1/7/1997 – At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverts back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand Hong Kongers protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful.
3/7/1962 – On this day in 1962, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV is born in Syracuse, New York. After his breakout role in the 1983 film “Risky Business,” Cruise went on to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, appearing in a long list of critically acclaimed dramas and blockbuster action movies, including “Top Gun,” “Rain Man” and “Mission: Impossible.”
4/7/1776 In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king.
5/7/1946 – On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modelled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed “bikini,” inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.
9/7/1877 - The All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then an outer-suburb of London. Twenty-one amateurs showed up to compete in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament, the only event at the first Wimbledon. The winner was to take home a 25-guinea trophy.
10/7/1985 - In Auckland harbour in New Zealand, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior sinks after French agents in diving gear plant a bomb on the hull of the vessel. One person, Dutch photographer Fernando Pereira, was killed. The Rainbow Warrior, the flagship of international conservation group Greenpeace, had been preparing for a protest voyage to a French nuclear test site in the South Pacific.
16/7/1985 – Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organised by Bob Geldof raises $127 million for famine relief in Africa. Supported by artists including Queen, U2, Phil Collins, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Wham, Paul McCartney, The Boomtown Rats, Elton John & many more.
14/7/1881 - Sheriff Pat Garrett shoots Henry McCarty, popularly known as Billy the Kid, to death at the Maxwell Ranch in New Mexico. Garrett, who had been tracking the Kid for three months after the gunslinger had escaped from prison only days before his scheduled execution, got a tip that Billy was holed up with friends. While Billy was gone, Garrett waited in the dark in his bedroom. When Billy entered, Garrett shot him to death.
16/7/1999 - On July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr.; his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy; and her sister, Lauren Bessette, die when the single-engine plane that Kennedy was piloting crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
17/7/1955 - Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opens. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.
20/7/1969 - At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.
25/7/1978 - Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.
28/7/1945 - A United States military plane crashes into the Empire State Building on this day in 1945, killing 14 people. The freak accident was caused by heavy fog.
29/7/1981 - Nearly one billion television viewers in 74 countries tune in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English school teacher. Married in a grand ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in the presence of 2,650 guests, the couple’s romance was for the moment the envy of the world. Their first child, Prince William, was born in 1982, and their second, Prince Harry, in 1984.