July 8th in History

This day in history

July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 176 days remaining until the end of the year.




In 300, B.C.,The Parisii (Gauls) settled in the area of what would later be known as Paris around 300 BC. However, it is on July 8th, in the year 52 BC that Julius Caesar writes that the Parisii connected the banks with two wooden bridges. It is this date that is usually considered to be the “founding” of Paris.

In 1099, First Crusade: 15,000 starving Christian soldiers march in a religious procession around Jerusalem as its Muslim defenders look on.

In 1139, Song Dynasty general Yue Fei defeats an army led by Jin Dynasty general Wanyan Wuzhu at the Battle of Yancheng during the Jin–Song wars.

In 1283, War of the Sicilian Vespers: Roger of Lauria, commanding the Aragonese fleet defeats an Angevin fleet sent to put down a rebellion on Malta in the Battle of Malta.

In 1497, Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon on a voyage that would lead to discovery of a sea route to India around the southern tip of Africa.

In 1553, Northumberland proclaims Lady Jane Dudley as Queen of England.

In 1579, Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, is discovered underground in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan.

In 1663, King Charles II of England granted a charter to Rhode Island colony’s John Clarke.

In 1693, Uniforms for police in New York City (or what there was of New York City at that time) were authorized on this day.

Christiaan Huygens.jpgIn 1695,  Christiaan Huygens, Dutch mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (b. 1629) dies. He was a prominent Dutch mathematician and scientist. He is known particularly as an astronomer, physicist, probabilist and horologist.

Huygens was a leading scientist of his time. His work included early telescopic studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan, the invention of the pendulum clock and other investigations in timekeeping. He published major studies of mechanics and optics, and a pioneer work on games of chance.

In 1709, Great Northern War: Battle of PoltavaPeter I of Russia defeats Charles XII of Sweden at Poltava thus effectively ending Sweden’s role as a major power in Europe.

In 1716, Great Northern War: the naval Battle of Dynekilen takes place.

In 1758, The Battle of Ticonderoga took place. The French defeated the British. Later, on this date in 1776, the brand new Declaration of Independence was read to the American army. And on this day in 1778, French troops landed in Delaware to help the American rebels fight the British.

In 1775,  The Olive Branch Petition is signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies.

In 1776, Colonel John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence to a crowd gathered at Independence Square in Philadelphia.

In 1777, Vermont became the first state to abolish slavery and adopt male suffrage.

In 1778, George Washington established headquarters for the Continental Army at West Point.

In 1795, Martin Academy in Washington, TN, changed its name to Washington College becoming the first college to be named after George Washington.

In 1796, The first American Passport was issued by the U.S. State Department.

In 1797, First US senator (William Blount of Tennessee) expelled by impeachment.

In 1800, The first cowpox vaccination in the U.S. is performed by Harvard’s Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse upon his son, Daniel (to prevent smallpox).

In 1808,  Joseph Bonaparte approves the Bayonne Statute, a royal charter intended as the basis for his rule as king of Spain.

In 1822, Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet, drowned off Leghorn while sailing in the Gulf of Spezia in Italy.

In 1822,  Chippewas turn over a huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom.

In 1835, The Liberty Bell cracked while being rung during the funeral of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in Philadelphia.

In 1850, The Mormon colony on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan crown as its king James Jesse Strang, its founder.

In 1853, An expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomatic and trade relations with the Japanese.

In 1856, C.E. Barnes of Lowell, MA, patented the machine gun on this day. Without C.E. Barnes we would have no deejays nicknamed, Machine Gun Kelly, Jones, Smith or whatever…

In 1859,  King Charles XV & IV accedes to the throne of Sweden–Norway.

In 1862, Theodore R. Timby patents the revolving gun turret.

In 1863, at the Battle of Port Hudson, Miss., Confederate Maj. Gen. Franklin Gardner surrenders his garrison to Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks after a 6-week siege.

In 1864,  Ikedaya Incident: the Choshu Han shishi‘s planned Shinsengumi sabotage on Kyoto, Japan at Ikedaya.

In 1870, Congress authorizes registration of trademarks.

In 1874,  The Mounties begin their March West.

In 1876,  White supremacists kill five Black Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina.

In 1879,  Sailing ship USS Jeannette departs San Francisco carrying an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole.

In 1881, Edward Berner of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, served the first ice cream sundae. He offered his “sundae” concoction only on Sundays.

Ben Holladay, City Founder (Beaverton, Oregon Historical Photo Gallery) (233).jpgIn 1887,  Ben Holladay, American businessman (b. 1819) dies. He was an American transportation businessman responsible for creating the Overland Stage to California during the height of the 1849 California Gold Rush. Ben Holladay created a stagecoach empire and he is known in history as the “Stagecoach King”. A native of Kentucky, he also was hired as a private courier to General Alexander Doniphan of Missouri. Doniphan refused point-blank to carry out orders to kill the Mormons during the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri. Through Holladay’s friendship with Brigham Young, Holladay established a profitable freighting contract to Salt Lake City. His transportation empire later included steamships and railroads in Oregon. Henry Villard described Holladay as “illiterate, coarse, boastful, false, and cunning.” Holladay’s attorney, John Doniphan, described him as possessing “many of the characteristics of Napoleon.” He was known for having “the bearing of one born to command”, and for “being clever, shrewd, cunning, illiterate, coarse, and completely unscrupulous”. Joseph Gaston described him as being “wholly destitute of fixed principles of honesty, morality, or common decency.

