Today in History | Summer 2019

July 7, 1930

On this day, Hoover Dam’s construction began, and took five years, 21,000 men, and 4.36 million cubic yards of concrete—enough concrete to “build a monument 100 feet square, and 2 ½ miles high,” according to

July 9, 1993

Scientists used mitochondira DNA to positively identify the remains of Russia’s last czar and three of their daughters. Their bones had been excavated from a mass grave near Yekaterinburg in 1991, after Russian Amateur investigators found what they believed to be the burial site. The Romanov execution and burial, carried out 1918 by Bolshevik troops, had remained a secret for more than 60 years.

July 15, 1606

The son of a miller and Dutch master painter, Rembrandt van Rijn, was born. He studied with a variety of teachers and was influenced by Italian painter Caravaggio. He quickly developed his own style, and by the time he was 22, he began to take on his own students. Many of these students also went on to prominence in the art world.

July 26, 1775

The Second Continental Congress had a lot to do—this time, it was establishing the U.S. Postal system, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general.

July 30, 1945

The USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. It sank within minutes in shark-infested water. Of the 1,196 men on board, only 317 survived. The sub had already completed its primary mission though, having delivered key components of the atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima.

August 1st, 1961

The first park in the Six Flags chain, Six Flags over Texas, opened. It was the first to feature log flume and mine train rides. Later, it boasted the first 360-degree looping roller coaster.

The catch? It was only supposed to be temporary! The developer, Angus Wynne, Jr, viewed it as a short term way to use vacant land before he turned it into an industrial complex. The name Six Flags refers to the countries that flew their flag over Texas through its history: France, Spain, Mexico, the Confederacy, Texas, and the United States.

On August 4th, 1936, American Jesse Owns won gold in the long jump. He also won three other gold medals that year, during the Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

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