What Happened on July 9?

  • The Grateful Dead gave their last performance. (1995) The band performed for 30 years from 1965 to this day in 1995, when they performed their last concert at Soldier Field in Chicago. During their 30 years, they performed more than 2,300 live concerts. The lead guitarist and backbone of the band, Jerry Garcia, died one month after the final show.

  • The Major League Baseball All-Star game ended in a tie. (2002) The game ended in a 7-7 tie in the 11th inning when both teams ran out of pitchers. The baseball commissioner, Bud Selig, stepped in and declared a tie, which prompted booing from the fans. It was only the second time in history the game ended in a tie. The first occurred on July 31, 1961, when the game tied at 1-1 at Fenway Park.

  • US President Zachary Taylor died after being in office just 16 months — the shortest time ever served in the US Presidential office. (1850) Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, died from cholera. He was the first US President to be elected without previously having held an elected position, and he was the last US President to have owned slaves. Upon his death, Millard Fillmore became the 13th President of the United States.

  • US General Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed the first woman to a permanent military rank. (1947) General Eisenhower, who later would become the 34th President of the United States, appointed Florence Blanchfield to the rank of US Army lieutenant colonel.

  • The largest wave in history hit Lituya Bay in southeast Alaska. (1958) The tsunami wave was 1,719 feet (524 meters) high — taller than the Empire State Building, which is 1,470 feet (448 meters) tall. It was caused by an earthquake and descriptions by witnesses indicate it could have been moving at 600 miles per hour (965 kilometers per hour). The wave destroyed 6-foot (1.8-meter) trees and stripped the shore down to bedrock. It killed two people when it sank their boat, while two other boats rode it out with all passengers surviving.

  • Two trains collided in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, killing 101 people — the deadliest train wreck in US history. (1918) In the Great Train Wreck of 1918, two passenger trains crossing the Dutchman's Curve in downtown Nashville collided at speeds of 50 to 60 miles per hour (80 to 96 kilometers per hour), leaving 101 people dead and 171 injured. It is still considered the worst rail disaster in US history.

  • The world swimming record for the 100-meter freestyle was broken, also breaking the "minute barrier." (1922) Johnny Weissmuller swam the race in a world record 58.6 seconds and was the first to swim it in under a minute. Weissmuller set 67 world records. After he retired from swimming, he became one of the most famous actors to portray Tarzan, starring in six Tarzan movies for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

  • The Olympics readmitted South Africa, lifting a decades long ban. (1991) South Africa was banned from the Olympics in 1964 due to its apartheid policy. The country returned to the games with the 1992 Summer Olympics.

  • Andy Warhol held his Campbell's Soup Cans exhibition. (1962) The exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, causing some controversy about its commercialism. The controversy drew a great deal of attention to the exhibit and helped propel Warhol into pop art stardom.

  • The world's largest parade of Fiat automobiles occurred. (2006) The Fiat 500 Club Italia paraded the cars between the Italian cities of Garlenda and Villanova d'Albenga. The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes it as the largest parade of Fiat cars. The Fiat began production in 1899 and was the smallest mass-produced automobile available at the time.

Discussion Comments


I remember hearing about South Africa being banned from the Olympics, and I find that to be pretty interesting, especially in the sense that they actually have the power to do that. In fact, that really makes me wonder about the banning process.

When a country or state is banned from the Olympics, who actually makes the final decision, and how exactly is that "ban" placed? Those are some interesting things to think about.


Even though I don't know much about President Zachary Taylor, I did learn a bit about him in school, and it's interesting to hear that he was the last President to own slaves, as well as the one who served the shortest terms in office. It really makes me wonder what events would have taken place in our history if things had occurred differently with him.


In relation to the second bullet point, while I definitely can't say that I'm a fan of baseball, this is definitely one of the more memorable moments in sports. Overall, when it comes to having a tie, it really sets the stakes high, and the tension is increased without a doubt. After all, for the most part, there can only be one winner and one loser, even though there are always exceptions.

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