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Moments in time

 

 

• On July 14, 1798, Congress passes the Sedition Act. The act permitted the prosecution of individuals who voiced or printed what the government deemed to be malicious remarks about the president or the U.S. government.

• On July 19, 1879, Doc Holliday commits his first murder, killing a man for shooting up his saloon. Despite his reputation as a deadly gunslinger, Doc Holliday engaged in just eight shootouts during his life, and killed only two men.

• On July 17, 1920, Nils Bohlin, the Swedish engineer and inventor responsible for the three-point lap and shoulder seatbelt, is born. Before 1959, only two-point lap belts were available in automobiles.

• On July 18, 1969, after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts drives an Oldsmobile off a bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. The senator did not report the fatal car accident for 10 hours.

• On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially open Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. The 16-hour “superconcert” was globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations.

• On July 16, 1995, Amazon officially opens for business as an online bookseller, eventually selling everything from groceries to furniture. Founder Jeff Bozos initially dubbed the business Cadabra (as in abracadabra), but after someone misheard the name as “cadaver,” he switched to Amazon.

• On July 15, 2006, San Francisco-based podcasting company Odeo officially releases Twttr — later changed to Twitter — its short messaging service (SMS) to the public. The free application allowed users to share status updates by sending one text message to a single number (“40404”). During development, one engineer suggested calling it FriendStalker.

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