On this day: the world’s first motor racing contest

#65 Albert Lemaître in Peugeot 3hp at 1894 Paris-Rouen race (2nd place) but judged the official winner. Adolphe Clément is the front seat passenger.

The world’s first motorsport contest took place on the 22nd of July, 1894 from Paris to Rouen, France.

First, a selection event was held in which sixty-nine cars participated. The main 127 kilometre race had twenty-five contestants.

Marquis Jules Félix Philippe Albert de Dion de Wandonne (9 March 1856 – 19 August 1946) was a pioneer of the automobile industry in France.

Count Jules-Albert de Dion circa 1903

Count Jules-Albert de Dion was the first to complete the race, but as cars were also judged on other elements – such as safety – he was not declared the winner. He completed the race in 6 hours and 48 minutes, which averaged 19 kilometres an hour.

On this day: the Hyde Park and Regent’s Park bombings

Cars removed from the scene of the Hyde Park car bomb in which four soldiers died in 1982

On the 20th of July, 1982 the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated two bombs during military parades in the centre of London. Eleven people were killed and around fifty others injured.

The Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings occurred on 20 July 1982

In addition to the deaths of soldiers and bandsmen, seven horses were killed.

Police forensic officers working on the remains of the IRA car which housed the Hyde Park car bomb in which four soldiers died in 1982

While Gilbert “Danny” McNamee was convicted of the Hyde Park bombing (a conviction that was later quashed), nobody was ever charged with the bomb at Regent’s Park.

On this day: the opening of Disneyland

Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California on Sunday the 17th of July, 1955.

Disneyland_opening_day_03After years of planning, Walt Disney's very first theme park Disneyland opened its gates at 230PM on Sunday July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California.

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The original press preview event was attended by about 28 000 people, even though only around half of the attendees had legitimate tickets.

The park opened to the public the following day, offering twenty attractions.

Disneyland_Opening_Day_01After years of planning, Walt Disney's very first theme park Disneyland opened its gates at 230PM on Sunday July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California.

On this day: the collapse of St Mark’s Campanile

The campanile (bell tower) of St Mark’s in Venice collapsed on the 14th of July, 1902.

800px-Ruins_of_St_Mark's_CampanileRuins of St Mark's Campanile. 1902.

For twelve days before the building’s fall, a large crack had begun to appear on the structure. The collapse occurred at 9:45am, during which time the logetta was also destroyed. The only casualty of the disaster was the caretaker’s cat.

A fake photo of the collapse was widely circulated in the world’s media at the time:

CROLLO1Fake photo purporting to show the collapse of the original Campanile in 1902. This picture became famous around the world.

The decision was made to rebuild the campanile to look exactly as it had been, though reinforcements were used inside, and an elevator was added. This is the structure that today stands in St Mark’s Square.

As seen in 1949:

Paolo_Monti_-_Serie_fotografica_(Venezia,_1949)_-_BEIC_6346672Serie fotograficaVenezia, 1949

On this day: the death of Kate Sheppard

Kate Sheppard, photographed in 1905.

In 1905

Kate Sheppard, New Zealand’s most famous suffragette, died on the 13th of July, 1934.

Born to Scottish parents in England in 1847, Sheppard moved to New Zealand in 1869.

She became a significant figure both in gaining women the vote, and then in getting women to the polls for the first time in 1893.

NZ_Dollar_TenNew Zealand ten-dollar note Kate Sheppard

New Zealand was a leading nation in women’s suffrage, and Sheppard’s efforts gained her a place on the country’s $10 note.