Follow along with the biggest moments in July history in this visual journey of photos from the Shutterstock Editorial archive.
Photography has given us a rich visual archive of the most important events in history — everything from tragedies to the pinnacles of human achievement. Photos can bring us back to a tragic event that broke our collective hearts, a cultural moment that we rejoiced over, or a scientific breakthrough that made us see the world differently. Each month we’ll share photographs from the Shutterstock Editorial archive that show a significant historical or cultural event for each day of that month.
This month, we take a visual journey through July.
1905 – Albert Einstein introduces his theory of special relativity.
1937 – American aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are heard from for the last time before disappearing.
1985 – The blockbuster film Back to the Future is released in the United States.
1776 – The Continental Congress of the United States adopts the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming freedom from British rule.
1989 – The pilot episode of Seinfeld airs on NBC.
1957 – Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American woman to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon.
2009 – A public memorial service for Michael Jackson is held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, twelve days after his death.
1996 – British girl group The Spice Girls release their debut single “Wannabe” in the UK.
1948 – Legendary pitcher Satchel Paige becomes the oldest rookie ever in Major League Baseball at the age of 42.
1999 – The United States Women’s Soccer Team defeat China to win the World Cup.
2015 – Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escapes from Altiplano maximum-security prison via a constructed tunnel.
2013 – Malala Yousafzai addresses the United Nations calling for worldwide access to education.
1985 – The Live Aid concert to raise money for the African famine takes place at Wembley stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.
2008 – Warner Bros. holds the world premiere for The Dark Knight starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger in New York City.
1997 – Legendary fashion designer Gianni Versace is murdered by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in Miami.
2017 – Roger Federer beats Marin Čilić for a record of eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles.
1955 – The Disneyland theme park opens in Anaheim, California.
1970 – Willie Mays becomes the tenth baseball player to get 3,000 hits.
1980 – The 22nd modern Olympic games opens in Moscow. A US-led boycott protesting the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan reduces the number of participating nations to eighty.
1969 – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to step on the Moon.
2007 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series by J. K. Rowling, is published worldwide. 11 million copies sell in the first twenty-four hours.
1991 – Jeffrey Dahmer confesses to killing seventeen men in 1978.
2000 – Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam at age twenty-four.
1911 – Machu Picchu is discovered by American archeologist Hiram Bingham in the ancient Incan settlement of Peru.
2007 – Pratibha Patil takes office as India’s first woman president.
1990 – President George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability.
2012 – Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
1951 – Walt Disney’s animated musical film Alice In Wonderland premieres in New York City.
1981 – Prince Charles marries Lady Diana in London while millions tune in around the world to watch.
1954 – Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” made his first professional performance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis.
2012 – American swimmer Michael Phelps breaks the record for most medals won at the Olympics.
Want to learn more about modern history through images? Check out these photo tours from the Shutterstock archives:
- On This Day in June: 30 Historical Photographs Document the Month’s Pivotal Moments
- Documenting LGBTQ Rights with Kay Tobin Lahusen and Barbara Gittings
- A Century (and More) of Royal Babies, in Historic Photos
- On This Day in May: 31 of the Month’s Biggest Moments
- 10 Pop Music Icons Photographed by Dezo Hoffmann