On July 20…

1881 – Five years after leading a rebellion against Gen. George A. Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Sioux leader Chief Sitting Bull surrendered to the U.S. Army.

1919 – Explorer Edmund Hillary, first to climb Mt. Everest, was born in Auckland, New Zealand.

1942 – The first members of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACS) began training at Fort Des Moines, IA.  In 1943, the name was changed to WACS (Women’s Army Corps) and the organization became a part of the U.S. Army.

1948 – President Harry S. Truman instituted a military draft, requiring nearly 10 million men to register within 2 months.

1969 – Apollo 11 landed on the moon, 4 days after it departed from Earth.

1976 – Viking I, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, became the first spacecraft to land on Mars.

1985 – Treasure hunters began retrieving some $400 million in coins and silver ingots from the sea floor in the biggest underwater excavation in history.  The bounty came from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which had sunk 40 miles off the coast of Key West, Florida in 1622.  It was located by treasure hunter Mel Fisher.  The 40 tons of gold and silver and was the richest treasure find since the opening of King Tut’s tomb in the 1930’s.

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