“If our most highly qualified General Staff officers had been told to work out the most nonsensical high level organization for war which they could think of, they could not have produced anything more stupid that that which we have at present.”
~Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg
1944 – Adolf Hitler was only slightly wounded when a bomb planted by would be assassins exploded at the German leader’s Rastenburg headquarters.
High German officials had made up their minds that Hitler must die. He was leading Germany in a suicidal war on two fronts, and assassination was the only way to stop him. A coup d’état was to follow, and a new government in Berlin would save Germany from complete destruction at the hands of the Allies.
That was the plan.
This was the reality: Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, chief of the army reserve, had been given the task of planting a bomb during a conference that was to be held at Berchtesgaden, but was later moved to Hitler’s “Wolf’s Lair,” a command post at Rastenburg, Prussia.
Stauffenberg planted the explosive in a briefcase, which he placed under a table, then quickly left the meeting. Hitler was studying a map of the Eastern front as Colonel Heinz Brandt, trying to get a better look at the map, moved the briefcase out of place, away from where Hitler was standing.
At 12:42 p.m. the bomb went off. When the smoke cleared, Hitler was wounded, charred, and even suffered the temporary paralysis of one arm – but he was very much alive.
The failure of the assassination attempt and the intended military coup d’état that was to follow, led the Gestapo to arrest more than 7,000 people, of whom they executed 4,980.
Note: The photograph showing Stauffenberg (circled in red) and Hitler together was taken five days before the assassination attempt.
1969 – At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, spoke these words to more than a billion people listening at home: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.
“Buzz” Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston.
By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module, piloted by Michael Collins.
On July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24.
1993 – White House deputy counsel Vince Foster was found shot to death in a park near Washington, D.C.
Five official governmental investigations ruled Foster’s death a suicide, but several conspiracy theories emerged – and in the minds of many, still exist.
2012 – James Holmes started a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, a Denver suburb, killing 12 people – the youngest a 6-year-old girl – and injuring at least 70 others.
The Aurora shooting took place shortly after the start of a crowded midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, which opened across the United States that day.
It was the deadliest mass shooting in Colorado since the 1999 Columbine shooting, in which 12 high school students and a teacher were murdered.
Investigators learned that in the months leading up to the Aurora movie theater shooting, Holmes had acquired weapons from Colorado gun shops and ordered thousands of rounds of ammunition online.
Holmes, who offered no motive for the shooting spree, eventually was charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons charges. In May 2013, he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
In a 2015 trial, Holmes was sentenced to 12 consecutive life sentences without parole.
Compiled by Ray Lemire ©2018 RayLemire.com. / Streamingoldies.com. All Rights Reserved.