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.


July 1

1905 – Albert Einstein introduces his theory of special relativity.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Albert Einstein
Photo by Universal History Archive/Shutterstock.

July 2

1937 – American aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are heard from for the last time before disappearing.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Earhart and Noonan's Last Flight
Photo by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock.

July 3

1985 – The blockbuster film Back to the Future is released in the United States.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Back to the Future
Photo by Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock.

July 4

1776 – The Continental Congress of the United States adopts the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming freedom from British rule.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Declaration of Independence
Photo by AP/Shutterstock,

July 5

1989 – The pilot episode of Seinfeld airs on NBC.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Seinfeld
Photo by Paul Drinkwater/Nbc Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock.

July 6

1957 – Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American woman to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Althea Gibson
Photo by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock.

July 7

2009 – A public memorial service for Michael Jackson is held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, twelve days after his death.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Michael Jackson's Memorial Service
Photo by Jae C Hong/AP/Shutterstock.

July 8

1996 – British girl group The Spice Girls release their debut single “Wannabe” in the UK.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Spice Girls
Photo by Andre Csillag/Shutterstock.

July 9

1948 – Legendary pitcher Satchel Paige becomes the oldest rookie ever in Major League Baseball at the age of 42.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Satchel Paige
Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

July 10

1999 – The United States Women’s Soccer Team defeat China to win the World Cup.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — US Women's Soccer Team Defeats China
Photo by Mark J Terrill/AP/Shutterstock.

July 11

2015 – Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escapes from Altiplano maximum-security prison via a constructed tunnel.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Escapes Prison
Photo by Dario Lopez-Mills/AP/Shutterstock.

July 12

2013 – Malala Yousafzai addresses the United Nations calling for worldwide access to education.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Malala Yousafzai Addresses the UN
Photo by Mary Altaffer/AP/Shutterstock.

July 13

1985 – The Live Aid concert to raise money for the African famine takes place at Wembley stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Live Aid Concert
Photo by Nils Jorgensen/Shutterstock.

July 14

2008 – Warner Bros. holds the world premiere for The Dark Knight starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger in New York City.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — The Dark Knight
Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock.

July 15

1997 – Legendary fashion designer Gianni Versace is murdered by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in Miami.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Death of Versace
Photo by Hans Deryk/AP/Shutterstock.

July 16

2017 – Roger Federer beats Marin Čilić for a record of eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Roger Federer Sets Wimbledon Record
Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

July 17

1955 – The Disneyland theme park opens in Anaheim, California.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Disneyland Opens
Photo by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock.

July 18

1970 – Willie Mays becomes the tenth baseball player to get 3,000 hits.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Willie Mayes
Photo by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock.

July 19

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.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — 22nd Olympic Games in Moscow
Photo by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock.

July 20

1969 – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to step on the Moon.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Moon Landing
Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG/Shutterstock.

July 21

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.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock.

July 22

1991 – Jeffrey Dahmer confesses to killing seventeen men in 1978.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Jeffrey Dahmer
Photo by Allan Y Scott/AP/Shutterstock.

July 23

2000 – Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam at age twenty-four.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Tiger Woods
Photo by Adam Butler/AP/Shutterstock.

July 24

1911 – Machu Picchu is discovered by American archeologist Hiram Bingham in the ancient Incan settlement of Peru.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Machu Picchu
Photo by imageBROKER/Shutterstock.

July 25

2007 – Pratibha Patil takes office as India’s first woman president.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Pratibha Patil
Photo by Harish Tyagi/EPA/Shutterstock.

July 26

1990 – President George Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Photo by Barry Thumma/AP/Shutterstock.

July 27

2012 – Queen Elizabeth II officially opens the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — 2012 Summer Olympic Games
Photo by Matt Dunham/AP/Shutterstock.

July 28

1951 – Walt Disney’s animated musical film Alice In Wonderland premieres in New York City.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Alice in Wonderland
Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock.

July 29

1981 – Prince Charles marries Lady Diana in London while millions tune in around the world to watch.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Photo by Globe Photos/mediapunch/Shutterstock.

July 30

1954 – Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” made his first professional performance at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Elvis Presley
Photo by Snap/Shutterstock.

July 31

2012 – American swimmer Michael Phelps breaks the record for most medals won at the Olympics.

On This Day in July: 31 of the Month’s Pivotal Moments — Michael Phelps
Photo by Hannibal/EPA/Shutterstock.

Want to learn more about modern history through images? Check out these photo tours from the Shutterstock archives: