July 24 – almost the end of the month, but not quite. In Utah, July 24 is usually a state holiday, to celebrate the date in 1847 that the Mormon refugees arrived in Salt Lake Valley and began to set up their agriculture and schools. In Salt Lake City, bands from across the state and floats from many entities form the “Days of ’47” Parade. When I marched with the Pleasant Grove High School Viking Band, the route was 5 miles. We had only one band uniform, for winter — I lost nearly 10 pounds carrying a Sousaphone.
Ah, the good old days!
From various “Today in History” features, AP, New York Times, and others:
July 24, 1847: A larger contingent of Mormons, refugees from a literal religious war in Illinois and Missouri, entered into the Salt Lake Valley under the leadership of Brigham Young, who famously said from his wagon sick-bed, “This is the place; drive on!”
July 24, 1866: Tennessee became the first of the Confederate States, the former “state in rebellion,” to be readmitted fully to the Union, following the end of the American Civil War.
July 24, 2005: Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France bicycle race.
July 24, 1959: Visiting Moscow, USSR, to support an exhibit of U.S. technology and know-how, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged Soviet Communist Party Secretary and Premier Nikita Khruschev in a volley of points about which nation was doing better, at a display of the “typical” American kitchen, featuring an electric stove, a refrigerator, and a dishwasher. Khruschev said the Soviet Union produced similar products; Nixon barbed back that even Communist Party leaders didn’t have such things in their homes, typically, but such appliances were within the reach of every American family. It was the “Kitchen Debate.”
July 24, 1974: In U.S. vs. Nixon, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Richard Nixon had to turn over previously-secret recordings made of conversations in the White House between Nixon and his aides, to the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Watergate affair and cover-up. Nixon would resign the presidency within two weeks, the only president to leave office by resignation.
July 24, 1975: An Apollo spacecraft splashed down after a mission that included the first link-up of American and Soviet spacecraft. (The Apollo mission was not officially numbered, but is sometimes called “Apollo 18″ — after Apollo 17, the last trip to the Moon.)
- July 20 1969 Neil Armstrong walks on moon (craighill.net)
- In Happier News, It’s the 43rd Anniversary of the Moon Landing (betabeat.com)
- How the Eagle Landed: Grumman Construction Log, and a message to space (Apollo 11) (boingboing.net)
- NASA releases restored Apollo 11 Moonwalk Videos in celebration of 40th Anniversary (clarksvilleonline.com)
- If They Couldn’t Come Back from the Moon (motherboard.vice.com)
- The First Person on the Moon (aytacgok.wordpress.com)
- Space History Photo: President Nixon and Dr. Paine Wait to Meet Apollo 11 Astronauts (space.com)
- NASA worksheet on claims that the Moon landing is a hoax.