July 24, 1967. In a speech during an official visit to Canada, French President Charles de Gaulle said to a crowd of over 100,000 people in Montreal: “Vive le Québec libre!” (“Long live free Quebec!”). The phrase was controversial and sparked a diplomatic incident with Canada’s government and was criticized by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson who said Canadians do not need to be liberated. Quebecers, however, saw de Gaulle’s use of this slogan as giving his support to Quebec sovereignty. This incident is still seen as seminal moment in English and French Canadian relations.
Also on July 24: Citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands strike against a ban on foreign beer (1487) ; Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate and replaced by her 1-year-old son James VI (1567), Slavery is abolished in Chile (1823); Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called “Scottsboro Boys” (1937); Apollo 11 lands down safely in the Pacific Ocean (1969); End of a four day long Libyan–Egyptian War (1977), Lance Armstrong wins his seventh consecutive Tour de France (2005).
Born on July 24: Simón Bolívar (1783), Alexandre Dumas (1802), Manoj Kumar (1937), Johnny O’Connell (1962), Banana Yoshimoto (1964), Jennifer Lopez (1969), Bindi Irwin (1998).