History of 20 July
1917 – The draft lottery in World War I went into operation.
1935 – NBC radio debuted “G-men.” The show was later renamed “Gangbusters.”
1942 – The first detachment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, (WACS) began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
1944 – An attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler failed. The bomb exploded at Hitler’s Rastenburg headquarters. Hitler was only wounded.
1944 – U.S. President Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
1947 – The National Football League (NFL) ruled that no professional team could sign a player who had college eligibility remaining.
1961 – “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” opened in London.
1969 – Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon.
1974 – Turkish forces invaded Cyprus.
1976 – America’s Viking I robot spacecraft made a successful landing on Mars.
1982 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan pulled the U.S. out of comprehensive test ban negotiations indefinitely.
1985 – Treasure hunters began raising $400 million in coins and silver from the Spanish galleon “Nuestra Senora de Atocha.” The ship sank in 1622 40 miles of the coast of Key West, FL.
1992 – Vaclav Havel, the playwright who led the Velvet Revolution against communism, stepped down as president of Czechoslovakia.
1998 – Russia won a $11.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help avert the devaluation of its currency.
2003 – In India, elephants used for commercial work began wearing reflectors to avoid being hit by cars during night work.
2005 – The Civil Marriage Act legalizes same-sex marriage in Canada.
2012 – James Holmes opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and injuring 70 others.
2013 – Seventeen government soldiers are killed in an attack by FARC revolutionaries in the Colombian department of Arauca.
2015 – A huge explosion in the mostly Kurdish border town of Suruç, Turkey, targeting the Socialist Youth Associations Federation, kills at least 31 people and injures over 100.
2015 – The United States and Cuba resume full diplomatic relations after five decades.
2017 – O. J. Simpson is granted parole to be released from prison after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence after being convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas.
Celebrating Birthday Today
1981 – Viktoria Ladõnskaja, Estonian journalist and politician
1982 – Antoine Vermette, Canadian ice hockey player
1984 – Alexi Casilla, Dominican baseball player
1984 – Matt Gilroy, American ice hockey player
1985 – John Francis Daley, American actor and screenwriter
1985 – David Mundy, Australian footballer
1986 – Osric Chau, Canadian actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
1987 – Nicola Benedetti, Scottish violinist
1987 – Niall McGinn, Irish footballer
1988 – Julianne Hough, American singer-songwriter, actress, and dancer
1988 – Stephen Strasburg, American baseball player
1989 – Javier Cortés, Mexican footballer
1989 – Cristian Pasquato, Italian footballer
1990 – Lars Unnerstall, German footballer
1991 – Chiyoshōma Fujio, Mongolian sumo wrestler
1991 – Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015
1993 – Steven Adams, New Zealand basketball player
1995 – Moses Leota, New Zealand rugby league player
1996 – Ben Simmons, Australian basketball player