In 1789, in an event symbolizing the start of the French Revolution, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison and released the seven prisoners inside.
In 1865, the Matterhorn, straddling Italy and Switzerland, was summited as a seven-member rope party led by British climber Edward Whymper reached the peak. (Four members of the party fell to their deaths during their descent; Whymper and two guides survived.)
In 1881, outlaw William H. Bonney Jr., alias “Billy the Kid,” was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner in present-day New Mexico.
In 1914, scientist Robert H. Goddard received a U.S. patent for a liquid-fueled rocket apparatus.
In 1933, all German political parties, except the Nazi Party, were outlawed.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a measure providing funds for a national monument honoring scientist George Washington Carver; the monument was built at Carver’s birthplace near Diamond, Missouri.
In 1945, Italy formally declared war on Japan, its former Axis partner during World War II.
In 1980, the Republican national convention opened in Detroit, where nominee-apparent Ronald Reagan told a welcoming rally he and his supporters were determined to “make America great again.”
In 2004, the Senate scuttled a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. (Forty-eight senators voted to advance the measure — 12 short of the 60 needed — and 50 voted to block it).
In 2009, disgraced financier Bernard Madoff arrived at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina to begin serving a 150-year sentence for his massive Ponzi scheme. (Madoff died in prison in April 2021.)
In 2014, the Church of England voted overwhelmingly in favor of allowing women to become bishops.
In 2015, world powers and Iran struck a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions.
Ten years ago: A federal judge in Washington, D.C. declared a mistrial in baseball star Roger Clemens’ perjury trial over inadmissible evidence shown to jurors. (Clemens, who was accused of lying under oath to Congress when he denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs during his career, was acquitted in a retrial.)
Five years ago: Terror struck Bastille Day celebrations in the French Riviera city of Nice (nees) as a large truck plowed into a festive crowd, killing 86 people in an attack claimed by Islamic State extremists; the driver was shot dead by police.
One year ago: Researchers reported that the first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems as scientists had hoped; the vaccine was developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. A Confederate monument that had long been a divisive symbol at the University of Mississippi was removed from a prominent spot on the Oxford campus and taken to a Civil War cemetery in a secluded area. In a primary, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions lost the Republican nomination for his old Senate seat in Alabama to former college football coach Tommy Tuberville. (Tuberville would go on to defeat Democrat Doug Jones in November.) The federal government carried out its first execution in almost two decades, killing by lethal injection Daniel Lewis Lee, who’d been convicted of murdering an Arkansas family in a 1990s plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Nancy Olson is 93. Former football player and actor Rosey Grier is 89. Actor Vincent Pastore is 75. Music company executive Tommy Mottola (muh-TOH’-luh) is 73. Rock musician Chris Cross (Ultravox) is 69. Actor Jerry Houser is 69. Actor-director Eric Laneuville is 69. Actor Stan Shaw is 69. Movie producer Scott Rudin is 63. Singer-guitarist Kyle Gass is 61. Actor Jane Lynch is 61. Actor Jackie Earle Haley is 60. Actor Matthew Fox is 55. Rock musician Ellen Reid (Crash Test Dummies) is 55. Rock singer-musician Tanya Donelly is 55. Former child actor Missy Gold is 51. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Ross Rebagliati is 50. R&B singer Tameka Cottle (Xscape) is 46. Country singer Jamey Johnson is 46. Hip-hop musician “taboo” (Black Eyed Peas) is 46. Actor Scott Porter is 42. Actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge is 36. Rock singer Dan Smith (Bastille) is 35. Actor Sara Canning (TV: “The Vampire Diaries”) is 34. Rock singer Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) is 34.