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On a July 21:
2000 Special Counsel John C. Danforth concluded "with 100% certainty" that the US federal government was innocent of wrongdoing in the siege that killed 80 members of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, in 1993.
2000 Group of Eight leaders met for an economic summit on the Japanese island of Okinawa, where President Clinton also sought to soothe long-simmering tensions over the huge US military presence.
1998 FTC warns Dot.coms to ensure privacy       ^top^
      The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission tells a House panel that unless Internet businesses quickly adopt voluntary measures to protect consumer privacy, the FTC will endorse tough new privacy laws. The FTC specifies several measures necessary to protect privacy, including alerts on Web sites notifying consumers about how personal information will be used, and giving them the opportunity to view and correct information.
      A group of Internet companies including Microsoft, America Online, IBM, Netscape, and others were also in the process of developing a set of privacy standards for the industry.
1997 MS invests in RealAudio and RealVideo       ^top^
      Microsoft announces it will buy 10 percent of Progressive Networks, maker of the popular Internet plug-ins RealAudio and RealVideo. The two companies said they would work together to perfect streaming audio and video technologies, and Microsoft agreed to include Progressive Network software in its Internet Explorer browser.
1991 Jordan became the fourth Arab country to sign on to a U.S.-backed Middle East peace conference. Secretary of State James A. Baker III met with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, trying to persuade the Israelis to agree to the talks.
1983 Polish government ends 19 months of martial law
1983 Lowest air temperature ever observed on Earth: – 89ºC at the Soviet Vostok station in Antarctica.
1980 Draft registration began in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.
1980 Jean-Claude Droyer climbs the Eiffel Tower in 2 hrs 18 mins (???)
1978 World's strongest dog, 80-kg St Bernard, pulls 2909-kg load 27 m
1969 Neil Armstrong steps on the Moon at 2:56:15 AM (GMT). Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin blasted off from the moon aboard the lunar module.
1965 Pakistan, Iran & Turkey sign Regional Co-Operation pact
1965 Johnson considers Vietnam options      ^top^
      With Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara back from a visit to Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson begins a weeklong series of conferences with his civilian and military advisers on Vietnam. He also met with private citizens that he trusted during this period. Johnson appeared to be considering all the options with an open mind, but it was clear that he was leaning toward providing more combat troops to bolster the faltering South Vietnamese government. Johnson was faced with a rapidly deteriorating situation in Vietnam. The Viet Cong had increased the level of combat and there were indications that Hanoi was sending troops to fight in South Vietnam. It was apparent that the South Vietnamese were in danger of being overwhelmed. Johnson had sent Marines and paratroopers to protect US installations, but he was becoming convinced that more had to be done to stop the communists or they would soon overwhelm South Vietnam. While some advisers, such as Undersecretary of State George Ball, recommended a negotiated settlement, McNamara urged the president to "expand promptly and substantially" the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam. Johnson, not wanting to "lose" Vietnam to the communists, ultimately accepted McNamara's recommendation. On July 22, he authorized a total of 44 U.S. battalions for commitment in South Vietnam, a decision that led to a massive escalation of the war. There were less than ten U.S. Army and Marine battalions in South Vietnam at this time. Eventually there would be more than 540,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam.
1960 Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the first woman prime minister of Ceylon.
1960 The country of Katanga forms in Africa
1959 1st atomic powered merchant ship, Savannah, christened, Camden NJ
1955 Eisenhower presents his "Open Skies" plan      ^top^
     US President Dwight D. Eisenhower presents his "Open Skies" plan at the 1955 Geneva summit meeting with representatives of France, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. The plan, though never accepted, laid the foundation for President Ronald Reagan's later policy of "trust, but verify" in relation to arms agreements with the Soviet Union. Eisenhower met with Prime Minister Anthony Eden of Great Britain, Premier Edgar Faure of France, and Premier Nikolai Bulganin of the Soviet Union (acting for Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev) in Geneva in July 1955. The agenda for the summit included discussions on the future of Germany and arms control. As it became clear that no consensus could be reached on the issue of possible German reunification or the precise configuration of an arms control agreement, Eisenhower dramatically unveiled what came to be known as his "Open Skies" proposal. It called for the United States and the Soviet Union to exchange maps indicating the exact location of every military installation in their respective nations. With these maps in hand, each nation would then be allowed to conduct aerial surveillance of the installations in order to assure that the other nations were in compliance with any arms control agreements that might be reached. While the French and British expressed interest in the idea, the Soviets rejected any plan that would leave their nation subject to surveillance by a Western power. Khrushchev declared that Eisenhower's "Open Skies" was nothing more than an "espionage plot." Indeed, "Open Skies" was much less than an "espionage plot." Eisenhower himself was later quoted as saying that he knew the Soviets would never accept the plan, but thought that their rejection of the idea would make the Russians look like they were the major impediment to an arms control agreement. For the Soviets, the idea of U.S. planes conducting surveillance of their military bases was unthinkable. They did not want it known that the Soviet Union was far behind the United States in terms of its military capabilities. The United States soon found that out anyway--just a few months after the Soviet rejection of "Open Skies," the Eisenhower administration approved the use of high-altitude spy planes (the famous U-2s) for spying on the Soviet Union. Thirty years later, President Reagan would use much the same rhetoric in his arms control dealings with the Soviet Union. Arms control, he declared, could only be effective if compliance with such agreements could be verified. "Trust, but verify," became Reagan's standard phrase.
