This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
July 20 is the 201st day of the year (202nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 164 days remaining until the end of the year.
On this day in 1881, Sitting Bull surrenders.
Five years after General George A. Custer’s infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrenders to the U.S. Army, which promises amnesty for him and his followers. Sitting Bull had been a major leader in the 1876 Sioux uprising that resulted in the death of Custer and 264 of his men at Little Bighorn. Pursued by the U.S. Army after the Indian victory, he escaped to Canada with his followers.
Hunger and cold eventually forced Sitting Bull, his family, and nearly 200 other Sioux in his band to return to the United States and surrender on July 19, 1881. Sitting Bull had his young son Crow Foot surrender his rifle to the commanding officer of Fort Buford. He told the soldiers that he wished to regard them and the white race as friends. Two weeks later, Sitting Bull and his band were transferred to Fort Yates, the military post located adjacent to the Standing Rock Agency.
Arriving with 185 people, Sitting Bull and his band were kept separate from the other Hunkpapa gathered at the agency. Army officials were concerned that the famed chief would stir up trouble among the recently surrendered northern bands. On August 26, 1881, he was visited by census taker William T. Selwyn who counted twelve people in the Hunkpapa leader’s immediate family. Forty-one families, totaling 195 people, were recorded in Sitting Bull’s band. The military decided to transfer him and his band to Fort Randall, to be held as prisoners of war. Loaded onto a steamboat, Sitting Bull’s band, now totaling 172 people, were sent down the Missouri River to Fort Randall. There they spent the next 20 months. They were allowed to return to the Standing Rock Agency in May 1883.
70 – First Jewish-Roman War: Siege of Jerusalem – Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, storms the Fortress of Antonia north of the Temple Mount. The Roman army is drawn into street fights with the Zealots.
1304 – Wars of Scottish Independence: Fall of Stirling Castle – King Edward I of England takes the stronghold using the War Wolf.
1738 – Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye reaches the western shore of Lake Michigan.
1807 – Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon Bonaparte for the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.
1810 – Citizens of Bogota, New Granada declare independence from Spain.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Peachtree Creek – Near Atlanta, Georgia, Confederate forces led by General John Bell Hood unsuccessfully attack Union troops under General William T. Sherman.
1866 – Austro-Prussian War: Battle of Lissa – The Austrian Navy , led by Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, defeats the Italian Navy near the island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea.
1871 – British Columbia joins the confederation of Canada.
1885 – The Football Association legalizes professionalism in football under pressure from the British Football Association.
1903 – Ford Motor Company ships its first car.
1917 – World War I: The Corfu Declaration, which leads to the creation of the post-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia, is signed by the Yugoslav Committee and Kingdom of Serbia.
1922 – The League of Nations awards mandates of Togoland to France and Tanganyika to the United Kingdom.
1932 – In Washington, D.C., police fire tear gas on World War I veterans part of the Bonus Expeditionary Force who attempt to march to the White House.
1934 – Labor unrest in the U.S., as police in Minneapolis fire upon striking truck drivers, during the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934, killing two and wounding sixty-seven.
1934 – 1934 West Coast waterfront strike: In Seattle, police fire tear gas on and club 2,000 striking longshoremen. The governor of Oregon calls out the National Guard to break a strike on the Portland docks.
1935 – Switzerland: A Royal Dutch Airlines plane en route from Milan to Frankfurt crashes into a Swiss mountain, killing thirteen.
1936 – The Montreux Convention is signed in Switzerland, authorizing Turkey to fortify the Dardanelles and Bosphorus but guaranteeing free passage to ships of all nations in peacetime.
1938 – The United States Department of Justice files suit in New York City against the motion picture industry charging violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act in regards to the studio system. The case would eventually result in a break-up of the industry in 1948.
1940 – Denmark leaves the League of Nations.
1940 – California opens its first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway.
1941 – Soviet leader Joseph Stalin consolidates the Commissariats of Home Affairs and National Security to form the NKVD and names Lavrenti Beria its chief.
1944 – World War II: Adolf Hitler survives an assassination attempt (known as the 20 July plot) led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg.
1949 – Israel and Syria sign a truce to end their nineteen-month war.
1950 – Cold War: In Philadelphia, Harry Gold pleads guilty to spying for the Soviet Union by passing secrets from atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs.
1951 – King Abdullah I of Jordan is assassinated by a Palestinian while attending Friday prayers in Jerusalem.
1954 – Germany: Otto John, head of West Germany’s secret service, defects to East Germany.
1960 – Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) elects Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world’s first elected female head of government.
1960 – The Polaris missile is successfully launched from a submarine, the USS George Washington, for the first time.
1961 – French military forces break the Tunisian siege of Bizerte.
1964 – Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attack the capital of Dinh Tuong Province, Cai Be, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of which are children).
1968 – The first Special Olympics is held.
1969 – Apollo Program: Apollo 11 successfully makes the first human-crewed landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. The first Moonwalk EVA follows almost 7 hours later.
1969 – A cease fire is announced between Honduras and El Salvador, 6 days after the beginning of the “Football War”
1974 – Turkish occupation of Cyprus: Forces from Turkey invade Cyprus after a “coup d’etat”, organised by the dictator of Greece, against president Makarios.
1976 – The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.
1976 – Hank Aaron hits his 755th home run, the final home run of his career.
1977 – Johnstown is hit by a flash flood that kills eighty and causes $350 million in damage.
1977 – The Central Intelligence Agency releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind control experiments.
1980 – The United Nations Security Council votes 14-0 that member states should not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
1982 – Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings: The Provisional IRA detonates two bombs in Hyde Park and Regents Park in central London, killing eight soldiers, wounding forty-seven people, and leading to the deaths of seven horses.
1985 – The government of Aruba passes legislation to secede from the Netherlands Antilles.
1989 – Burma’s ruling junta puts opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest.
1992 – Vaclav Havel resigns as president of Czechoslovakia.
1999 – Falun Gong is banned in the People’s Republic of China, and a large scale crackdown of the practice is launched.
2000 – In Zimbabwe, Parliament opens its new session and seats opposition members for the first time in a decade.
2012 – During a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, a gunman opens fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58.
2013 – Seventeen government soldiers are killed in an attack by FARC revolutionaries in the Colombian department of Arauca
* Christian Feast Day:
* Apollinaris of Ravenna
* Margaret the Virgin
* Thorlac (relic translation)
* Wilgefortis (cult suppressed)
* July 20 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Friend’s Day (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil)
* Independence Day, celebrates the independence declaration of Colombia from Spain in 1810.