This Month in Military History

Notable Moments in July

Apollo 11They say those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, so today we’re bringing you a new series we hope will help. In the July edition of “This Month in Military History,” we look back at some interesting dates, events, anniversaries, and birthdays that took place in July throughout American history.

We’ll cover everything from the basic to the obscure. Of course you already know the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776 – or was it? Read on to test your history knowledge – you just might come out the other side a little less doomed to repeat it.

July 1, 1863 – The Battle of Gettysburg began.

July 3, 1775 – George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts, to prepare for the Revolutionary War.

July 4, 1776 – The Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress with a 12 to 1 vote. Although it’s a common misconception, the document wasn’t actually signed until about a month later.

July 4, 1863 – After a six week siege, Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, was surrendered to Union soldiers.

July 4, 1872 – Calvin Coolidge was born in Plymouth, Vermont. He would go on to become the 30th President of the United States.

July 5, 1801 – Civil War Admiral David Farragut was born near Knoxville, Tennessee. He’s credited with the famous phrase "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

July 6, 1747 – Revolutionary War Naval Officer John Paul Jones was born in Kirkbean, Scotland. He’s best remembered for responding to a request to surrender with this famous phrase: "I have not yet begun to fight!"

July 10, 1943 – The Allied invasion of Italy began in Sicily. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the invasion "the first page in the liberation of the European Continent."

July 11, 1767 – John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. He would later go on to become the sixth President of the United States.

July 12, 1943 – During World War II, the largest tank battle in history took place outside the small village of Prohorovka, Russia. Between the Russians and the Germans, an estimated 1,800 tanks took part in the fray.

July 14, 1913 – Gerald R. Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He would go on to become the 38th President of the United States, following the resignation of Richard M. Nixon.

July 16, 1945 – “Fat Boy,” an experimental atomic bomb, was set off in the desert of New Mexico. It created a mushroom cloud that rose over 40,000 feet.

July 16, 1969 – Apollo 11, the lunar landing mission, began at 9:37 a.m. with a liftoff from Kennedy Space Center.

July 20, 1969 – Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the surface of the moon as the world watched on television, uttering this immortal phrase: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

July 27, 1953 – U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Harrison, Jr. and North Korean General Nam II met to sign the Korean Armistice Agreement, ending hostilities in the Korean War until a final settlement could be reached. The war lasted just over three years.

We’ll have more details about the end of the Korean War later this month, so stay tuned for more interesting factoids about military history!

Jake Butler

About the author: Jake Butler

Jake Butler is a staff writer at Pioneer Services who understands the challenges facing modern military families. He writes informative and entertaining pieces about military life, financial education and everything in between. Follow Jake on Google+.

Contact: Jake Butler


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