1954 At Geneva, the French sign an armistice with the Viet Minh that ends the war but divides Vietnam into two countries.
1949 NATO approved by U.S. Senate       ^top^
      By a vote of eighty-two to thirteen, the U.S. Senate authorizes U.S. participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and allocates funds to be used toward the establishment of the military alliance. On April 4, 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed by twelve Western democracies--the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, and Canada--as a safeguard against the threat of Soviet aggression.
      The U.S.-dominated alliance greatly increased US influence in Western Europe, and also led to the establishment of the Warsaw Pact, a Soviet-led Eastern European military alliance, in 1955. In 1952, Greece and Turkey joined NATO, followed by West Germany in 1955. In 1965, France withdrew from the alliance, citing increasing U.S. domination in violation of the 1949 treaty.
      With the end of the Cold War, NATO members approved the use of its military forces for peacekeeping missions in countries outside the alliance, and in 1994, the organization agreed to enforce U.N. resolutions enacted to end the bloody conflict in the former Yugoslavia. In 1994 and 1995, in the first actions in its forty-five-year history, NATO planes enforced the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina, and struck at Bosnian Serb military positions and airfields on a number of occasions. Then, on December 20, 1995, NATO began the mass deployment of 60'000 troops to enforce the Dayton peace accords, signed in Paris by the belligerent parties of the former Yugoslavia six days before.
1946 Jésus T Piñerol becomes 1st native born Puerto Rican governor
1944 U.S. Army and Marine forces land on Guam in the Marianas.
1941 France accepts Japan's demand for military control of Indochina.
1940 Soviet Union annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
1934 45ºC, near Gallipolis, Ohio (state record)
1925 The Monkey Trial ends       ^top^
      In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" ends with John Thomas Scopes convicted of teaching evolution in violation of Tennessee law. Scopes is ordered to pay a fine of $100, the minimum that the law allowed. In March of that year, the Tennessee legislature had passed the anti-evolution law, making it a misdemeanor punishable to "teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."
     The case debated in the so-called "Trial of the Century" was never really in doubt; the jury only conferred for a few moments in the hallway before returning to the courtroom with a guilty verdict. Nevertheless, the supporters of evolution won the public relations battle that was really at stake. Despite popular perceptions of the case, fueled in part by the Broadway play and movie Inherit the Wind, the Scopes trial was never more than a show trial.
      On 04 May 1925, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had published a newspaper advertisement offering to help any Tennessee schoolteacher to challenge the new law outlawing the teaching of evolution. George W. Rappleyea, a New Yorker who had moved to Dayton, Tennessee, read the ad and persuaded the local townspeople that Dayton should host a trial in order get publicity. The leaders of the less than 2000 residents of Dayton quickly came around to Rappleyea's idea. The anti-evolution school superintendent agreed. Even Dayton's prosecutors were in on the deal. The last piece of the puzzle was to find a defendant. Twenty-four-year-old John T. Scopes, a local high school science teacher and football coach, agreed to fill the role since he wasn't planning on staying in Dayton for the long term. No one was really concerned whether he had actually taught evolution to his students. The fact that he had been using the state-approved science textbook, which included a chapter on evolution, was deemed sufficient. A warrant was made for Scopes' arrest, and word went out that the trial would begin in the summer.
      Although the rest of Tennessee was displeased with Dayton's plan, 500 seats were added to the town's courtroom for press and spectators, and loudspeakers were set up on the lawn outside and in four auditoriums around town. This proved necessary when the nation's leading figures in the evolution debate hijacked the case from the local attorneys. William Jennings Bryan,, a former congressman who had twice run for president before serving as secretary of state for Woodrow Wilson, took over the prosecution. Bryan had personally initiated the campaign against evolution in the United States; the Tennessee law was his first major success.
      Knowing that it would be the perfect forum to debate Bryan on the evolution and creationism issue, the great liberal lawyer Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense. While the press flooded into Dayton for the showdown between these two larger-than-life figures, a Chicago radio station broadcast the trial live--a first in America.
