This Day in History — July 22

Today is the 203rd day of 2022. There are 162 days left in the year.


1992: Medellin drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar slips past scores of guards at his luxury, custom-built prison and walks to freedom. He dies in a shoot-out with police the following year.


1298: William Wallace, who led Scottish resistance against English rule, uses extra-long spears against mounted soldiers at the Battle of Falkirk. The new fighting tactic is depicted in the 1995 movie Braveheart.

1587: A second English colony, which later vanishes under mysterious circumstances, is established on Roanoke Island off Virginia.

1793: Scottish fur trader and explorer Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Canadian Pacific coast, becoming the first to cross the North American continent north of Mexico.

1933: US aviator Wiley Post completes first solo aeroplane flight around the world in seven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

1950: King Leopold III returns to Belgium after six years of exile, but abdicates in August. His actions during World War II as commander in chief of the Belgian Army during the German conquest aroused opposition.

1968: Israeli airliner bound for Israel from Rome with 48 people aboard is hijacked and diverted to Algeria.

1973: Soviet space probe begins six-month journey toward Mars.

1976: Japan completes its World War II reparations payments with a final payment to the Philippines.

1977: Egypt bombs and strikes major air base in Libya in second day of conflict between the two countries.

1981: Turkish extremist Mehmet Ali Agca is sentenced in Rome to life in prison for shooting Pope John Paul II.

1990: Liberian President Samuel K Doe becomes virtual prisoner in presidential mansion as rebels besiege Monrovia and Doe's 500-man security force refuses to let him leave without them.

1994: Citing an economic crisis, Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera suspends constitutional rights.

1996: A UN agency begins dropping tons of food from a cargo plane to help an estimated 700,000 people facing serious food shortages in southern Sudan.

1997: Nearly 400 individuals, believed to be the last of the former contra rebels, surrender their weapons to President Arnoldo Aleman in northern Nicaragua.

2001: Divers begin preparations for raising the sunken Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, which sank in August 2000 during a training exercise in the Barents Sea off northern Russia, killing all 118 crew members.

2003: US forces attack a home in Mosul, Iraq, killing former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's two sons Uday and Qusay.

2004: Thirty-nine prisoners have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since the fall of 2001 and there have been 94 cases of proven or suspected abuse, the army says in a broad new report giving a more precise and higher estimate of the scale of the abuse.

2006: A magnitude-5.1 earthquake hits a mountainous area in south-western China, killing at least 19 people and injuring 60 as it topples homes and sets off landslides.

2007: Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling party wins parliamentary elections, taking at least 331 of 550 seats, despite warnings from the secular Opposition that the Government is a threat to secular traditions.

2008: European Union foreign ministers agree to toughen sanctions against Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to pressure him to share power with the Opposition.

2010: American officials brush aside North Korea's warning that new US financial sanctions against the communist regime and the staging of military manoeuvres off the Korean coast this weekend raises the risk of war.

2011: A home-grown, right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik sets off a car bomb explosion that rips open buildings in the heart of Norway's Government quarter in Oslo, then goes to a summer camp dressed as a police officer and guns down youths as they ran and even swam for their lives. At least 77 people are killed in the Nordic nation's worst violence since World War II.

2012: The top commander of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, says this year's pullout of 23,000 US troops is at the halfway mark.

2014: A Hamas rocket explodes near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the US and many from Europe and Canada.


Gregor Johann Mendel, Austrian botanist (1822-1882); Edward Hopper, US painter (1882-1967); Alexander Calder, US sculptor (1898-1976); Licia Albanese, Italian-born soprano (1913-2014); George Clinton, US singer (1941- ); Alex Trebek, Canadian game show host of Jeopardy! (1940-2020); Danny Glover, US actor (1947- ); Willem Dafoe, US actor (1955- ); David Spade, US actor/comedian (1964- ); Rhys Ifans, Welsh actor (1967- ); Rufus Wainwright, US-Canadian rock singer (1973- )

— AP

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