This Week In History: July 13 – July 19

Retro Staff |  Comments

Headlines & Tidbits from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s


Apollo 11 crew Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin

Apollo 11 crew: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin

American Experience:

1939 – Clara Adams (NYC) returns from her 16-day trip as an airplane passenger, and would set a world record as the fastest airplane passenger to go around the world.

1945 – First atom bomb explodes in New Mexico at Trinity Site, Alamogordo.

1955 – Disneyland opens its doors in Anaheim, CA.

1969 – Apollo 11 launches, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin to the moon!

1977 – New York City experiences a 25-hour blackout caused by lightning bolts striking power lines in Westchester County. The event shuts down the Indian Point generating station on the Hudson River. More lighting bolts follow, shutting down other facilities, until all five boroughs lose power. Widespread looting and arson ensue.

1977 NYC Blackout (Photo: Paul Hosefros/The New York Times)
1977 NYC Blackout (Photo: Paul Hosefros/The New York Times)

1985 – Christa McAuliffe is chosen to be the first schoolteacher on a space shuttle mission.

1987 – Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North concludes 6 days of Congressional testimony.

Movies & TV:

1951 – For the first time, a sporting event (horse race) was telecast in color on CBS.

1961 – John Chancellor becomes news anchor of Today Show.

1968 – The soap opera One Life to Live premieres on TV.

1968Yellow Submarine, The Beatles’ animated film, premieres in London.

Music & Radio:

1939 A Young Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra (1939)

1939 – Frank Sinatra makes his recording debut with the Harry James Band.

1967 – The Who, opening for Herman’s Hermits, begin a US tour.

1972 – Smokey Robinson & Miracles give their final live performance at the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington, DC.

1978 – BBC bans the Sex Pistols song, “No One is Innocent”.

1985 – “Live Aid” concert raises over $70 million for African famine relief. Venues were held at JFK stadium in Philadelphia, Wembley Stadium in London, and Sydney and Moscow. It was shown on TV via satellite, with approximately 1.5 billion viewers from 100 countries.

Celebrity Headlines:

1957 – John Coltrane, rocker and US jazz sax/composer, dies of cancer at age 30.

1959 – Billie Holiday, jazz singer, dies of drug OD at age 44.

1966 – Frank Sinatra, 50, marries Mia Farrow, 21, in Las Vegas.

John Lennon
John Lennon Poster

1974 – John Lennon is ordered to leave the US in 60 days or face deportation.

1988 – Michael J. Fox marries Tracy Pollan.

The Arts:

1946 – Dr. Ben Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby & Child Care is published.

1951The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger, is published.


1961 – Ty Cobb, (Detroit Tigers), dies of cancer at 74.

1988 – Florence Joyner sets the women’s world record in the 100 meter at 10.49 seconds.

1988 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee sets the women’s heptathlete record of 7,215 pts.


Florence Joyner at 1988 Seoul Olympics

Florence Joyner at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul

Technology & Inventions:

1936 – The first x-ray photo of arterial circulation takes place in Rochester, NY.

1939 – Dr. Roy P Scholz, of St Louis MO, becomes the first surgeon to use fiberglass sutures.

1961 – The first in-flight movie is shown on a TWA flight.

1967 – The first air conditioned New York City subway car is introduced (R-38 on the F line).

Last updated: Jul 13, 2008
Filed under: This Week In History Tagged with: retro headlines, Retro News