While you ponder what to do next on these lazy, hazy days of summer, kill a few minutes considering these nostalgic events of Julys past.
July 2, 1843 — Weird as it sounds, an alligator was reported to have fallen from the sky in Charleston, South Carolina, during a severe thunderstorm.
July 2, 1955 — The Lawrence Welk Show
premiered on television.
July 3, 1806 — The first cultivated strawberry was displayed by Michael Kent. Johnny Appleseed harrumphed and said it would never catch on.
July 5, 1946 — The bikini made its debut at a Paris fashion show.
July 6, 1933 — In the very first Major League all-star baseball game, the American League won 5-2.
July 7, 1996 — Hailstones the size of a fist thumped down on Winnipeg and Calgary, causing almost $300 million in property damage.
July 10, 1936 — Parts of Ontario and Manitoba sweltered through 10 days of killer-heat. The temperature hit 41°C in Toronto, 42°C in Atikokan and 44°C in St. Albans, Manitoba.
July 12, 1960 — Etch-a-Sketch went on sale.
July 13, 1898 — The radio was patented by Guglielmo Marconi.
July 14, 1867 — Alfred Nobel demonstrated
July 15, 1844 — Vulcanized rubber was patented by Goodyear.
July 15, 1869 — Margarine was patented.
July 16, 2001 — A storm, said to occur only once in 25 years, hit southern Manitoba, causing flash floods that washed out roads and damaged crops. Between 125 and 190 millimetres of rain gushed down in three hours. The force of the water blew off sewer covers.
July 17, 1902 — The air conditioner was invented.
July 17, 1955 — Walt Disney’s Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California. His television show about the new theme park was the cleverest of veiled commercials for his new creation. We all fell in love with the concepts of Fantasy Land, Adventure Land, Frontier Land and Tomorrow Land, and we could hardly wait to get there and see it in person. Disney’s TV program and merchandizing genius next moved on to Davey Crockett, with those lunch boxes and coonskin caps we all had to have.
July 19, 1940 — Winston Churchill used the two finger “V” for victory sign.
July 19, 1814 — Samuel Colt invented the revolver.
July 20, 1969 — With “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.
July 21, 1873 — The Jesse James gang robbed its first train.
July 23, 1999 — U.S. Air Force Colonel Eileen M. Collins became the first woman to command a space shuttle.
July 24, 1987 -— Allegedly on this day, Orville Hickenlooper is said to have uttered the line, “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”
And apparently, with nothing to do that day and with a terrible infestation of mosquitoes underway, Orville is said to have determined that a pile of 5,000 swatted mosquitoes is a quarter of an inch high.
Or maybe not. But anyway, thanks, Orville.
July 25, 1978 — Louise Joy Brown, the first “test-tube” baby was born in Oldham General Hospital, U.K.
July 26, 1952 — Mickey Mantle hit his first baseball “grand slam.”
July 27, 1940 — Bugs Bunny debuted in Warner Brother’s animated cartoon A Wild Hare.
July 29, 1928 — Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie premiered, introducing the charming little guy named Mickey Mouse.
July 30, 1919 — Missouri farmer Fred Hoenemann, annoyed by the sudden increase in new-fangled airplanes in the sky, actually was able to get a temporary injunction prohibiting them from flying over his farm. Many others were similarly unhappy with the development of aviation. In particular, farmers complained that their livestock reacted badly to the “mechanical birds.”