This Week in History

News

This Week in History, Jul 22 - Jul 28

Jul 22, 2003
Jessica Lynch gets hero's welcome. U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, a prisoner-of-war who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, receives a hero's welcome when she returns to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia. The story of the 19-year-old supply clerk, who was captured by Iraqi forces in March 2003, gripped America; however, it was later revealed that some details of Lynch's dramatic capture and rescue might have been exaggerated.

Jul 23, 1984
Miss America resigns. 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant's history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue.

Jul 24, 1911
Machu Picchu discovered. American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world's top tourist destinations.

Jul 25, 1978
World's First Test Tube Baby Born. Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Jul 26, 1775
U.S. postal system established. U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today's mail system.

Jul 27, 1974
House begins impeachment of Nixon. The US House Judiciary Committee recommends that America's 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate.

Jul 28, 1868
14th Amendment to US Constitution is adopted. Following its ratification by the necessary three-quarters of U.S. states, the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing to African Americans citizenship and all its privileges, is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution. Two years after the Civil War, the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 divided the South into five military districts, where new state governments, based on universal manhood suffrage, were to be established. Thus began the period known as Radical Reconstruction, which saw the 14th Amendment, which had been passed by Congress in 1866, ratified in July 1868. The amendment resolved Civil War questions of African American citizenship by stating that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States...are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside." The amendment then reaffirmed the privileges and rights of all citizens, and granted all these citizens the "equal protection of the laws."