      On July 10, the Monkey Trial got underway, and within a few days, hordes of spectators and reporters had descended on Dayton as preachers set up revival tents along the city's main street to keep the faithful stirred up. Inside the Rhea County Courthouse, the defense suffered early setbacks when Judge John Raulston ruled against their attempt to prove the law unconstitutional, and then refused to end his practice of opening each day's proceeding with prayer.
      Meanwhile, in the streets outside, the Dayton took on a carnival-like atmosphere as an exhibit featuring two chimpanzees and a supposed "missing link" opened in town, and vendors sold Bibles, toy monkeys, hot dogs, and lemonade. The missing link was in fact Jo Viens of Burlington, Vermont, a fifty-one-year-old man who was of short stature and possessed a receding forehead and a protruding jaw. One of the chimpanzees — "Joe Mendi" — wore a plaid suit, a brown fedora, and white spats, and entertained Dayton's citizens by monkeying around on the courthouse lawn.
      Back inside, Judge Raulston destroyed the defense's plan by ruling that expert scientific testimony on evolution was inadmissible--on the grounds that it was Scopes who was on trial, not the law that he had violated. He cut off every attempt by Darrow to debate the validity of evolution. The next day, Raulston ordered the trial moved to the courthouse lawn, fearing that the weight of the crowd inside was in danger of collapsing the floor. In front of several thousand spectators in the open air, Darrow changed his tactics, and as his sole witness called Bryan in an attempt to discredit his literal interpretation of the Bible.
      Although the judge would never have allowed a prosecutor to be called as a defense witness, Bryan didn't dare back down to the challenge. In a famous exchange, Darrow questioned Bryan on the literal interpretation of the Bible's account of the beginning of the world. With masterful questioning, Darrow made a monkey out of Bryan, forcing him to admit that a purely literal interpretation was not possible, making him look very foolish., to the amusement of the crowd. On July 21, in his closing speech, Darrow asked the jury to return a verdict of guilty in order that the case might be appealed. Under Tennessee law, Bryan was thereby denied the opportunity to deliver a closing speech he had been preparing for weeks.
      After eight minutes of deliberation the jury returned with a guilty verdict, and Raulston ordered Scopes to pay the minimum fine of $100. Although Bryan had won the case, he been publicly humiliated and his fundamentalist beliefs had been disgraced, and in the mainstream press, the theory of evolution clearly won the debate. Journalist H.L. Mencken's satirical reports were notable.
      Five days later, on July 26, Bryan lied down for a Sunday afternoon nap and never woke up. In 1927, the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the Monkey Trial verdict on a technicality, but left the constitutional issues unresolved until 1968, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Arkansas law on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment.
1919 The British House of Lords ratifies the Versailles Treaty.
1914 Tuesday : in the aftermath of the June 28 assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand:
  • Berchtold visits Franz Josef at Bad Ischl to get final approval of the ultimatum to Serbia. Berchtold finesses approval from the Emperor. [view text of the ultimatum]
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov warns German Ambassador Count Friedrich von Pourtales that Russia will not allow Austria-Hungary to take any military action against Serbia.
  • Everything is ready. Now it's just a waiting game until the French president and prime minister end their Russian visit on the 23rd.
  • 1906 French Captain Alfred Dreyfus is vindicated of his earlier court-martial for spying for Germany.
    1904 Camille Jenatzy sets world auto speed record at 105.88 km/h
    1900 Pope Leo XIII encyclical to the Greek-Melkite rite
    1898 Spain cedes Guam to US
    1886 The cardinal's hat is conferred upon Elzear Alexandre Taschereau, 66, archbishop of Québec. He is the first Canadian to be made a cardinal.
    1877 Sympathy strike in Pittsburgh       ^top^
         The previous day, the Baltimore and Ohio railroad strike turned bloody: the Maryland militia opened fire on the rail workers, leaving nine strikers dead and touching off a round of riots that engulfed Baltimore. The effects of the Baltimore and Ohio incident surged across the East Coast and, on this day in 1877, workers in rail-heavy Pittsburgh hit the picket line to stage a sympathy strike. Coming but a day after the outbreak of fighting in Maryland, the Pittsburgh strike was all but bound to degenerate into violence. And, when the state militia entered the scene, Pittsburgh was primed to go up in flames. The workers greeted the troops with a volley of stones; the militia responded with a round gun fire and Pittsburgh's sympathy strike soon turned into an all out war. During the ensuing battle, ignited fires ravaged the surrounding area and forced the militia to beat a temporary retreat. But, after a night of a fighting that cost local rail companies some $10 million, the troops regained a modicum of control over the city.
