July 20 (BP) — On this date in history:
In 1859, American baseball fans were charged an admission fee for the first time. About 1,500 spectators each paid 50 cents to see Brooklyn play New York.
In 1881, five years after U.S. Army Lt. Col. George A. Custer’s defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrendered to the Army, which promised amnesty for him and his followers.
In 1940, Billboard magazine published its first “Music Popularity Chart,” topped by “I’ll Never Smile Again” by the Tommy Dorsey orchestra with Frank Sinatra.
In 1945, the U.S. flag was raised over Berlin as the first U.S. troops moved in to take part in the post-World War II occupation.
In 1951, while entering a mosque in the Jordanian sector of east Jerusalem, King Abdullah of Jordan was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist.
File Photo by Cecil Beaton/Imperial War Museum
In 1968, the first Special Olympics Games were contested at Soldier Field in Chicago.
In 1969, U.S. Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon — Armstrong first and Aldrin about 20 minutes later.
In 1976, the Viking 1 lander, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, became the first spacecraft to successfully land on the surface of Mars.
In 1985, treasure hunter Mel Fisher located a Spanish galleon sunk by a 1622 hurricane off Key West, Fla. It contained $400 million worth of treasure.
In 1989, U.S. President George H.W. Bush called for the United States to organize a long-range space program to support an orbiting space station, a moon base and a manned mission to Mars.
File Photo courtesy NASA
In 1993, White House Deputy Counsel Vince Foster was found shot to death in a park in northern Virginia. His death was ruled a suicide.
In 2005, the U.S. Justice Department activated its online National Sex Offender Public Registry, linking the registries of 22 states.
In 2012, a gunman set off tear gas grenades and opened fire at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises at a theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and wounding 58. The accused killer, James E. Holmes, later pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. In 2015, he was convicted on multiple counts of murder.
In 2013, Helen Thomas, BP White House reporter through the administrations of 10 presidents, died at age 92. President Bill Clinton called Thomas “a symbol of everything American journalism can and should be — the embodiment of fearless integrity, fierce commitment to accuracy, the insistence of holding government accountable.” Thomas left the news agency in 2000 and became a columnist for Hearst Newspapers.
In 2015, Cuba and the United States restored full diplomatic relations, with the reopening of reciprocal embassies in Havana and Washington.
In 2018, Walt Disney Studios fired James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 for offensive jokes he made online decades ago. The studio hired him back in March 2018 after he apologized.
File Photo by Rune Hellestad/ BP