Today in History: First successful Matterhorn ascent in 1865

Today in History: First successful Matterhorn ascent in 1865

153 years ago today, the Matterhorn (4,478 m, 14,692 ft) was first successfully ascended by Edward Whymper and his team of mountaineers, Michel Croz, Lord Francis Douglas, Charles Hudson, Douglas Hadow, and the two Zermatt guides, Peter Taugwalder father and son. During the descent, however, the day ended in tragedy when Douglas, Hudson, Hadow and Croz were killed after a supporting rope broke. One climber had slipped, pulling the three others with him. Taugwalder and Whymper had been alarmed by Croz’s warning shouts and when they grasped the rocks, the rope broke, causing the four others to plummet to their deaths.

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Today is Bastille Day!

Today is Bastille Day!

Bastille Day is a national holiday in France, celebrated annually on July 14. It is quite similar to the Independence Day festivities in the United States. The Bastille was a stronghold built in Paris in the 14th century. In fact, the word “bastille” means “fortress” in French. During his reign, Louis XVI used it as a prison and the structure became a symbol of his power. In 1789, rioters stormed the Bastille and proceeded to demolish it. It was an act of rebellion and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Today, the French celebrate Bastille Day and their independence with parties, parades, and festivals. Uncork a bottle of French wine or dine at a French restaurant to join in the fun!

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Today in History: First World Cup in 1930

Today in History: First World Cup in 1930

88 years ago today, the first-ever World Cup football matches were played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. France defeated Mexico 4-1 while the United States defeated Belgium 3-0. 13 teams participated “by invitation” in this first World Cup. For the Europeans, the trip to Uruguay was especially costly. In the end, only 4 European teams were persuaded to make the trip. They joined 7 South and 2 North American teams. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2 in the final and became the first nation to win the World Cup. Total attendance was 590,000. The World Cup has since become the world’s most watched sporting event.

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Today in History: First performance of the Rolling Stones in 1962

Today in History: 1962 First performance of the Rolling Stones

56 years ago today, the British rock band performed for the first time as a group at the Marquee Club in London.

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Today in History: First Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

Today in History: First Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

On this day in 1877, the world’s first official lawn tennis tournament was held at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, a district of London. Twenty-two players participated in the Gentlemen’s Singles competition, the only event at the first Wimbledon. In front of a crowd of some 200 people, Spencer Gore became the first champion by defeating William Marshall in three straight sets that lasted only 48 minutes. Gore took home a silver cup (worth 25 guineas) and 12 guineas in prize money.

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Today is World Chocolate Day

Today is World Chocolate Day

Observed annually on July 7, there are some references that seem to indicate that this day celebrates the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550. To be honest, we don’t much care as long as we have an “official” reason to celebrate in style and eat lots of chocolate on this special occasion … after all, we are only doing our part in observing World Chocolate Day.

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Today in History: First UEFA European Nations Cup (now UEFA Euro) hosted by France

Today in History: First UEFA European Nations Cup (now UEFA Euro) hosted by France

58 years ago today, the first European soccer championship opened in France. The event is held every four years in the even-numbered year between the World Cup tournaments. In 1960, 4 teams competed in the finals out of 17 that had initially entered the competition. The Soviet Union won the first competition beating Yugoslavia 2-1 in a tense game in Paris. Over the years, the event has become the second most watched soccer tournament in the world (after the World Cup).

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