On This Day in History, July 14

In 1865, seven men, including two guides, led by Edward Whymper began the first ascent of the Matterhorn, a famous Alpine mountain on the Italian-Swiss border. Of the seven who departed, only Whymper and the two guides safely returned from the mountain. The other four, Lord Francis Douglas, Charles Hudson, Douglas Hadow, and Michel Croz, fell to their deaths during the descent from the summit, which the party had safely reached.

In 1957, Egyptian Rawya Ateya became the first female parliamentarian in the Arab world, in part using her military experience to achieve victory. Her victory was notable due to the large resentment brought on by her gender, along with beating Ahmed Fuad, a pro-communist lawyer and banker who was personal friends with present leader, President Gamal Abel Nasser. Her first parliamentary career died shortly afterwards, but she returned to the People’s Assembly in 1984 and eventually passed away in 1997.

In 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft reached the closest distance it would reach with its destination of Pluto. The craft completed a flyby of the planetoid, collecting data and taking photos through its venture past Pluto. This accomplishment completed the first survey of the Solar System, completing decades of research about the other planets in our system.

A Notable Birth

1912 – Woody Guthrie (d. 1967) was an American singer-songwriter. He had a significant influence upon folk and western music in the United States, especially due to his album Dust Bowl Ballads, influenced by his experiences during the 1930s.

A Notable Death

2017 – Maryam Mirzakhani (b. 1977) was an Iranian mathematician who taught at Stanford as a professor. Her research in the theory of moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces (high level geometry) led to her receiving a Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in her field. She passed away from breast cancer at age 40.

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