100 BC Gaius Julius Caesar, the month is named for him. Before it was changed by Augustus to honor this legendary figure from ancient Rome it had been the fifth month of the roman calendar (not the 7th) and had been called Quintilis, representing that place in the calendar order (logical people, the Romans).
Yes, this is the same conqueror of Gaul, adventures with Cleopatra and Mark Antony, beware-the-ides-of-March and 'et tu Brute?' Julius Ceasar. An extraordinary man in his time, and well deserving of having his name continue to be honored with a month named after him.
Appropriate to begin this day in history with his birth for that reason as well as the chronological order. Although for a time he had an entire calendar named after him, the Julian or Roman calendar. Some of my favorite quotes are attributed to Ceasar: "What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also." and " As a rule, men worry more about what they can't see than about what they can." Perhaps the most famous is ' I came, I saw, I conquered. "
1730 The birth date of Josiah Wedgwood, credited with advancing pottery making into an industry, and in achieving some of the greatest artistic accomplishments in it. He was a prominent industrialist and innovator in England. He was also the maternal grandfather of Charles Darwin, (who married another Josiah Wedgwood grandaughter). His company continues in existence today as Waterford Wedgwood, which also manufactures the elegant crystal in Ireland. Wedgwood literally 'left his mark' on history - and that mark looks like the images to the right.
Josiah Wedgwood is significant for more than just making fancy dishes. He made a direct, major contriubtion in his time to industry and business, art, and science. His legacy was a continuing and indirect contribution to those three areas of endeavor, and his trademark has lasted as a mark of excellence for more than five generations. Without Josiah Wedgwood, we also wouldn't have been celebrating in this day in history July 10th, the start of the Scopes 'Monkey' Trial and all of the subsequent Creationism vs. Evolution battles.
1884 Amedeo Modigliani, Italy, expressionist painter/sculptor, known by the nickname Modi (in french 'Maudit' which loosely translates as 'cursed' ). He was a contemporary and rival of Picasso during his blue period. He was known for having developed a very mannered, stylized form of painting and sculpture, and was particularly famous for his nudes and portraits with elongated oval faces, almond eyes, and very long, graceful necks. His style was influenced by the cubists, and the art of Africa and Asia. (Everybody writes about music; I wanted to be different and write about the visual arts. And I happen to like Modigliani's work.) The woman in both of these portraits is his mistress and model, Jeanne Hebuterne. She is the mother of his daughter, and was nine months pregnant when the artist died of tuberculosis at 35 years old; she committed suicide two days later, jumping out of a window at her family's home, killing herself and her unborn child. Her conservative family didn't approve of her relationship both because he was an artist - and Jewish. Her family did not allow her body to be buried next to his until many years later in 1930.
1920 – The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty was signed, with Soviet Russia agreeing to recognize an independent Lithuania.
1943 – World War II: Nazi German and Soviet forces engaged each other at the Battle of Prokhorovka, one of the largest tank battles in military history.
1954 - U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a highway modernization program, with costs to be shared by federal and state governments.
2006 – Hezbollah forces crossed the Israel–Lebanon border and attacked Israeli military positions while firing rockets and mortars at Israeli towns, sparking the July War, which Hezbollah called Operation True Promise. Because whenever you invade someone, it is important to dress it up with a good sounding name.