2017 – O.J. Simpson is granted parole to be released from prison after serving nine years of a 33-year sentence after being convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas.
In 2016 scientists at Rice University announce a new titanium-gold alloy that is four times harder than most steels.
2015 – The United States and Cuba resume full diplomatic relations after five decades.
1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrates its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.
1976 – The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.
1973 Bruce Lee, the famous Chinese actor and martial-arts expert, dies in Los Angeles at age 32 from a brain edema possibly caused by a reaction to a prescription painkiller.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11's crew successfully makes the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon (July 21 UTC).
1968 – The first International Special Olympics Summer Games are held at Soldier Field in Chicago, with about 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.
1960 – Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) elects Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world's first elected female head of government.
1960 – The Polaris missile is successfully launched from a submarine, the USS George Washington, for the first time.
1940 – California opens its first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway.
1938 – The United States Department of Justice files suit in New York City against the motion picture industry charging violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act in regards to the studio system. The case would eventually result in a break-up of the industry in 1948.
1903 – The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Peachtree Creek: Near Atlanta, Georgia, Confederate forces led by General John Bell Hood unsuccessfully attack Union troops under General William T. Sherman.
1848 – The first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, a two-day event, concludes.
1807 – Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world's first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.
1799 – Tekle Giyorgis I begins his first of six reigns as Emperor of Ethiopia.
1592 – During the first Japanese invasion of Korea, Japanese forces led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi captured Pyongyang, although they were ultimately unable to hold it.
1988 – Julianne Hough, American singer-songwriter, actress, and dancer. She was nominated for a Creative Arts Primetime Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Choreography in season five.
1988 – Stephen Strasburg, American baseball player. Stephen James Strasburg (/ˈstrɑːsbɜːrɡ/; born July 20, 1988) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1985 – John Francis Daley, American actor and screenwriter. Lance Sweets on the crime drama series Bones, for which he was nominated for a 2014 PRISM Award.
1984 – Matt Gilroy, American ice hockey player. Gilroy (born July 20, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman currently playing for the SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers of the National League (NL).
1978 – Elliott Yamin, American singer-songwriter. Efraym Elliott Yamin (Arabic: افرايم إليوت يامين; Hebrew: אפרים אליוט ימין; born July 20, 1978) is an American singer known for his hit single "Wait for You" and for placing third on the fifth season of American Idol.
1978 – Will Solomon, American basketball player. William James "Will" Solomon (born July 20, 1978) is an American professional basketball player who last played for Shark Antibes of the French League.
1976 – Erica Hill, American journalist. She co-anchored Weekend Today from 2012 to 2016, following work at CBS since 2008.
1975 – Jason Raize, American singer and actor, was an American actor, singer and former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. He was best known for his roles as the adult Simba in the Broadway stage musical version of The Lion King and the voice of Denahi in the animated Disney film Brother Bear.
1975 – Judy Greer, American actress and producer. Judith Therese Evans (born July 20, 1975), known professionally as Judy Greer, is an American actress, voice actress, comedian and author.
1975 – Ray Allen, American basketball player and actor. He played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2018.
1973 – Claudio Reyna, American soccer player. Claudio Reyna (born July 20, 1973) is a retired American soccer player and current Sporting Director of Austin FC.
1973 – Omar Epps, American actor. His television work includes the role of Dr.
1973 – Roberto Orci, Mexican-American screenwriter and producer. Together they have been employed on television series such as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.
1972 – Vitamin C, American singer-songwriter. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate, is a vitamin found in various foods and sold as a dietary supplement.
1969 – Josh Holloway, American actor. Josh Lee Holloway (born July 20, 1969) is an American actor, model and producer, best known for his roles as James "Sawyer" Ford on the American television show Lost and as Will Bowman on the science fiction drama Colony.
1969 – Tobi Vail, American singer and guitarist. Tobi Celeste Vail (born July 20, 1969) is an American independent musician, music critic and feminist activist from Olympia, Washington.
1968 – Jimmy Carson, American ice hockey player. After retiring from professional hockey, he embarked on a new career as a financial advisor.
1968 – Kool G Rap, American hip-hop artist. Nathaniel Thomas Wilson (born July 20, 1968), better known by his stage name Kool G Rap (or simply G Rap), is an American rapper from Queens.
1967 – Courtney Taylor-Taylor, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the lead singer and guitarist of alternative rock band The Dandy Warhols, a band he co-founded.
1966 – Stone Gossard, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Stone Carpenter Gossard (born July 20, 1966) is an American multi-instrumentalist who serves as the rhythm and additional lead guitarist for the American rock band Pearl Jam.
1965 – Jess Walter, American journalist and author. Jess Walter (born July 20, 1965) is an American author of six novels, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book.
1964 – Chris Cornell, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2017), was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, and for his numerous solo works and soundtrack contributions. Cornell was also the founder and frontman of Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to his late friend, Andrew Wood.
