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20th of July

   
         

 

 

July 20

 

In 1976 NASA’s Viking 1 was the first spacecraft to land on the surface of Mars.

In 1973 Actor, Producer, Martial Arts Expert and Legend Bruce Lee died aged 32.

Bruce Lee was born Lee Jun-fan in San Francisco, United States on the 27th of November 1940. His father, Lee Hoi-Cheun, was a famous opera singer, comedian and actor who was touring the World and the Lee family were living in the United States at the time of Lee’s Birth but returned to Hong-Kong shortly after. Jun-Fan was nicknamed Bruce by a nurse at Jackson Street Hospital where he was born. When he started studying English he wrote down “Bruce” as his English name and from then on he would occasionally be called by this name. Bruce was a child actor in many Cantonese films and learnt to dance from a young age. He was often quite poorly as a child but at the age of 13 he began to study Gung Fu as it is pronounced in Cantonese or Kung Fu as it more popularly known. Through learning Kung Fu Bruce improved his overall fitness and his health. At the age of 18, as a US citizen, Bruce Lee travelled to America to study at the University of Washington. He began teaching Kung Fu and developed his own unique style which he called “Jeet Kun Do”.

The style he created differed from traditional forms of martial arts which had certain “styles” that allowed the user to move through different techniques such as kicking, blocking, punching etc and these styles often reflected movements of animals. Jeet Kun Do on the other hand was based on making simple, fast and separate moves that were required in response to the user’ opponent(s). It was known as the “style without style” or as Bruce Lee put it in his film ‘Enter the Dragon’ “it is the art of fighting without fighting”. Another huge concept of Jeet Kon Do is speed and the idea of predicting and intercepting an opponent’s move before they make it. As part of the Jeet Kon Do philosophy Bruce lee developed the “one inch punch” by which Bruce demonstrated he could knock over a man. The punch required Bruce to produce all the power required through speed within the space of 1 inch.

While in America Bruce Lee was able to get miner parts in American films and TV but at the time America tended to use white actors that would be made to look Asian. Bruce returned home to Hong Kong and starred in many films and becoming a very large star but he was still unable to make it in America. He had devised a series about a Kung Fu expert travelling through the Wild West with the mind of himself as the lead. Bruce spoke of his conceptual show he named “Warrior” while being interviewed on television in December 1971 but he didn’t believe that either Warner Brothers or Paramount were interested. A year later a show with a similar concept was aired in America by Warner Brothers. The Warner Brothers show was called Kung Fu and starred American actor David Carradine as a Shaolin monk in the Wild West. There remains no legal evidence that these shows are linked.

Bruce Lee died of a brain edema on the 20th of July 1973 one month before his film ‘Enter the Dragon’ was released by Warner Brothers. Enter the Dragon was a huge success and made Bruce Lee famous posthumously and that fame grew into the legend that is Bruce Lee.

In 1969 The Apollo 11 Luna Module landed on the moon.

The Luna Module landed at 20:18 GMT with the US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on board. Michael Collins was the pilot of the Apollo 11 Command Module and stayed on board orbiting the moon. Armstrong and Aldrin remained on board the Luna Module until the early hours of the 21st of July at 02:56 GMT when Neil Armstrong left and became the first human to step foot on the moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin at 03:15 GMT.