Jul 20, The trial of Constance May Flood Gavin, an alleged illegitimate daughter, began in San Mateo, Ca., for a daughter’s share in James L. Flood estate. Before closing arguments Judge George Buck ordered a directed verdict in favor of the Flood family. 10 jurors refused to sign the verdict. Buck lost elections the following year to Maxwell McNutt, the lawyer for Constance. Gavin later received a $1.2 million out-of-court settlement.
Jul 20, The first detachment of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), later known as WACs, began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
Jul 20, Vanessa Leggett, a fledgling crime writer, was jailed in Texas on contempt charges for refusing to hand over her research notes on Robert Angleton to a federal grand jury. Leggett was released Jan 4, 2002.
Jul 20, In southeastern Nigeria unarmed women occupying at least four ChevronTexaco facilities said they had freed their two hostages in return for a promise from oil executives to meet with them.
Jul 20, In Malaysia Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno (32), a Muslim woman, was sentenced to six lashes and a fine of 5,000 ringgit ($1,400) for having a beer in a nightclub in Dec 2007. She would become the first woman in Malaysia to be given the punishment under Islamic law. Her caning was delayed on Aug 24 because of the holy month of Ramadan. On Mar 30, 2010, the state’s sultan spared her the caning and instead ordered her to do 3 weeks of community service.
Jul 20, In Venezuela Alicia Torres, a judge handling one of Venezuela’s most politically charged cases, said that she was fired after complaining about pressure to rule against an opponent of President Hugo Chavez. Torres said she was pressured by a superior to prohibit Guillermo Zuloaga, president and owner of the Globovision TV channel, from leaving the country.
Jul 20, Spain’s Parliament rejected a proposal to ban women from wearing in public places Islamic veils that reveal only the eyes.
Jul 20, In Jamaica a mother and daughter were beheaded by attackers who invaded their home in Spanish Town, a gritty area outside Kingston, near where a wanted 18-year-old gang member was found with his head chopped off earlier that week. On August 2 police said three suspects had been arrested and investigators sought six more.
Jul 20, Nigeria’s first lady was sworn into a senior government post in the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, an appointment tagged as scandalous by some opponents.
Jul 20, Helen Thomas (92), the first woman to head a White House news bureau, died.