In 1889,  The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published.

In 1891, Future president Warren G. Harding married Florence K. DeWolfe in Marion, Ohio.

In 1892,  St. John’s, Newfoundland is devastated in the Great Fire of 1892.

In 1892, the American Physiological Association was organized in Worcester, Mass.

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan captivated listeners at the Democratic national convention in Chicago with his famous speech denouncing supporters of the gold standard, saying, “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

In 1898,  The death of crime boss Soapy Smith, killed in the Shootout on Juneau Wharf, releases Skagway, Alaska from his iron grip.

In 1898, Admiral Dewey takes Isla Grande near Manila.

In 1905, Part of Angel Island (in SF bay ) was allocated as an Immigration Detention Center (port of entry for immigrants).

In 1911, Nan Jane Aspinwell, who left San Francisco on September 11, 1910, arrived in New York City, and became the first person to ride a horse continuously across the United States; She travelled 4,500 miles, riding 108 days and resting 193, for a total of 301 days since Sep 10, 1910.

In 1912,  Henrique Mitchell de Paiva Couceiro leads an unsuccessful royalist attack against the First Portuguese Republic in Chaves.

In 1918, the Aisne-Marne Offensive begins, marking the turning point for the Allies.

In 1919, President Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles Peace Conference in Paris, France.

In 1923, Harding becomes first sitting president to visit Alaska (Metlakahtla).

In 1932, The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22.

In 1933,  The first rugby union test match between the Wallabies of Australia and the Springboks of South Africa is played at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.

In 1936, Civil war erupts in Spain.

In 1937,  Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan sign the Treaty of Saadabad.

In 1943, British air raid sinks U-232.

In 1946, Actress Ava Gardner divorced bandleader Artie Shaw on this day; not quite a year after they were married.

In 1947, Demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.

In 1947,  Reports are broadcast that a UFO crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico in what became known as the Roswell UFO incident.

In 1948,  The United States Air Force accepts its first female recruits into a program called Women in the Air Force (WAF).

In 1948, The Moscow Conference convened to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from control of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In 1950, Leroy Deans was awarded the first Order of the Purple Heart in Korea.

In 1950, General Douglas MacArthur was named commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea.

In 1959, A pair of US military advisers were killed by Communist forces in Vietnam. They were the first two American casualties of the conflict.

In 1960,  Francis Gary Powers is charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union.

In 1962,  Ne Win besieges and dynamites the Rangoon University Student Union building to crush the Student Movement.

In 1963, All financial transactions with Cuba are banned by the U.S.

In 1966,  King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi is deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi.

In 1968,  The Chrysler wildcat strike begins in Detroit, Michigan.

In 1970,  Richard Nixon delivers a special congressional message enunciating Native American self-determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1976.

In 1975, Quake damages over 2,000 temples in Pagan, Burma. 20-foot-high seated Buddha of Thandawgya decapitated.

In 1976, former president Richard Nixon was removed from the New York Bar Association. His license to practice law was revoked.

In 1978, Pioneer-Venus 2 Multi-probe launched to Venus.

In 1979, Voyager 2 takes first ever photo of Jupiter’s satellite Adrastea (J14).

In 1981, The Prime Interest Rate went to 20.5 percent

In 1981, Senate confirms Sandra Day O’Conner to Supreme Court (99-0).

In 1983, Ma Bell was about to hang up her monopoly. AT&T’s divesture plan was given a tentative approval.

In 1985, In a speech to the American Bar Association, President Reagan branded Iran, Libya, North Korea, Cuba and Nicaragua “outlaw states” that were engaged in “acts of war” against the United States.

In 1985, Playboy and Penthouse magazines raced to the newsstands, each displaying nude photos of Madonna.

In 1986, President Reagan signs legislation moving up and fixing the start of daylight savings time to the first Sunday in April.

In 1986, Kurt Waldheim was inaugurated as president of Austria despite controversy over his alleged ties to Nazi war crimes.

In 1987, Already a media star after day one, Oliver North begins his second day of testimony before Congress in the Iran-Contra hearings, becoming a daytime TV star pulling in more viewers than many game shows and soap operas, which got bumped or pre-empted (Sorry, Susan Lucci). He captured center stage as the Iran-Contra hearings were televised throughout the U.S.

In 1987, Kitty Dukakis, wife of Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis, revealed she’d been addicted to amphetamines for 26 years but had sought help and was drug-free. She later admitted to dependence on alcohol, and entered a recovery program.

In 1988, Iran’s parliamentary speaker, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said his nation would not seek revenge against the United States for the shooting down of an Iranian jetliner over the Persian Gulf that killed 290 people.

