July 1, 1916: The Battle of the Somme begins in France. The Newfoundland Regiment, attached to a British division, is decimated at Beaumont-Hamel.
July 2, 1941: The Royal Canadian Air Force is “officially” authorized to enlist women and creates the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, later renamed Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division.
July 3, 1931: The first ships built for the Royal Canadian Navy, HMCS Saguenay and HMCS Skeena, complete their maiden voyages to Halifax. Both were commissioned at Portsmouth, England.
July 4, 1944: Canadian forces advance toward Carpiquet airport on the outskirts of Caen, Normandy. The Canadians are ravaged by enemy machine-gun fire.
July 5, 1900: Almost surrounded by Boer troops, Canadian soldiers are in peril. Under covering fire, Sergeant Arthur Richardson of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse rides a wounded horse through a vicious crossfire to recue a fellow soldier. Two other soldiers are taken prisoner. The rest of the regiment escapes to fight again. Richardson earns the Victoria Cross.
July 6, 2003: Operation Caravan, Canada’s role in the French-led United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, comes to an end.
July 7, 1956: Seven army trucks loaded with dynamite explode in Cali, Columbia. More than 1,100 die; dozens of buildings are destroyed.
July 8, 1965: Ronald Biggs, a member of the Great Train Robbery gang in Britain, escapes from prison.
July 9, 1944: British and Canadian forces enter the severely bombed city of Caen, Normandy.
July 10, 1943: Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily, begins. First Canadian Infantry Division’s participation represents Canada’s first sustained commitment to the ground war against Germany.
July 11, 1990: Officers from the Surete du Quebec try to dismantle a blockade set up by Mohawks near Oka, Que. One officer is shot and killed.
July 12, 1950: Canadian destroyers HMCS Cayuga, HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Sioux are sent to Korea.
July 13, 1971: Ten army officers are executed by firing squad in Morocco after a failed coup.
July 14, 1976: Canada formally abolishes the death penalty.
July 15, 1870: Manitoba and the Northwest Territories enter Confederation.
July 16, 1945: An atomic bomb is tested in New Mexico.
July 17, 1927: The Hudson Strait Expedition departs Halifax. Its mission is to conduct navigation studies as part of plans to open a deep-water harbour at Churchill, Man.
July 18, 1944: Second and 3rd Canadian divisions are south of Caen, France, participating in a British operation to break out of the Orne bridgehead.
July 19, 1968: The Canadian hydrofoil HMCS Bras d’Or (2nd) is commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy.
July 20, 1871: British Columbia enters Confederation.
July 21, 1969: American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon.
July 22, 1943: Canadian soldiers capture town of Assoro, Sicily.
July 23, 1974: In Cyprus, A fragile ceasefire is negotiated between Turks and Greek Cypriots by the United Nations.
July 24, 1967: French President Charles de Gaulle arrives in Montreal to mark Canada’s Centennial. His words “Vive le Quebec libre” (Long live free Quebec) infuriate Canadians, but impress those in support of Quebec sovereignty.
July 25, 1944: Disaster and carnage result when Canadian units try to attack a well-positioned and well-armed and experienced enemy force on Verrières Ridge in Normandy.
July 26, 1936: The Canadian National Vimy Ridge Memorial is unveiled by King Edward VIII.
July 27, 1953: The Korean Armistice Agreement is signed at Panmunjom, Korea. The three-year war ends. More than 26,000 Canadians were involved in the conflict, of which more than 500 died.
July 28, 1943: Canadian forces defeat the enemy at Agira, Sicily.
July 29, 1981: Thousands line the streets in London to celebrate the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
July 30, 1962: Prime Minister John Diefenbaker officially opens the Trans-Canada Highway at Rogers Pass, B.C.
July 31, 1942: The Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena and the Canadian corvette HMCS Wetaskiwin destroy U-588 in the mid-Atlantic.