          While the brutish events in Pittsburgh were repeated in Chicago later that month, the bloodshed did little to aid the Baltimore and Ohio strikers: indeed, the rail workers ultimately signed an agreement that did little to ameliorate their conditions.
    1873 Jesse James, 1st train robbery
    1863 Siege of Fort Wagner, Charleston Harbor, South Carolina continues
    1861 In the first major battle of the Civil War, Confederate forces repel an attempt by the Union Army to turn their flank in Virginia. The battle becomes known by the Confederates as Manassas, while the Union calls it Bull Run.
    1846 Mormons found 1st English settlement in Calif (San Joaquin Valley)
    1831 Belgium gains independence from Netherland, Leopold I made King of the Belgians.
    1798 Battle of the Pyramids. Napoléon Bonaparte defeats the Arab Mamelukes, becoming the master of Egypt.
    1773 Clement XIV issues the brief, 'Dominus ac redemptor noster,' officially dissolving the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). This politically-based suppression afterward left conspicuous gaps in Catholic education and foreign missions.
    1718 The Turkish threat to Europe is eliminated with the signing of the Treaty of Passarowitz between Austria, Venice and the Ottoman Empire.
    1711 Russia and Turkey sign the Treaty of Pruth, ending the year-long Russo-Turkish War.
    1667 The Peace of Breda ends the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1664-1667) and cedes Dutch New Amsterdam to the English.
    1588 English fleet defeats Spanish armada
    1403 Henry IV defeats the Percys in the Battle of Shrewsbury in England.
    0230 St Pontianus begins his reign as Pope
    Deaths which occurred on a July 21:
    2002 Ira J. Salone, 62; Belinda Jackson, 48; Marisha Jackson, 14; Shanae Jackson, 10; Tevin Jackson, 3; and Tyler Jackson, 3, in a minivan, and Kyong Leingang, 55, woman (from Addison) alone driving a sport-utility vehicle which crosses into the path of the minivan and crashes head-on at about 17:45 on Interstate 20 in Gregg County in east Texas. The people in the minivan wore from Shreveport; their lone survivor, Tatyana Jackson, 3, the third triplet, is critically injured in the head.
    2002 Six coal miners by a methane explosion in the Dnipropetrovsk region of the Ukraine. About 300 Ukrainian miners in 2001 and almost 150 in the first half of 2002 have been killed in accidents in the mines, plagued by poor working conditions, a lax regard for safety rules and lack of funds for modernization. In 2000, at least 80 miners were killed and seven injured when a methane gas explosion tore through the Barakova coal mine in the eastern town of Luhansk in the country's worst mining disaster since independence in 1991. Ukraine's mines are expensive and dangerous to operate, but politicians fear even greater social costs of closing pits which employ 450'000 persons at 193 mines in areas with few other jobs.
    1984 James Fixx, 43, runner and author, of a heart attack while following his own aerobics program by jogging
    1984 Factory worker killed by robot       ^top^
          Ignoring the "first law of robotics", a factory robot in Jackson, Michigan, catches a 34-year-old worker and crushes him against a safety bar. The National Institute of Safety and Health said this was the first robot-related fatality in the United States.
    The Three Laws of Robotics (found in Isaac Asimov's science fiction) are:
    1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

         From Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D., as quoted in I, Robot.
          In Robots and Empire (ch. 63), the "Zeroth Law" is extrapolated, and the other Three Laws modified accordingly:
    0. A robot may not injure humanity or, through inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
          Unlike the Three Laws, however, the Zeroth Law is not a fundamental part of positronic robotic engineering, is not part of all positronic robots, and, in fact, requires a very sophisticated robot to even accept it.
          Asimov claimed that the Three Laws were originated by John W. Campbell in a conversation they had on December 23, 1940. Campbell in turn maintained that he picked them out of Asimov's stories and discussions, and that his role was merely to state them explicitly.
          The Three Laws did not appear in Asimov's first two robot stories, Robbie and Reason, but the First Law was stated in Asimov's third robot story Liar!, which also featured the first appearance of robopsychologist Susan Calvin. (When Robbie and Reason were included in I, Robot, they were updated to mention the existence of the first law and first two laws, respectively.) Yet there was a hint of the three laws in Robbie, in which Robbie's owner states that "He can't help being faithful, loving, and kind. He's a machine -- made so." The first story to explicitly state the Three Laws was Runaround, which appeared in the March 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction.

         See the Isaac Asimov FAQ.
    1976 Christopher Ewart-Biggs British ambassador to Ireland, assassinated
    1976 1st outbreak of "Legionnaire's Disease" kills 29 in Phila
    1972 In New York, 57 murders occur in 24 hours
    1972 Jigme Dori Wangchuck king of Bhutan
    1969 Lillie Belle Allen, 27, and Henry Schaad, in York race riots.       ^top^
         The riots, which lasted 10 days, began after a white gang member shot and wounded a young black man in, in York, Pennsylvania. Henry Schaad, was a White rookie police officer. More than 60 people were injured, 100 were arrested and several city blocks were burned.
