On This Day in History, July 21

In 356 BC, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, as listed by Herodotus, was destroyed by arson. The Temple of Artemis, also called Artemision, was located in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, an early site of Christianity and part of present day Turkey.

In 1861, Union and Confederate soldiers met for the first major battle of the American Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run or First Battle of Manassas. This battle would end in a Confederate victory, in part due to the stand of soldiers under the command of “Stonewall” Jackson. This battle also revealed to Washington and Richmond that the war would not be a quick affair.

In 1970, ten years of construction came to an end with the completion of the Aswan High Dam in southern Egypt. This dam was constructed to increase control over the flooding of the Nile River and ensure more consistent agricultural production. The dam also produced Lake Nasser, one of the largest reservoir lakes in the world.

A Notable Birth

1944 – John Atta Mills (d. 2012) was the third President of Ghana and their only head of state to die in office. Before his political career, he was a law professor and wrote several works concerning economics, especially taxation.

A Notable Death

2018 – Alene Durek (b. 1920) served in the American Navy and was the first woman to achieve the rank of Admiral. She was commissioned during the Second World War, and after leaving active naval duty, became involved with nursing—both civilian and military.

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