1964 – Terri Irwin, American-Australian zoologist and author. Terri Irwin AM (née Raines; born July 20, 1964) is an American–Australian naturalist, conservationist, author, and the owner of Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland.
1963 – Frank Whaley, American actor, director, and screenwriter. He also appeared in films like The Freshman, A Midnight Clear, Swing Kids, Broken Arrow, and World Trade Center.
1962 – Carlos Alazraqui, American actor, producer, and screenwriter. Carlos Jaime Alazraqui (born July 20, 1962) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor, singer, impressionist, producer and screenwriter, possibly best known for his role as Deputy James Garcia on Reno 911!.
1961 – Óscar Elías Biscet, Cuban physician and activist, founded the Lawton Foundation. He is also the founder of the Lawton Foundation.
1959 – Radney Foster, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Initially a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee, Foster made his recording debut as part of the Foster & Lloyd duo, recording three studio albums and with nine singles on the country charts.
1954 – Jay Jay French, American guitarist and producer. Jay Jay French (born John French Segall, July 20, 1952) is an American guitarist, manager and producer.
1954 – Moira Harris, American actress. Moira Jane Harris (born April 19, 1954) is an American actress.
1953 – Marcia Hines, American-Australian singer and actress. She achieved her greatest commercial successes as a recording artist during the late 1970s with several hit singles, including cover versions of "Fire and Rain", "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", "You" and "Something's Missing (In My Life)"; and her Top Ten albums Marcia Shines, Shining and Ladies and Gentlemen.
1953 – Thomas Friedman, American journalist and author. He has written extensively on foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, globalization, and environmental issues.
1948 – Muse Watson, American actor and producer. He became known for his roles as Ben Willis, the primary antagonist in the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, Charles Westmoreland on the Fox television series Prison Break and as Mike Franks in CBS television series NCIS. Also, "Saved By Grace"
1947 – Carlos Santana, Mexican-American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Carlos Santana audio (help·info) (born July 20, 1947) is a Mexican and American guitarist who rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and roll and Latin American jazz.
1946 – Randal Kleiser, American actor, director, and producer. John Randal Kleiser (born July 20, 1946) is an American film director and producer, best known for directing the 1978 musical romantic comedy film Grease.
1945 – Bo Rein, American football player and coach (d. 1980), was an American football and baseball player and football coach. He was a two-sport athlete at Ohio State University and served as the head football coach at North Carolina State University from 1976 to 1979, compiling a record of 27–18–1.
1945 – Kim Carnes, American singer-songwriter. After she signed her first publishing deal with Jimmy Bowen, she released her debut album Rest on Me in 1972.
1945 – Larry Craig, American soldier and politician. Lawrence Edwin Craig (born July 20, 1945) is a retired American politician from the state of Idaho.
1944 – Mel Daniels, American basketball player and coach (d. 2015), was an American professional basketball player. He played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) for the Minnesota Muskies, Indiana Pacers, and Memphis Sounds, and in the National Basketball Association for the New York Nets.
1944 – T. G. Sheppard, American country music singer-songwriter. Sheppard.
1942 – Pete Hamilton, American race car driver, was an American professional stock car racing driver. He competed in NASCAR for six years, where he won four times in his career (including the 1970 Daytona 500), three times driving for Petty Enterprises.
1941 – Don Chuy, American football player (d. 2014), was a professional American football player who played guard for seven seasons for the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles.
1939 – Judy Chicago, American painter and sculptor. Judy Chicago (born Judith Sylvia Cohen; July 20, 1939) is an American feminist artist, art educator, and writer known for her large collaborative art installation pieces about birth and creation images, which examine the role of women in history and culture.
1938 – Natalie Wood, American actress (d. 1981), was an American actress who began her career in film as a child and became a Hollywood star as a young adult. Wood received three Oscar nominations before she was 25.
1938 – Tony Oliva, Cuban-American baseball player and coach. Tony Pedro Oliva (born Antonio Oliva Lopez Hernandes Javique on July 20, 1938) is a Cuban former professional baseball right fielder, designated hitter, and coach, who played his entire 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career for the Minnesota Twins, from 1962 to 1976.
1936 – Barbara Mikulski, American social worker and politician. Mikulski is the longest-serving woman in the history of the United States Congress and the longest-serving U.S.
1933 – Buddy Knox, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1999), was an American singer and songwriter, best known for his 1957 rock hit song, "Party Doll".
1933 – Cormac McCarthy, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, Western, and post-apocalyptic genres.
1932 – Nam June Paik, American artist (d. 2006), was a Korean American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the founder of video art.
1930 – Chuck Daly, American basketball player and coach (d. 2009), was an American basketball head coach. He led the Detroit Pistons two consecutive National Basketball Association (NBA) Championships in 1989 and 1990, and the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team") to the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
1930 – Sally Ann Howes, English-American singer and actress. Sally Ann Howes (born 20 July 1930) is an English actress and singer who holds dual British-American citizenship.
