History: July 19

July 19

1321BC Origin of Era of Menophres. "The average member of the public with an interest in these things will imagine that the chronology of Egypt provided in all the textbooks must have some firm scientific foundation. That impression is reinforced by the confidence with which the historians quote exact dates for specific pharaohs and their reigns. Yet the fact is that Egyptian chronology has no scientific basis whatsoever..." Note: Some links are not necessarily personally endorsed, but are provided because they are thought provoking.

1510 38 Jews are burned at the stake in Berlin, Prussia.

1525 The Catholic princes of Germany form the Dessau League to fight against the Reformation.

1545 The Mary Rose, pride of Henry VIII's fleet, sinks in the Solent with the loss of 700 lives.


1553 Mary Tudor,  the daughter of King Henry VIII, is proclaimed Queen of England and 15-year-old Lady Jane Grey is sent to the Tower, where she is beheaded in 1554.


1649 In London, Edward Winslow, governor of the Plymouth Colony, helps organise the Society for Propagating the Gospel in New England, for the purpose of converting the American Indians to Christian faith.

1692 Five Massachusetts women are hanged for witchcraft. Fifteen young girls in the Salem community charge as many as 150 citizens in the area with witchcraft during the greater part of this year.

1799 The Rosetta Stone: During Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contains fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests of Ptolemy V in the second century BC. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been 'dead' for nearly two millennia. Two decades later, French Egyptologist Jean Franois Champollion was able to decipher the hieroglyphics using his knowledge of Greek as a guide, and the language and culture of ancient Egypt was suddenly open to scientists as never before.

1848 A pioneer women's rights convention convenes in Seneca Falls, New York. It is organised by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Women's Rights campaigner Amelia Jenks Bloomer unveils bloomers to the assembled campaigners, a radical departure in women's clothing.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: France declares war on Prussia. Note: This is a pivotal event in German history, as Prussia will emerge as the single strongest European state and the catalyst for German Unification under Bismarck. Napoleon II has pulled a fatal boner here.

1879 On this date Doc Holliday commits his first murder, killing a man for shooting up his New Mexico saloon. Despite his formidable reputation as a deadly gunslinger, Doc Holliday only engaged in eight shootouts during his life, and it has only been verified that he killed two men. Still, the smartly dressed ex-dentist from Atlanta had a remarkably fearless attitude toward death and danger, perhaps because he was slowly dying from tuberculosis. In 1879, Holliday settled in Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he opened a saloon with a partner. Holliday spent his evenings gambling in the saloon and he seemed determined to stress his health condition by heavy drinking. A notorious cad, Holliday also enjoyed the company of the dance hall girls that the partners hired to entertain the customers, which sometimes sparked trouble. On this day in 1879, a former army scout named Mike Gordon tried to persuade one of Holliday's saloon girls to quit her job and run away with him. When she refused, Gordon became infuriated. He went out to the street and began to fire bullets randomly into the saloon. He didn't have a chance to do much damage, after the second shot, Holliday calmly stepped out of the saloon and dropped Gordon with a single bullet. Gordon died the next day. The following year, Holliday abandoned the saloon business and joined his old friend Wyatt Earp in Tombstone, Arizona. There he would kill his second victim, during the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in October 1881. During the subsequent six years, Holliday assisted at several other killings and wounded a number of men in gun battles. His hard drinking and tuberculosis eventually caught up with him, and he retired to a Colorado health resort where he died in 1887. Struck by the irony of such a peaceful end to a violent life, his last words reportedly were "This is funny."

1916 WW1: July 19-20 Dispatch Runner Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler serves on the front at Fromelles with 3 Company, 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment. "On July l9, the Battle of Fromelles intensified and the area became a howling waste. No place was safe and the life of a dispatch runner was "measured in hours rather than days." During one of the barrages the shell fire was so heavy that it was believed no single runner could get through. It soon became commonplace to send off as many as six runners with the same message assuming "five would probably be wounded or killed."

1917 WW1: General Max Hoffmann, commanding on the Eastern Front, begins a new German assault, crushing the demoralized Russian armies. The Germans halt their advance at the Galician border.

1918 WW1: The end of World War I approachs as the German army begins retreating across the Marne River in France.

1922 Birth: George McGovern, US Senator (D-South Dakota), 1972 failed presidential contender.


1935 Church and Reich: Alfred Rosenberg's latest book, An die Dunkelmanner unserer Zeit, written as an answer to his critics in the Catholic Church, is put on the Church's Index of Forbidden Books. Question: What real difference is there between Nazi book-burning and Vatican suppression? (Lewy)

1937 Holocaust: Ettersberg, a new concentration camp, originally designed for professional criminals, is opened in central Germany. Its name is changed to Buchenwald on July 28. (Edelheit) (Note: Other sources say it was opened on July 16. Spurious sources somehow maintain it never opened at all.)

1937 An excerpt from a Hitler speech in Munich, at the opening of a famous art museum designed by Professor Ludwig Troost: "I would like to take this opportunity to state that I have made up my mind to put an end to meaningless phraseology in German art. Just as I did with confusion in politics. "Works of art" which cannot be understood, cannot speak for themselves but require a verbose set of instructions in order to find some shy creature who patiently listens to such stupid and brazen nonsense, will from now on no longer reach the German People. All these catchy phrases such as "inner experience", "strong-minded", "a powerful desire", "feeling which is pregnant with the future", "heroic attitude", "significant intuitive powers", "inward experience of a system of time", "original primitivity" and so forth; all these stupid, fallacious excuses, phrases and meaningless formulations will not excuse or recommend products which are substandard and therefore without intrinsic value....."

