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Milestones: Weekend, July 1-2, 2023

July 1, 2023 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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WORST BATTLE OF THE CIVIL WAR — The BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG, which was fought from July 1–3, 1863, began as part of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s incursion into the north, starting with Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. However, the Union army routed them at Gettysburg, with the climax of the battle at Pickett’s Charge, thus dashing Lee’s hopes of a quick victory. The Union Army repelled the Confederate fighters; and General Lee, having reported casualties among more than a  third of his troops, retreated to Virginia. The Battle of Gettysburg resulted in more than 50,000 casualties.

The Union Army, under General George Meade, also lost an opportunity to win and secure a Confederate surrender, when he failed to pursue the retreating rebels across the Potomac River.

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DECISIVE BATTLE — THE BATTLE OF SAN JUAN HILL, which American forces fought 125 years ago against Spain over its alleged mistreatment of Cubans,  began on July 1, 1898, and proved to be decisive to the U.S. victory in the Spanish-American War. The war had been declared that spring after the explosion of USS Maine, which was protecting the United States’ interests in Cuba. The  American press blamed Spain for the explosion. The Battle of San Juan Hill also marked the participation of the Buffalo Soldiers and the 1st Volunteer Cavalry, nicknamed the Rough Riders, whose commander was future U.S. vice president and President Theodore Roosevelt.

At the time, Roosevelt was the former Assistant Secretary of the Navy and a strong advocate for the Cuban War of Independence. His regiment became known as “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders” after the promotion of his commander, Colonel Leonard Wood.

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FIRST TO FLY ACROSS ENGLISH CHANNEL —LOUIS BLÉRIOT, born at Cambrai, France on July 1, 1872, was an aviation pioneer and the first man, on July 25, 1909 to fly an airplane across the English Channel from France to Dover. He was also a gifted engineering drafter and the inventor of the world’s first practical headlamp for automobiles. After several drafts and versions of his plane, Blériot finally took off, without a compass from Calais on July 1, 1872, as part of a Daily Mail contest offering £1000 in prize money, making the daytime trip in under 37 minutes, and landing near Dover Castle after winds had thrown him off his original course.

Financial success from the business he built around the manufacture of headlamps had enabled Bleriot to underwrite his growing passion for aviation, which was inspired when he attended the Avion III at the 1900 Exposition Universelle. Winning the Daily Mail contest also brought Blériot more manufacturing orders.

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FUNDING THE CIVIL WAR — The BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE, which Congress established on July 1, 1862, funded the Union efforts in the Civil War, which had broken out the previous year, on April 12, 1861. The Bureau, in what was originally a temporary measure, imposed the nation’s first income tax to finance the war and wound up underwriting more than 20 percent of the  Union’s war expenses. The wartime tax measure expired during the 1870s. President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the accompanying bill which levied a 3 percent income tax on annual incomes of $600–$10,000 and 5 percent on incomes of more than $10,000. Most tradesmen earned under $500 annually.

Later, in 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, authorizing Congress to establish an income tax, was ratified. Renamed in 1953 as the Internal Revenue Service, the agency is part of the  US Department of the Treasury and also assists taxpayers with questions, hardship issues and oversees the Affordable Care Act.

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DOMINION DAY — CANADA DAY, formerly called Dominion Day, is named for the confederation of Upper and Lower Canada,  the latter being the Labrador and Atlantic Maritime Provinces into the Dominion of Canada, which took place on July 1, 1867, with the passing of the British North America Act.  The three separate colonies of the time, which were the United Canadas, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one single dominion within the British Empire. When July 1 falls on a Sunday, Canada Day is observed on the Monday afterward.

The first Canada Day was observed with the ringing of the bells at the Cathedral Church of St James in Toronto and “bonfires, fireworks, and illuminations, excursions, military displays, and musical and other entertainments,” according to a report at the time.

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‘THE PEOPLE’S PRINCESS’— Name: DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES, was born on July 1, 1961 as Lady Diana Spencer at Sandringham, England. Almost the entire world viewed Lady Di’s famous wedding to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981. Even as her marriage grew unhappy, Princess Diana was a popular and in-demand royal for her charity work and was in many circles more beloved than her husband, at the time the Prince of Wales. She was the mother of Prince William (now the Prince of Wales) and Prince Harry (now the Duke of Essex).  Diana’s tragic automobile accident in a Paris Tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997, brought about international mourning.

The annual Diana Award is the longest-established of its kind to honor a young person aged 9-25 years old for social action and humanitarian work.

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PHOTOJOURNALISM IS BORN — The first photographs were used in a newspaper report on July 1, 1848 during the Paris riots. Seizing the moment, a French photographer named Thibault (no other name given), scrambled up to a rooftop to record the events that unfolded the week before, on June 25-26. The photos, which showed a Paris street filled with insurgents and military fighting in a skirmish that killed more than 3,000, were developed using a daguerreotype process, the first practice of its kind that made it possible to capture the image seen inside a camera obscura and to preserve the image as an object.

Wood engravings were made of the daguerreotypes, and these images were published in the weekly newspaper L’Illustration Journal Universel.

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NBC IS FIRST — The FIRST SCHEDULED TELEVISION BROADCAST was made on  July 1, 1941, when the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) began broadcasting from the Empire State Building.  NBC had been one of ten stations to be granted the first commercial TV licenses, on May 2 of that year.

The next Brooklyn Eagle edition (July 2, 1941) reported, “NBC yesterday ushered in its first day of programming under the new commercial license. Schedule calls for approximately 15 hours of programs each week. Yesterday was devoted to a pickup of the Dodgers-Phillies game at Ebbets Field and a special defense program.

See previous milestones, here.


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