1775 – American Revolutionary War: King George III delivers his Proclamation of Rebellion to the Court of St. James’s stating that the American colonies have proceeded to a state of open and avowed rebellion.
1923 – Captain Lowell Smith and Lieutenant John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.
1944 – Freckleton Air Disaster; A United States Army Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber crashes into a school in Freckleton, England killing 61 people.
1954 – First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 60 nations. The C-130 entered service with U.S., followed by Australia and others. During its years of service, the Hercules family has participated in numerous military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations. The family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. In 2007, the C-130 became the fifth aircraft—after the English Electric Canberra, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95, and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, all designs with various forms of aviation gas turbine powerplants—to mark 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case, the United States Air Force. The C-130 is one of the only military aircraft to remain in continuous production for over 50 years with its original customer, as the updated C-130J Super Hercules.
1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.
1991 – Internaut’s day; Tim Berners-Lee opens the WWW, World Wide Web to new users.
1993 – The Galileo spacecraft discovers a moon, later named Dactyl, around 243 Ida, the first known asteroid moon.
1994 – Eugene Bullard, one of only two black pilots, and the only black American pilot, in World War I, is posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Bullard was born in Columbus, Georgia, one of the 10 children of William O. Bullard, nicknamed “Big Chief Ox”, and his wife Josephine Thomas, a Creek Indian. He was a student at Twenty-eighth Street School in 1901-1906, where he learned to read and write. As a teenager, Eugene Bullard stowed away on a ship bound for Scotland, seeking to escape racial discrimination (he later claimed to have witnessed his father’s narrow escape from lynching). Bullard arrived at Aberdeen before making his way south to Glasgow. He became a boxer in Paris and also worked in a music hall. On a visit to Paris, Bullard decided to settle in France. At the outbreak of World War I, according to his personnel file at the French Ministry of Defense, he enlisted on October 19, 1914 in the 1st Regiment of Foreign Legion since volunteers from overseas in 1914 were allowed to serve only in the French colonial troops. As a part of the 170th Infantry, Bullard fought and was seriously wounded in March 1916 during the Battle of Verdun. After recovering from his wounds, Bullard volunteered on October 2, 1916 to join the French Air Service (Aéronautique Militaire) as an air gunner, and went through training at the Aerial Gunnery School in Cazaux, Gironde. Later, he went through initial flight training at Châteauroux and Avord and received his pilot’s license number 6950 from the Aéro-Club de France on May 5, 1917. Like many other American aviators, Bullard wanted to join the famous aero squadron Escadrille Americaine, the Lafayette Escadrille, but after enrolling 38 American pilots in spring and summer of 1916, it stopped accepting new flyers. Therefore, after receiving more training at Avord, Bullard on November 15, 1916, joined 269 American aviators at the Lafayette Flying Corps of the French Air Service, which was a designation rather than a unit. American volunteers flew with French pilots in different pursuit and bomber/reconnaissance aero squadrons on the Western Front. Edmund L. Gros, who facilitated the incorporation of American pilots in the French Air Service, listed in the October 1917 issue of Flying, an official publication of the Aero Club of America, Bullard’s name in the member roster of the Lafayette Flying Corps. On June 28, 1917 Bullard was promoted to the rank of corporal. He took part in about twenty combat missions, and is sometimes credited with shooting down one or two German aircraft (sources differ). However, the French authorities did not confirm Bullard’s victories. When the United States entered the war, the United States Army Air Service convened a medical board to recruit Americans serving in the Lafayette Flying Corps to the Air Service of the American Expeditionary Forces. Bullard went through the medical examination, but was not called in since only white pilots were allowed to serve. A time later, while being on short break from duty in Paris, Bullard allegedly got into a fight with a French officer and was punished by being transferred to the service battalion of the 170th in January 1918. As a noncombatant, he served past the Armistice being finally discharged on October 24, 1919. For his World War I service Bullard was awarded the Croix de Guerre, Médaille militaire, Croix du combattant volontaire 1914–1918, and Médaille de Verdun, among others.
1996 – Osama bin Laden issues message entitled ‘A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.’
2011 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan civil war.