1930 – William H. Goetzmann, American historian and author (d. 2010). Goetzmann (July 20, 1930 – September 7, 2010) was an American historian and emeritus professor in the American Studies and American Civilization Programs at the University of Texas at Austin.
1929 – Mike Ilitch, American businessman, co-founded Little Caesars (d. 2017), was an American entrepreneur, founder and owner of the international fast food franchise Little Caesars Pizza. He owned the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball.
1927 – Barbara Bergmann, American economist and academic (d. 2015), was an important feminist economist. Her work covers many topics from childcare and gender issues to poverty and Social Security.
1924 – Lola Albright, American actress and singer (d. 2017), was an American singer and actress, best known for playing the sultry singer Edie Hart, the girlfriend of private eye Peter Gunn, on all three seasons of the TV series Peter Gunn.
1924 – Mort Garson, Canadian-American songwriter and composer (d. 2008), was a Canadian-born composer, arranger, songwriter, and pioneer of electronic music. He is best known for his albums in the 1960s and 1970s that were among the first to feature Moog synthesizers.
1922 – Alan Stephenson Boyd, American lawyer and politician, 1st United States Secretary of Transportation. Alan Stephenson Boyd (born July 20, 1922) is an American attorney and transportation executive who led several large corporations and also served the U.S.
1920 – Elliot Richardson, American lieutenant and politician, 11th United States Secretary of Defense (d. 1999), was an American lawyer and public servant who was a member of the cabinet of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. As U.S.
1918 – Cindy Walker, American singer-songwriter and dancer (d. 2006), was an American songwriter, as well as a country music singer and dancer. As a songwriter Walker was responsible for many popular and enduring songs recorded by many different artists.
1905 – Joseph Levis, American foil fencer (d. 2005). He won nine national fencing championships, and participated in three Olympic Games representing the United States.
1902 – Leonidas Berry, American gastroenterologist (d. 1995), was an American and pioneer in gastroscopy and endoscopy. He served as the president of the National Medical Association from 1965 to 1966.
1901 – Heinie Manush, American baseball player and manager (d. 1971), was an American baseball outfielder. He played professional baseball for 20 years from 1920 to 1939, including 17 years in Major League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers (1923–1927), St.
1901 – Vehbi Koç, Turkish businessman and philanthropist, founded Koç Holding (d. 1996), was a Turkish entrepreneur and philanthropist. He founded the Koç Group, one of Turkey’s largest groups of companies.
1890 – Verna Felton, American actress (d. 1966), was an American actress who was best known for providing many voices in numerous Disney animated films, as well as voicing Fred Flintstone's mother-in-law Pearl Slaghoople in Hanna-Barbera's The Flintstones (1962–1963).
1849 – Robert Anderson Van Wyck, American lawyer and politician, 91st Mayor of New York City (d. 1918), was the first mayor of New York City after the consolidation of the five boroughs into the City of Greater New York in 1898.
1838 – Augustin Daly, American playwright and manager (d. 1899), was one of the most influential men in American theatre during his lifetime. Drama critic, theatre manager, playwright, and adapter, he became the first recognized stage director in America.
2017 – Chester Bennington, American singer (b. 1976)
2015 – Theodore Bikel, Austrian-American actor and musician (b. 1924)
2015 – Wayne Carson, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1943)
2014 – Bob McNamara, American football player (b. 1931)
2014 – Victor G. Atiyeh, American businessman and politician, 32nd Governor of Oregon (b. 1923)
2013 – Helen Thomas, American journalist and author (b. 1920)
2012 – Jack Davis, American hurdler (b. 1930)
2008 – Artie Traum, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer (b. 1943)
2007 – Tammy Faye Messner, American Christian evangelist and talk show host (b. 1942)
2005 – James Doohan, Canadian-American actor (b. 1920)
2005 – Kayo Hatta, American director and cinematographer (b. 1958)
1999 – Sandra Gould, American actress (b. 1916)
1998 – June Byers, American wrestler (b. 1922)
1993 – Vince Foster, American lawyer and political figure (b. 1945)
1990 – Herbert Turner Jenkins, American police officer (b. 1907)
1989 – Forrest H. Anderson, American judge and politician, 17th Governor of Montana (b. 1913)
1983 – Frank Reynolds, American soldier and journalist (b. 1923)
1980 – Maria Martinez, San Ildefonso Pueblo (Native American) potter (b. 1887)
1977 – Gary Kellgren, American record producer, co-founded Record Plant (b. 1939)
1976 – Joseph Rochefort, American captain and cryptanalyst (b. 1900)
1974 – Allen Jenkins, American actor and singer (b. 1900)
1973 – Bruce Lee, American actor and martial artist (b. 1940)
1973 – Robert Smithson, American photographer and sculptor (b. 1938)
1968 – Bray Hammond, American historian and author (b. 1886)
1959 – William D. Leahy, American admiral and diplomat, United States Ambassador to France (b. 1875)
1941 – Lew Fields, American actor and producer (b. 1867)
1704 – Peregrine White, English-American farmer and soldier (b. 1620)