         Lillie Belle Allen, a native of Aiken, S.C., is riding in a car with family members, on the fourth night of rioting. They stray into the neighborhood of a white gang. The car is fired upon. Lillie gets out of the car, waves her arms and yells "don't shoot" but is hit by a bullet.
         The bullet is part of the ammunition which Charlie Robertson, 35, a White policeman, has given to Rick Lynn Knouse for his 30.06 hunting rifle, instructing him to “kill as many niggers as you can.”
         Robertson also had urged “commando raids” on Black neighborhoods. The previous evening, he had attended a racist rally in a city park and had yelled: “White power!” (which he would admit in 2001).
         No charges are filed until April 2001, when Knouse and four others are indicted.
         Robertson has gone on to be elected York mayor, and serves two terms. In the Democratic primary for a third term, on 15 May 2001, he defeats by 100 votes City Councilman Ray Crenshaw, the first Black to run for mayor in city history.
         On 17 May 2001, Robertson is arrested as accessory before the fact in the murder of Lillie Allen. Murder is the only crime not subject to a statute of limitations. Robertson denounces his arrest as politically motivated, but admits that the police department had a culture of racism, and that he himself had racist feelings after his father was mugged by three black men in the 1950s
    1966 Cantelli, mathematician
    1966 Frank, mathematician.
    1964 Jean Fautrier, French artist born on 16 May 1898.
    1957 Bernard Spooner US inventor of bulletproof jacket.
    1948 “Arshile Gorky” commits suicide, cancerous, his neck broken in a June 1948 automobile accident, and lastly his wife has just left him. He was a US painter important as the direct link between the European Surrealists and the US Abstract Expressionists. He was born Vosdanig Manoog Adoian in 1904 in Turkish Armenia, and had emigrated to the US in 1920. — MORE ON GORKY AT ART “4” JULY LINKS CalendarsThe Liver is the Cock's CombThe Artist and His MotherAbstraction With Artist's MaterialsIn the GardenMannequin
    1944 Hitler assassination plotters and suspects, as revenge bloodbath starts       ^top^
         Adolf Hitler announces on radio that the attempt on his life has failed and that "accounts will be settled." Hitler had survived the bomb blast that was meant to take his life. He had suffered punctured eardrums, some burns and minor wounds, but nothing that would keep him from regaining control of the government and finding the rebels.
          In fact, the coup d'etat that was to accompany the assassination of Hitler was put down in a mere 11 ˝ hours. In Berlin, Army Major Otto Remer, believed to be apolitical by the conspirators and willing to carry out any orders given him, was told that the Fuhrer was dead and that he, Remer, was to arrest Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda. But Goebbels had other news for Remer-Hitler was alive. And he proved it, by getting the leader on the phone (the rebels had forgotten to cut the phone lines). Hitler then gave Remer direct orders to put down any army rebellion and to follow only his orders or those of Goebbels or Himmler. Remer let Goebbels go.
          The SS then snapped into action, arriving in Berlin, now in chaos, just in time to convince many high German officers to remain loyal to Hitler. Arrests, torture sessions, executions, and suicides followed. Count Claus von Stauffenberg, the man who actually planted the explosive in the room with Hitler and who had insisted to his co-conspirators that "the explosion was as if a 15-millimeter shell had hit. No one in that room can still be alive." But it was Stauffenberg who would not be alive for much longer; he was shot dead by a pro-Hitler officer the very day of the attempt. The plot was completely undone.
          Now Hitler had to restore calm and confidence to the German civilian population. At 01:00, Hitler's voice broke through the radio airwaves: "I am unhurt and well…. A very small clique of ambitious, irresponsible…and stupid officers had concocted a plot to eliminate me…. It is a gang of criminal elements which will be destroyed without mercy. I therefore give orders now that no military authority…is to obey orders from this crew of usurpers…. This time we shall settle account with them in the manner to which we National Socialists are accustomed." -
