News, Events, Birthdays, History - July 23 - July 29
Amelia Earhart - July 24, 1897
Earhart was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.
During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day.
George Bernard Shaw - July 26, 1856
An Irish playwright, Shaw wrote more than 60 plays. He is the only person to have been awarded both the Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion, respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honors, but accepted it at his wife's behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland.
Nearly all his writings deal sternly with prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy to make their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care and class privilege, and found them all defective.
Jackie Kennedy - July 28, 1929
Jacqueline "Jackie" Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (July 28, 1929 – May 19, 1994) was the wife of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. She was later married to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis from 1968 until his death in 1975. In later years she had a successful career as a book editor. She is remembered for her style and elegance.
Andrea Doria Sinks - July 25, 1956
On 25 July 1956, approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts bound for New York City, Andrea Doria collided with the eastward-bound MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line in what became one of history's most famous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of her lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats might have resulted in significant loss of life, but improvements in communications and rapid responses by other ships averted a disaster similar in scale to the Titanic disaster of 1912. 1660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, while 46 people died as a consequence of the collision. The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning.
Potsdam Declaration - July 26, 1945
The Potsdam Declaration was a statement issued on July 26, 1945 for the surrender of Japan. This ultimatum stated that if Japan did not surrender, it would face "prompt and utter destruction." Japan's initial rejection of the ultimatum, by demanding a condition that they be allowed to keep their emperor led directly to U.S. President Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9.
Atlantic Telegraph Cable Laid - July 27, 1866
The transatlantic telegraph cable was the first cable used for telegraph communications laid across the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. It crossed from western Ireland to eastern Newfoundland. The transatlantic cable bridged North America and Europe, and expedited communication between the two. Where previously it would normally take at least ten days to deliver a message by ship, it now took a matter of minutes by telegraph.
On August 16, the first message sent across the cable was, "Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men." Then Queen Victoria sent a telegram of congratulation to President James Buchanan through the line, and expressed a hope that it would prove "an additional link between the nations whose friendship is founded on their common interest and reciprocal esteem." The President responded that, "it is a triumph more glorious, because far more useful to mankind, than was ever won by conqueror on the field of battle. May the Atlantic telegraph, under the blessing of heaven, prove to be a bond of perpetual peace and friendship between the kindred nations, and an instrument destined by Divine Providence to diffuse religion, civilization, liberty, and law throughout the world."
(A note from 2014 - these messages would never survive the 140 character text message and Twitter limit.)