1938 King George VI of Britain pays a state visit to France. Note: One imagines that the subject of German expansionism is a primary topic on the agenda.

1940 WW2: General Brooke replaces General Ironside as the Commander in Chief, of British Home Forces.

1940 WW2: Roosevelt signs the "Two-Ocean Navy Expansion Act," ordering construction of 1.3 million tons of new warships and 15,000 naval planes.

1940 WW2: In a speech in the Reichstag Hitler issues what he describes as "a final appeal to common sense," urging that Britain make peace. An excerpt: "I have summoned you to this meeting in the midst of our tremendous struggle for the freedom and the future of the German nation. I have done so, firstly, because I considered it imperative to give our people an insight into the events, unique in history, that lie behind us. Secondly, because I wished to express my gratitude to our magnificent soldiers. And thirdly, with the intention of appealing, once more and for the last time, to common sense in general...."

1940 WW2: Hitler creates twelve new German field marshals in the wake of victory in the west.

1940 Death: Samuel H. Chang, American newspaper magnate murdered in Shanghai.

1941 Those Vichy French: The Japanese present an ultimatum to Vichy France demanding bases in southern Indochina. Note: They will get them.

1942 WW2: German U-boats are withdrawn from positions off the U.S. Atlantic coast due to increasingly effective American anti-submarine countermeasures.

1943 WW2: More than 150 B-17 and 112 B-24 bombers attack Rome for the first time.

Duce and Fuehrer

1943 WW2: Hitler and Mussolini meet at Feltre, a small hill town north of Venice.

1943 WW2: The Red Army begins a counter offensive at Kursk. From here on, the Russians slowly grind the Wehrmarcht under their feet, and relentlessly advance toward the German border, and victory. (Clark II)

1944 WW2: Diary of Leon Gladun: (Castel d' Emilio, Italy) A new position but we didn't fire a shot here.

1946 Eduard Schulte, the man said to have first warned the West about the Holocaust, returns to Zurich from Germany. (Silence)

1949 Nationalism: Laos becomes an associated state within the French Union.

1957 Cold War: The first rocket with a nuclear warhead is fired, at Yucca Flat, Nevada.

1963 NASA civilian test pilot Joe Walker in X-15 reachs 105 km.

1967 Race riots occur in Durham North Carolina.

1969 Apollo 11 and its astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, assume orbit around the moon.

1974 Watergate: The House Judiciary Committee recommends that U.S. President Richard Nixon should stand trial in the Senate for any of the five impeachment charges against him.

1975 The Apollo and Soyuz spacecrafts separate after being linked in orbit for two days.

1979 Nicaraguan Revolution: The Nicaraguan capital of Managua falls to Sandinista guerrillas, two days after President Anastasio Somoza fled the country.

1980 Cold War: The Moscow Summer Olympics began, minus dozens of nations that are boycotting the games because of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.

1984 Geraldine Ferraro is officaly nominated by the Democratic Party to become the first woman from a major political party to run for the office of U.S. Vice-President.

Note: Picture is not chronologically accurate.

1990 President George H. W. Bush joins former presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon at ceremonies dedicating the Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, Calif.

1991 Nine days of combat between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan soldiers leave 78 soldiers and 600 rebels dead in the fiercest fighting since 1983.

1993 Former US House postmaster Robert Rota pleads guilty to conspiring to embezzle public funds.

1993 Failed Campaign Promise #1: The Pentagon unveils its Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue policy toward homosexuals in the military.

1994 Failed Campaign Promise #2: President Bill 'And This Time I Mean It' Clinton says he will accept a health care compromise that will cover about 95 percent of the population, after he'd previously promised to accept nothing less than universal coverage. Note: He will ultimately accept much less, as the political capital he expends on this and the Gay Military issue will handicap him considerably until his reelection, at which point he becomes a lame duck. In politics, timing is everything, and the liberal-progressive agenda (excepting the ill-conceived 'successes' of the mid 30's and late 60's) has historically been the victim of the worst possible timing.

1995 A pair of House subcommittees held a joint hearing on the federal government's 51-day siege on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas that began 28 February 1993.

1997 Liberia's first peaceful presidential election following a seven-year civil war is won by Charles Taylor, a rebel leader with a reputation for brutality. Wally's Soapbox: While on a Red Sea cruise aboard the destroyer USS Jonas Ingram, this writer visited Monrovia, Liberia in the mid-70's and was completely floored by the pro-American feelings of the local people. Liberia's population is mostly derived from freed American slaves that were repatriated back to Africa at the instigation of US President James Monroe, who was honored with having the capital named after him. While our government seems willing to send peacekeeping (and, now, imperialist) forces all over the world, for some strange reason (Their lack of strategic position, vital resources, or money) we did diddly squat to help these people. The welcome we uniformed Americans were given is the exact opposite of the usual reception given to Americans in most countries, and I would hate to think that our selective inactivity has contributed to any decline in the good will once exhibited by these very hospitable people. To stay on the soapbox one-second more, I simply must express the thought that even though we are the 500 pound gorilla, it does not mean we do not need friends in the world, even poor friends with no power.

2002 At least 215 patients are murdered by Dr Harold Shipman during a 23-year killing spree, reports the judge heading the inquiry into his crimes.

2002 Post 911: Departing British Royal Marines walk past a Turkish Plane in Kabul on their way home from Afghanistan.


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