    1937 Elliott, mathematician
    1925 Giovanni Frattini, mathematician
    1873 Codazzi, mathematician
    1888 Henri de Braekeleer, Belgian painter born in 1840. — LINKS
    1886 Carl Theodor von Piloty, German artist born on 01 October 1826.
    1865 Dave Tutt, a gunman, in Springfield, Illinois, killed by Wild Bill Hickok, in the first formal quick-draw duel.      ^top^
          In what may be the first true western showdown, Wild Bill Hickok shoots Dave Tutt dead in the market square of Springfield, Missouri. Hollywood movies and dime novels to the contrary, the classic western showdown--also called a walkdown--happened only rarely in the US West. Rather than coolly confronting each other on a dusty street in a deadly game of quick draw, most men began shooting at each other in drunken brawls or spontaneous arguments. Ambushes and cowardly attacks were far more common than noble showdowns. Nonetheless, southern emigrants brought to the West a crude form of the "code duello," a highly formalized means of solving disputes between gentlemen with swords or guns that had its origins in European chivalry. By the second half of the 19th century, few people in the US still fought duels to solve their problems. Yet, the concept of the duel surely influenced the informal western code of what constituted a legitimate-and legal-gun battle. Above all, the western code required that a man resort to his six-gun only in defense of his honor or life, and only if his opponent was also armed. Likewise, a western jury was unlikely to convict a man in a shooting provided witnesses testified that his opponent had been the aggressor. The best-known example of a true western duel occurred on this day in 1865. Wild Bill Hickok, a skilled gunman with a formidable reputation, was eking out a living as a professional gambler in Springfield, Illinois. He quarreled with Dave Tutt, a former Union soldier, but it is unclear what caused the dispute. Whatever the cause, rather than fight it out immediately, as typically occurred, the two men agreed to a duel the following day. The showdown took place at 6:00 the next evening. A crowd of onlookers watched as Hickok and Tutt confronted each other from opposite sides of the town square. When Tutt was about 75 yards away, Hickok shouted, "Don't come any closer, Dave." Tutt nervously drew his revolver and fired a shot that went wild. Hickok, by contrast, remained cool. He steadied his own revolver in his left hand and shot Tutt dead with a bullet through the chest. Having adhered to the code of the West, Hickok was acquitted of manslaughter charges. Eleven years later, however, Hickok died in a fashion far more typical of the violence of the day: a young gunslinger shot him in the back of the head while he played cards.
    1861 Confederate general Bernard Bee and the other dead of the First Battle of Bull Run       ^top^
          In the first major land battle of the Civil War, a large Union force under General Irvin McDowell is routed by a Confederate army under General Pierre G. T. Beauregard. Three months after the Civil War erupted at Fort Sumter, Northern military command still believed that the Confederacy could be crushed quickly and with little loss of life. In July, this overconfidence led to a premature offensive into northern Virginia by General McDowell against Confederate forces at the railroad junction of Manassas, located just fifty kilometers from Washington, D.C.
          Alert to the Union advance, General Beauregard massed some 20'000 troops there, and was soon joined by General Joseph E. Johnston, who brought some 9'000 more troops by railroad. Before the Union attack began, the intended flanking column, which was consisted of inexperienced and poorly trained militiamen, was slow to arrive, giving the Confederates time to prepare their defense.
          On the morning of July 21, hearing of the proximity of the two opposing forces, hundreds of civilians--men, women, and children--turned out to watch the first major battle of the conflict. The fighting commenced with three Union divisions crossing the Bull Run stream, and the Confederate flank was driven back to Henry House Hill. However, at this strategic location, Beauregard had fashioned a strong defensive line anchored by a brigade of Virginia infantry under General Thomas J. Jackson. Firing from a concealed slope, Jackson's men repulsed a series of Federal charges, winning Jackson his famous nickname: "Stonewall."
          Meanwhile, Confederate cavalry under J. E. B. Stuart captured the Union artillery, and Beauregard ordered a counterattack on the exposed Union right flank. The rebels came charging down the hill, yelling furiously, and McDowell's line was broken, forcing his troops in a hasty retreat across Bull Run. The retreat soon became an unorganized flight, and supplies littered the road back to Washington. Union forces endured a loss of 3000 men killed, wounded, or missing in action while the Confederates suffered 2000 casualties. The scale of this bloodshed horrified not only the frightened spectators at Bull Run, but also the U.S. government in Washington, which was faced with an uncertain military strategy in the Civil War.
          The war erupts on a large scale in the east when Confederate forces under P. T. Beauregard turn back Union General Irvin McDowell's troops along Bull Run in Virginia. The inexperienced soldiers on both sides slugged it out in a chaotic battle that resulted in a humiliating retreat by the Yankees and signaled, for many, the true start of the war.
          At the insistence of President Lincoln, McDowell set out to make a quick offensive against Manassas Junction, a key rail center 50 km from Washington. On July 18, the Yankee advance was halted in a small skirmish at Blackburn's Ford on Bull Run. McDowell paused for three days as he prepared to move around the Rebels. This was a crucial delay, because it allowed forces under Joseph Johnston, guarding the Shenandoah Valley to the west, to join Beauregard. A brigade commanded by Thomas J. Jackson was among the reinforcements.
