The History Channel
* On July 14, 1789, Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress built in 1370 that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of terror in which King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were executed.
* On July 12, 1861, special commissioner Albert Pike completes treaties with the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory. Many of these tribes had been expelled from the Southern states in the 1830s and 1840s, but still chose to ally themselves with those states during the Civil War.
* On July 8, 1918, author Ernest Hemingway is severely wounded while carrying a companion to safety on the Austro-Italian front during World War I. Hemingway, working as a Red Cross ambulance driver, was decorated for his heroism.
* On July 13, 1930, France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. The World Cup has since become the world’s most-watched sporting event.
* On July 9, 1941, crackerjack British cryptologists break the Enigma secret code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front. Various keys would continue to be broken by the Brits over the next year, each conveying information of even higher secrecy and priority.
* On July 11, 1979, parts of Skylab, America’s first space station, come crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean five years after the last manned Skylab mission ended. The cylindrical space station was 118 feet tall and weighed 77 tons.
* On July 10, 1985, in Auckland harbor in New Zealand, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior sinks after French agents in diving gear plant a bomb on the hull of the vessel. A British newspaper uncovered evidence of French President Francois Mitterrand’s authorization of the bombing plan.