This Day In History : July 7

1996 South Africa

Nelson Mandela steps down as President of South Africa

Nelson Mandela stepped down as President of South Africa on 7 July 1996. Mandela’s commitment to serving only one term as President was evident from the outset, and in 1999, he retired from active politics.

Also on This Day in History July 7

Discover what happened on July 7 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, July 7
  • 1752 Joseph Marie Jacquard

    French weaver and merchant who invented the programmable loom (Jacquard loom), forerunner to today's computers

  • 1851 Lillien Jane Martin

    American psychologist who founded the world's 1st gerontology clinic in San Francisco

  • 1861 Nettie Stevens

    American geneticist (discovered sex chromosomes)

  • 1886 Carlo Perrier

    Italian mineralogist and chemist who co-discovered the element technetium

  • 1908 Evert Willem Beth

    Dutch mathematician and philosopher (Significs Group)

Deaths on This Day, July 7
  • 1930 Arthur Conan Doyle

    British writer of Sherlock Holmes Books

  • 1890 Henri Nestlé

    German-Swiss industrialist (founder of Nestlé)

  • 1954 Saul Dushman

    Russian-American physical chemist, a world leader in vacuum science and technology

  • 2007 Dame Anne McLaren

    British biologist and leading researcher on human in vitro fertilisation (IVF)

  • 1927 Magnus Gösta Mittag-Leffler

    Swedish mathematician who founded the international mathematical journal Acta Mathematica and whose contributions to mathematical research helped advance the Scandinavian school of mathematics


The Solomon Islands gain their independence from the United Kingdom

The Solomon Islands gained independence from the United Kingdom on July 7, 1978. This marked the end of British colonial rule and the establishment of the Solomon Islands as a sovereign nation in the Pacific Ocean.

The New Zealand Labour Party was founded in Wellington, New Zealand

The New Zealand Labour Party was founded on July 7, 1916 in Wellington, New Zealand. It emerged from a merger of various socialist parties and trade unions, including the Unified Labour Party (founded in 1910) and the Social Democratic Party (founded in 1913)

The Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicothe, Missouri is the first to sell sliced bread

The distinction of being the inaugural seller of commercially sliced bread belongs to the Chillicothe Baking Company, located in Chillicothe, Missouri. This groundbreaking event occurred on July 7, 1928, and it marked a transformative moment in the culinary world.

The Alaska Statehood Act is signed into law by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Alaska Statehood Act was introduced by Delegate E.L. Bob Bartlett and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 7, 1958. As a result, Alaska became the 49th U.S. state on January 3, 1959.
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