          When McDowell attacked on July 21, the Federal troops seemed poised to scatter the Confederates in front of them. While part of the Union force held the attention of the center of the Confederate line, the main attack came around the Rebel left flank. By noon, the Yankees had broken the line and sent the Confederates in retreat. Then McDowell moved in for the kill by attempting to capture Henry Hill, the key to the battle. But he did not apply the full pressure of his army, and that respite allowed Beauregard to strengthen his force on the hill. Jackson's brigade moved artillery into place, and McDowell now faced a much stronger Confederate position.
          During the battle, General Bernard Bee led his Confederates to reinforce Jackson on Henry Hill. He was reported to have characterized Jackson as "standing like a stone wall." Bee died minutes later, but the nickname "Stonewall" stuck. Jackson's men held their ground. Later in the afternoon, the Rebels launched a counterattack that broke McDowell's force and triggered a panicked and confused retreat. The inexperienced Federals found their escape route clogged by the buggies of spectators who came from Washington to watch the action. The green Union troops may have had a difficult time of it, but the equally green Confederates did not pursue. Casualties at Bull Run shocked the nation. The Union count came to 2800, including 460 killed, and the Confederates had 1900, with nearly 400 dead. Although future battles would make these numbers appear small, they were a wake-up call to a public, in both the North and the South, unprepared for such a bloody conflict.
    1796 Robert Burns Scottish poet — BURNS ONLINE: The Poems and Songs of Robert BurnsThe Poems and Songs of Robert Burns
    1761 Louis Galloche, French artist born on 24 August 1670.
    Births which occurred on a July 21:
    1987 Ferrari F40       ^top^
          Enzo Ferrari, 89, in a ceremony commemorating his company’s fortieth year, unveils the Ferrari F40 at the factory in Maranello, Italy. Speaking through an interpreter during the ceremony, Ferrari announces, “A little more than a year ago, I expressed my wish to the engineers. Build a car to be the best in the world. And now the car is here.”
          Ferrari’s engineers had designed the F40 to be the fastest road vehicle ever built. They viewed the Porsche 959 as their major competition, but while the Porsche was equipped with luxury amenities, the F40 was to be all nuts and bolts. Every spoiler on the F40 played a vital role in keeping the car on the ground at speed; every vent was essential to keep the brakes and engine cool. The F40 came with no floor mats, no stereo, no power locks or windows. Its only frill was a vanity window displaying its massive V-8 engine but this too was a part of the remarkably light composite body, molded of plastic, ceramic, and metal.
          The result of Ferrari’s vision was the ultimate road vehicle for the ambitious driver. While the car had no electronic braking system, it was capable of 0-60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds and could hold a top speed of 201 miles per hour, making the F40 the first production sports car to top the 320 km/h barrier. Like all of Ferrari’s great cars, the F40 has enjoyed a successful career in sports car racing around the world.
    1970 The Aswan High Dam is completed in Egypt.
          The dam's twelve giant turbines were designed to provide enough power to make Egypt self-sufficient in electricity, and in controlling the waters of the Nile, the dam would protect against drought and flooding. However, the disruption of the Nile's flow destroyed vital mineral deposits and fishing industries, and spread disease.
          After 11 years of construction, the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt is completed on July 21, 1970. More than 3 km long at its crest, the massive $1 billion dam ended the cycle of flood and drought in the Nile River region, and exploited a tremendous source of renewable energy, but had a controversial environmental impact.
          A dam was completed at Aswan, 800 km south of Cairo, in 1902. The first Aswan dam provided valuable irrigation during droughts but could not hold back the annual flood of the mighty Nile River. In the 1950s, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser envisioned building a new dam across the Nile, one large enough to end flooding and bring electric power to every corner of Egypt. He won United States and British financial backing, but in July 1956 both nations canceled the offer after learning of a secret Egyptian arms agreement with the USSR. In response, Nasser nationalized the British and French-owned Suez Canal, intending to use tolls to pay for his High Dam project. This act precipitated the Suez Canal Crisis, in which Israel, Britain, and France attacked Egypt in a joint military operation. The Suez Canal was occupied, but Soviet, U.S., and U.N. forced Israel, Britain, and France to withdraw, and the Suez Canal was left in Egyptian hands in 1957.
          Soviet loans and proceeds from Suez Canal tolls allowed Nasser to begin work on the Aswan High Dam in 1960. Some 44 million cubic meters of earth and rock were used to build the dam, which has a mass 16 times that of the Great Pyramid at Giza. On July 21, 1970, the ambitious project was completed. President Nasser died of a heart attack in September 1970, before the dam was formally dedicated in 1971.
          The giant reservoir created by the dam — 500 km long and 15 km wide--was named Lake Nasser in his honor. The formation of Lake Nasser required the resettlement of 90'000 Egyptian peasants and Sudanese Nubian nomads, as well as the costly relocation of the ancient Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel, built in the 13th century B.C.
