This month in history.

Position::Compass: News and views from around the world


On 26 July 1956, Egypt seized the Suez Canal. Egypt's president, Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser, announced the nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company to provide funding for the construction of the Aswan High Dam. The British Government and French stockholders who owned shares in the Suez Canal Company were shocked by the news. The Suez Canal is a key waterway for world trade and was an important source of revenue for Britain.


On 14 July 1958, a group of Iraqi army officers staged a coup in Iraq and overthrew the monarchy, setting jitters off in the Middle East. Baghdad Radio announced the army had liberated the Iraqi people from domination by a corrupt group put in power by "imperialism". From then on, Iraq would be a republic that would "maintain ties with other Arab countries". Major-General Abdul Karim Al Qasim became Iraq's new prime minister, defence minister and commander-in-chief.


On 21 July 1967, American Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. As he put his left foot down first, Armstrong declared: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." He described the surface as being like powdered charcoal; they planted the Stars and Stripes flag and unveiled a plaque bearing President Nixon's signature and an inscription reading: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."


On 29 July 1981, Charles and Diana married. Crowds...

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