Today in History – July 21

365 – The 365 Crete earthquake affected the Greek island of Crete with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), which caused a destructive tsunami that affected the coasts of Libya and Egypt, especially Alexandria. Many thousands were killed.

1865 – In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first western showdown.

1873 – At Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and the James–Younger Gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American Old West.

1904 – Louis Rigolly, a Frenchman, became the first man to break the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier on land. He drove a 15-liter Gobron-Brillié in Ostend, Belgium.

1925 – Scopes Trial: In Dayton, Tennessee, high school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of teaching human evolution in class and fined $100.

1925 – Malcolm Campbell became the first man to exceed 150 mph (241 km/h) on land. At Pendine Sands in Wales, he drove Sunbeam 350HP built by Sunbeam at a two-way average speed of 150.33 mph (242 km/h).

1944 – World War II: Claus von Stauffenberg and four fellow conspirators were executed for the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

1961 – Mercury program: Mercury-Redstone 4 Mission: Gus Grissom piloting Liberty Bell 7 became the second American to go into space (in a suborbital mission).

1969 – Apollo program: At 02:56 UTC, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon, followed 19 minutes later by Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.

1978 – “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” film, based on the Beatles’ album of the same name, premiered in New York City.

1987 – Guns & Roses debut album “Appetite for Destruction” was released, and became the best-selling debut album of all time with more than 30 million copies sold.

1990 – Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was performed where the Berlin Wall once stood.

2007 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series by J. K. Rowling was published worldwide. 11 million copies sold in 24 hours.

2011 – NASA’s Space Shuttle program ended with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

2012 – Erden Eruç completed the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world.

To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE