leonard Bernstein; lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

20 Greatest Hits

The Shirelles

We Seven: By the Astronauts Themselves

Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter “Wally” Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald “Deke” Slayton

A Religious Orgy in Tennessee:
A Reporter's Account of the Scopes Monkey Trial

H.L. Mencken

Witness for the Prosecution

Starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton, and directed by Billy Wilder

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Adele