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Unraveling Significant Events on July 1st in History

On this day in history, July 1st, we have witnessed many events that have significantly shaped our world. This blog post aims to guide you through 13 noteworthy historical events on this day. Each event is detailed, providing a comprehensive understanding and creating an ideal resource for history students and enthusiasts.

The March of Time

July 1st, 1867: The Birth of Canada

On this day in history, the British North America Act came into effect, uniting three British colonies into a single entity, Canada. A seminal event in Canadian history marked the beginning of a nation’s journey.

Government of Canada: History of Canada Day

July 1st, 1903: The First Tour de France

Inaugurated on July 1st, 1903, the first-ever Tour de France commenced, eventually becoming one of the world’s most prominent and rigorous cycling events.

Wikipedia: 1903 Tour de France

July 1st, 1916: Battle of the Somme

This day marked the start of the Battle of the Somme during World War I. It was one of the bloodiest battles in history, with over one million casualties.

Imperial War Museums: First Day Of The Battle Of The Somme

July 1st, 1941: The First TV Commercial

On July 1st, 1941, the first legal commercial aired on American television. It was for Bulova watches and signaled the dawn of a new era in advertising.

Slate: America’s First TV Ad Cost $9 for 9 Seconds

July 1st, 1960: Independence of Ghana

This day witnessed Ghana becoming the first African colony to gain independence from British rule, paving the way for the decolonization of the continent.

South African History Online: Ghana is Declared a Republic

July 1st, 1963: Introduction of ZIP Codes

The United States Postal Service revolutionized mail delivery on this day by introducing ZIP codes, streamlining the process significantly.

Library of Congress: ZIP Code Introduced

July 1st, 1968: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

July 1st, 1968, marked the opening for signatures of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, aimed at curbing the spread of nuclear weapons globally.

Office of the Historian: The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), 1968

July 1st, 1990: German Reunification

In a significant step towards German reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Deutsche Mark became the official currency in both East and West Germany on this day.

Wikipedia: German Reunification

July 1st, 1997: Hong Kong’s Handover

This day marked the end of 156 years of British colonial rule in Hong Kong as it was officially handed back to China.

Wikipedia: Handover of Hong Kong

July 1st, 2002: The International Criminal Court

Established on July 1st, 2002, The International Criminal Court began its mandate to prosecute individuals for international crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity.

International Criminal Court: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

July 1st, 2007: Smoking Ban in England

Today, England enacted a comprehensive smoke-free law banning smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces.

The Health Foundation: Smoking Ban in England

July 1st, 2013: Croatia Joins the EU

This day marked the accession of Croatia to the European Union, becoming the bloc’s 28th member state.

The New York Times: Joyous Croatia Joins Europe Amid a Crisis

July 1st, 2020: USMCA Takes Effect

Replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) came into effect, marking a new chapter in North American trade relations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection: U.S. – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA)


These remarkable events from “this day in history” demonstrate the vastness of the historical landscape. July 1st bears witness to transformative moments across various sectors and geographical locations. As we delve into history, we understand the past better and gain insights into how our present has been shaped.

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