In 1989, Carlos Saul Menem was inaugurated as president of Argentina in the country’s first transfer of power from one democratically elected civilian leader to another in six decades.

In 1991, Reversing earlier denials, Iraq disclosed for the first time that it was carrying out a nuclear weapons program, including the production of enriched uranium.

In 1991, Yugoslav leaders signed an accord calling for an internationally observed cease-fire in Slovenia and Croatia.

In 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with Group of Seven leaders holding their economic summit in Munich, Germany, where he offered a startling proposal to swap factories, energy resources and other properties for Russian debt.

In 1992, Austrian President Kurt Waldheim formally stepped down and was replaced by Thomas Klestil.

In 1993, Leaders of the Group of Seven, in the second day of their Tokyo summit, warned against the dismembering of Bosnia, but backed away from a threat to use force.

In 1994, O.J. Simpson was ordered to stand trial on charges of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

In 1994, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s communist leader since 1948, died at age 82. Kim Jong-il begins to assume supreme leadership of North Korea.

In 1994, Leaders of the Group of Seven nations opened their 20th annual economic summit, in Naples, Italy.

In 1995, Chinese-American human rights activist Harry Wu was arrested in China and charged with obtaining state secrets (he was later convicted of espionage and deported in August 1995).

In 1996, The International Court of Justice ruled that the use or threat of nuclear weapons in war should be outlawed.

In 1997, NATO extended membership invitations to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

In 1997, the Mayo Clinic and the government warned the diet-drug combination known as “fen-phen” could cause serious heart and lung damage.

In 1998, four leaders of the Montana Freemen were convicted in federal court in Billings, Mt., of conspiring to defraud banks. The anti-government, anti-tax group gained fame in 1996 during an 81-day stand-off at its ranch.

In 1999, an Air Force cargo jet took off from Seattle on a dangerous mission to Antarctica to drop medicine for Dr. Jerri Nielsen, a physician at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Center who had discovered a lump in her breast. (The mission was successful; Nielsen was evacuated the following October.)

In 1999, Astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad Junior, the third man to walk on the moon, died after a motorcycle accident near Ojai, California; he was 69.

In 2000, The 13th International AIDS Conference opens in South Africa, the first time it is held on the worst-hit continent.

In 2000, U.S. missile interceptor misses target, raising possibility of major delay in Pentagon timetable for having an anti-missile defense system ready by 2006.

In 2000, Harry Potter provided some cash register magic for the nation’s bookstores over the weekend, many of which tallied record-breaking sales thanks to the much-hyped release of the fourth book in the children’s series. Booksellers – big and small, on and off the Web – reported Monday that crowds packed their stores continuously since early that day, when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” went on sale at 12:01 a.m. ET. Some chains even said that they were running low on books and had already started talking with U.S. publisher Scholastic Inc. to get more. Scholastic, meantime, already plans to print about 2 million more copies of the $25.95 book in the next few months, adding to the 3.8 million copies generated during the first U.S. print run. It was the literary equivalent of the Beatles at Shea Stadium as thousands upon thousands of kids queued up coast to coast for the much-anticipated, wildly hyped return of boy wizard Harry Potter. In libraries and online, in bookstores big and small, copies of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” were flying out as fast as they were found by readers anxious for the series’ fourth installment.

Betty Ford.gifIn 2011,  Betty Ford, American wife of Gerald Ford, 40th First Lady of the United States (b. 1918) dies of natural causes on July 8, 2011, at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, aged 93. She was First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, as the wife of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford. As First Lady, she was active in social policy and created precedents as a politically active presidential wife.

Throughout her husband’s term in office, she maintained high approval ratings despite opposition from some conservative Republicans who objected to her more moderate and liberal positions on social issues. Ford was noted for raising breast cancer awareness following her 1974 mastectomy. In addition, she was a passionate supporter of, and activist for, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Pro-choice on abortion and a leader in the Women’s Movement, she gained fame as one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time, including feminism, equal pay, the ERA, sex, drugs, abortion, and gun control. She also raised awareness of addiction when in the 1970s, she announced her long-running battle with alcoholism.

Following her White House years, she continued to lobby for the ERA and remained active in the feminist movement. She was the founder, and served as the first chair of the board of directors, of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction. She was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal (co-presentation with her husband, Gerald R. Ford, October 21, 1998) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (presented 1991 by George H. W. Bush).

In 2011, Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program.

In 2012,  Ernest Borgnine, American actor and singer (b. 1917) dies kidney failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California with his family at his side. He was 95 years old. He was an American film and television actor whose career spanned more than six decades. He was an unconventional lead in many films of the 1950s, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1955 for Marty. On television, he played Quinton McHale in the 1962–1966 series McHale’s Navy and co-starred in the mid-1980s action series Airwolf, in addition to a wide variety of other roles. Borgnine earned an Emmy Award nomination at age 92 for his work on the series ER. He was also known for being the original voice of Mermaid Man on SpongeBob SquarePants from 1999 to 2012.

In 2014,  Israel launches an offensive on Gaza amidst rising tensions following the killing of Israeli teenagers.

%d bloggers like this: