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Moments in Time

 

 

• On July 9, 1877, the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, then an outersuburb of London. Twentyone amateurs showed up to compete in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament, the only event at the first Wimbledon. The winner was to take home a 25-guinea trophy.

• On July 10, 1887, a dam breaks in Zug, Switzerland, killing 70 people. The resulting wall of water was so powerful that rescue boats were ineffective, as they capsized in the roiling waters.

• On July 7, 1917, Britain establishes the British Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), authorizing female volunteers to serve alongside their male counterparts in France during World War I. Some 80,000 women enlisted to perform labors such as cookery, mechanical and clerical work, and other tasks.

• On July 6, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, a fire breaks out under the big top of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus, killing 167 people and injuring 682. An investigation revealed that the tent had been treated with flammable paraffin thinned with three parts of gasoline to make it waterproof.

• On July 8, 1959, Maj. Dale Buis and Master Sgt. Chester Ovnand become the first Americans killed in the U.S. phase of the Vietnam War when guerrillas strike a Military Assistance Advisory Group compound in Saigon.

• On July 11, 1979, parts of Skylab, America’s first space station, come crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean five years after the last manned Skylab mission ended. Skylab weighed 77 tons.

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