United States

This Day in History: Arthur Ashe Wins Wimbledon; Hormel Foods Introduces Spam

July 5, a day many Americans spend returning from the holiday, is actually important internationally for its importance in food, sports and independence.

Spam hits the market (1937)
In 1937, Hormel Foods Corporation introduced SPAM – canned cooked meat. Spam’s basic ingredients are pork, salt, water, potato starch, and sugar.

Spam became popular during World War II, as worldwide meat option. There are several explanations for the name behind the product but Hormel Foods has never given an official answer.

Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, once referred to the canned-good as a wartime delicacy, according to The New York Times Magazine.

History at Wimbledon for Ashe and Borg
Arthur Ashe, former American tennis star, became the first black person man to win the Wimbledon singles titles on July 4, 1975.

Ashe was also the first black man to win the US and Australian Open, in 1968 and 1970 respectively.

On the day Ashe won Wimbledon, he defeated Jimmy Connors, who was a big favorite. Ashe was the last man to win Wimbledon in the 1970s other than Bjorn Borg, who won Wimbledon every year from 1976-1980 – the first man to win five Wimbledon singles titles in a row, the last on July 5, 1980.

Ashe also won Australian and French Open doubles titles, then retired in 1980 following heart surgery.

Ashe also wrote A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-American Athlete and was a civil rights activist – Ashe was arrested in 1985 during an anti-apartheid rally; arrested again on 1992 outside of the White House protesting against the treatment of Haitian refugees.  

Ashe died on February, 6, 1993 after reportedly contracting HIV from a blood transfusion during heart surgery – he was 49.

Dolly the sheep cloned (1996)
Dolly, a British-cloned sheep, was ‘born’ on July 5, 1996.

The sheep is the first known cloned mammal, using the process of nuclear transfer – she bred six lambs during her life.

Dolly, code name 6LLS, was cloned by scientists from the Roslin Institute of Edinburgh, Scotland. She lived to be 6 years old, dying in February of 2003. Her remains can be found at the National Museum of Scotland.

US Women win gold at 2015 FIFA World Cup
On American Independence Day in 2015, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team brought home their third World Cup title.

The team went 6-1-0 during their trip to Canada, playing to a draw with Sweden in group play.

They outscored their opponents by a total of 11 goals – defeating Japan 5-2 in the championship on July 5.

The game was Abby Wambach’s last World Cup match.

Carli Lloyd was the top goal scorer for the team – tying Celia Sasic of Germany for top scorer of the tournament – with 6 goals. Lloyd took home Best Player honors. Hope Solo won Best Goalkeeper.

Independence Day around the world!
Three other countries celebrate their independence day just one day after the U-S-of-A: Algeria, Cape Verde and Venezuela. 

Algeria's recognized independence coming in 1962; Cape Verde's in 1975; and Venezuela (from Spain) in 1811.

Venezuela declared independence one more time: from Gran Colombia in 1830.

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