First Posted: 6/26/2014
The History Channel
* On July 15, 1606, the Dutch master Rembrandt is born in Leiden. His portraits began to go out of style after the 1630s, when his human figures were criticized as being coarse and indecorous.
* On July 19, 1779, Massachusetts launches a 4,000-man naval expedition consisting of 19 warships, 24 transport ships and more than 1,000 militiamen to capture a 750-man British garrison on the Penobscot Peninsula. The failed expedition was considered the worst naval disaster in American history until the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
* On July 18, 1914, convicted on meager evidence of murdering two Salt Lake City policemen, Wobbly Joe Hill is sentenced to be executed in Utah. Hill was a member of the International Workers of the World, called Wobblies. Scholars have debated whether Hill was railroaded because of his radical politics.
* On July 17, 1938, Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, a glory-seeking flier, takes off from Brooklyn, pointed west. Twenty-eight hours later, Corrigan landed his plane in Dublin, Ireland, stepped out, and exclaimed, “Just got in from New York. Where am I?”
* On July 20, 1948, President Harry Truman institutes a military draft calling for nearly 10 million men to register within the next two months. Truman’s decision underlined the urgency of his administration’s concern about a possible military confrontation with the Soviet Union.
* On July 16, 1951, J.D. Salinger’s only novel, “The Catcher in the Rye,” is published by Little, Brown. The book, about a confused teenager disillusioned by the adult world, was an instant hit and was taught in high schools for half a century. The 31-year-old Salinger had worked on the novel for a decade.
* On July 14, 1974, U.S. Army Gen. Carl Spaatz, fighter pilot, dies in Washington, D.C., at age 83. In September 1947, Spaatz, an illustrious combat career behind him, was named the first chief of staff of the independent U.S. Air Force, which previously had been a unit of the Army.