Year
2005
Month Day
July 07

Terrorists attack London transit system at rush hour

On the morning of July 7, 2005, bombs are detonated in three crowded London subways and one bus during the peak of the city’s rush hour. The synchronized suicide bombings, which were thought to be the work of al-Qaida, killed 56 people including the bombers and injured another 700. It was the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II. No warning was given.

The train bombings targeted the London Underground, the city’s subway system. Nearly simultaneous explosions, at about 8:50 a.m., occurred on trains in three locations: between the Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations on the Circle Line; between the Russell Square and King’s Cross stations on the Piccadilly Line; and at the Edgware Road station, also on the Circle Line. Almost an hour later, a double-decker bus on Upper Woburn Place near Tavistock Square was also hit; the bus’s roof was ripped off by the blast.

The attacks took place as world leaders, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, were meeting at the G8 summit in nearby Scotland. In his remarks after learning of the blasts, Blair called the attacks barbaric and pointed out that their taking place at the same time as the G8 summit was most likely purposeful. Later, he vowed to see those responsible brought to justice and that Great Britain, a major partner with the U.S. in the war in Iraq, would not be intimidated by terrorists.

Of the four suicide bombers, three were born in Great Britain and one in Jamaica. Three lived in or near Leeds in West Yorkshire; one resided in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Al-Qaida officially claimed responsibility for the attacks on September 1, 2005, in a videotape released to the al-Jazeera television network.

Two weeks later, on July 21, 2005, a second set of four bombings was attempted, also targeting the city’s transit system, but failed when the explosives only partially detonated. The four men alleged to be responsible for the failed attacks were arrested in late July.

An estimated 3 million people ride the London Underground every day, with another 6.5 million using the city’s bus system.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

U.S. women's soccer team wins record 4th World Cup title

On July 7, 2019, after a dominating tournament showing, the U.S. women’s national team brings home a record fourth FIFA World Cup title—its second in a row. Held in host country France, the 2-0 final saw the United States facing the Netherlands, with the first goal scored in the ...read more

British Women's Auxiliary Army Corps is officially established

On July 7, 1917, British Army Council Instruction Number 1069 formally establishes the British Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), authorizing female volunteers to serve alongside their male counterparts in France during World War I. By 1917, large numbers of women were already ...read more

Female cadets enrolled at West Point

For the first time in history, women are enrolled into the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. On May 28, 1980, 62 of these female cadets graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants. The United States Military Academy—the first military school in ...read more

Sandra Day O’Connor nominated to Supreme Court

President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor, an Arizona court of appeals judge, to be the first woman Supreme Court justice in U.S. history. On September 21, the Senate unanimously approved her appointment to the nation’s highest court, and on September 25 she was sworn ...read more

Building of Hoover Dam begins

On July 7, 1930, construction of the Hoover Dam begins. Over the next five years, a total of 21,000 men would work ceaselessly to produce what would be the largest dam of its time, as well as one of the largest manmade structures in the world. Although the dam would take only ...read more

Himmler decides to begin medical experiments on Auschwitz prisoners

On July 7, 1942, Heinrich Himmler, in league with three others, including a physician, decides to begin experimenting on women in the Auschwitz concentration camps and to investigate extending this experimentation on males. Himmler, architect of Hitler’s program to exterminate ...read more

First U.S. troops withdrawn from South Vietnam

A battalion of the U.S. 9th Infantry Division leaves Saigon in the initial withdrawal of U.S. troops. The 814 soldiers were the first of 25,000 troops that were withdrawn in the first stage of the U.S. disengagement from the war. There would be 14 more increments in the ...read more

Jim Thorpe begins Olympic triathlon

On July 7, 1912, Jim Thorpe wins the pentathlon at the fifth modern Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. At the time, Thorpe, a Native American who attended Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian School, was only beginning to establish his reputation as the greatest all-around athlete in the ...read more

Future President Jimmy Carter marries

On July 7, 1946, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter marries Eleanor Rosalynn Smith at the Plains Methodist Church in Plains, Georgia. When the couple met, she was 18 and working in a hair salon. He was 21 and a recent graduate of the Annapolis Naval Academy. READ MORE: Jimmy and ...read more

Mary Surratt is first woman executed by U.S. federal government

Mary Surratt is executed by the U.S. government for her role as a conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Surratt, who owned a tavern in Surrattsville (now Clinton), Maryland, had to convert her row house in Washington, D.C., into a boardinghouse as a result of financial ...read more

11-year-old Samantha Smith leaves for visit to the USSR

Samantha Smith, an 11-year-old American girl, begins a two-week visit to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Soviet leader Yuri Andropov. Some American observers believed that Smith was merely being used by the Soviets for their own propaganda purposes, while others saw her ...read more

Kit Carson begins his campaign against Native Americans

On July 7, 1863, the Union’s Lt. Colonel Christopher “Kit” Carson leaves Santa Fe with his troops, beginning his campaign against the Native Americans of New Mexico and Arizona. A famed mountain man before the Civil War, Kit Carson was responsible for waging a destructive war ...read more