          The Aswan High Dam brought the Nile's devastating floods to an end, reclaimed more than 400 square kilometers of desert land for cultivation, and made additional crops possible on some 3000 other square kilometers. The dam's 12 giant Soviet-built turbines produce as much as 10 billion kilowatt-hours annually, providing a tremendous boost to the Egyptian economy and introducing 20th-century life into many villages. The water stored in Lake Nasser, several trillion cubic feet, is shared by Egypt and the Sudan and was crucial during the African drought years of 1984 to 1988.
          Despite its successes, the Aswan High Dam has produced several negative side effects. Most costly is the gradual decrease in the fertility of agricultural lands in the Nile delta, which used to benefit from the millions of tons of silt deposited annually by the Nile floods. Another detriment to humans has been the spread of the disease schistosomiasis by snails that live in the irrigation system created by the dam. The reduction of waterborne nutrients flowing into the Mediterranean is suspected to be the cause of a decline in anchovy populations in the eastern Mediterranean. The end of flooding has sharply reduced the number of fish in the Nile, many of which were migratory. Lake Nasser, however, has been stocked with fish, and many species, including perch, thrive there.
    1938 Janet Reno, she would become US Attorney General in the Clinton administration and have her name forever linked to those of Waco, Ruby Ridge, and Elian Gonzalez, which made her think that she would make a good Democrat governor of Florida.
    1933 John Gardner scholar/writer (Grendel, Sunlight Dialogues)
    1926 John Leech, mathematician who is best known for the Leech lattice which is important in the theory of finite simple groups.
    1911 Marshall McLuhan Canada, communication theorist, writer (The Medium is the Message)
    1899 Hart Crane, in Garrettsville, Ohio, poet       ^top^
          The son of a candy manufacturer, Crane grew up in an unhappy household. His parents fought bitterly and divorced. Crane began to write poetry in his teens and went to New York City in 1917 to develop his writing. He published poems in small magazines but was unable to support himself. He returned to Ohio and worked in Cleveland for four years while trying, not very successfully, to write in his free time.
          He gave up working in 1923 and headed back to New York. His parents and his patron, banker Otto Kahn, supported him while he devoted himself entirely to poetry. His first book, White Buildings, was published in 1926. His book-length poem The Bridge was published in 1930. Crane won a Guggenheim and traveled to Mexico, where he continued to write verse. While Crane's poetry was popular, he still struggled to support himself. He also fought personal demons, including difficult relationships with his parents and excessive drinking. At age 33, while returning from Mexico to the United States by ship, he jumped overboard and drowned in the Caribbean.
    1899 Ernest Hemingway Oak Park, novelist and short-story writer, for whom the bell tolled... (Nobel 1954)
    1885 Frances Parkinson Keyes novelist (Dinner at Antoine)
    1875 Oskar Moll, German artist who died in 1947.
    1872 Victor Marais-Milton, French artist who died in 1968.
    1861 Slaught, mathematician.
    1856 Rudolf Otto von Ottenfeld
    , Italian (mamma mia!!!) artist who died on 26 July 1913.
    1854 Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfet, Swedish French artist who died in 1905.
    1800 Ignaz Raffalt, Austrian artist who died on 06 July 1857.
    1849 Robert Woodward, mathematician
    1848 Emil Weyr, mathematician who worked in descriptive and projective geometry.
    1816 Paul Julius Baron von Reuter founded Reuters news service
    1804 Victor Schoelcher Guadeloupe, abolished French slavery.
    1669 Hendrik Govaerts, Flemish artist who died on 10 February 1720.
    1620 Jean Picard, mathematician.
    1611 Jan van Balen, Flemish artist who died on 13 March 1654.
    Holidays Belgium : Independence Day (1831) / Bhutan : 3rd King of Bhutan's Death / Bolivia : Martyr's Day / Guam : Liberation Day (1944)

    Religious Observances Christian : St Victor / RC : St Lawrence of Brindisi, confessor/doctor (opt)
    Thoughts for the day: “Character is what you know you are, not what others think you are.”
    “Character is what you think that others think you are, not what others think that you think that they think you are.”
    “You're a character even if you don't know it.”
    “Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” —
    Ingrid Bergman, Swedish-born actress (1915-1982).
    “Ingrid Bergman? Swedish actress?... I don't remember.”
    “Having a bad memory is a sign of poor health.”
    “Happiness is out of this world.”
    “All happy families are happy in the same way; each unhappy family has it own peculiar unhappiness.”
    “Happy nations have no history.”
    “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.”
    “History never repeats itself. History never repeats itself. History never repeats itself.”
    — [but historians do]
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