July 9th in History

This day in history

July 9 is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 175 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 455, Avitus proclaimed Western Roman Emperor

In 491, Odoacer makes a night assault with his Heruli guardsmen, engaging Theodoric the Great in Ad Pinetam. Both sides suffer heavy losses, but in the end Theodoric forces Odoacer back into Ravenna.

Semissis-Anastasius I-sb0007.jpgIn 518, Death of Anastasius, Emperor of the East. He was Eastern Roman Emperor from 491 to 518. His reign was characterized by substantive accomplishments, which were representative of emerging patterns of government, economy, and bureaucracy in the Eastern Roman empire. In addition, Anastasius I is known for leaving the imperial government with a sizable budget surplus due to minimization of government corruption, reforms to the tax code, and the introduction of a new form of currency.

In 552, A.D., the Armenian Era, an old way of measuring time, began.

In 660, Korean forces under general Kim Yu-sin of Silla defeat the army of Baekje in the Battle of Hwangsanbeol.

In 869,  A magnitude 8.6 Ms earthquake and subsequent tsunami strikes the area around Sendai in the northern part of Honshu, Japan.

In 1357,  Emperor Charles IV assists in laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.


John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (1340-1399)

In 1386, John of Gaunt sails for Spain  to seek the throne of Castile, claimed in Jure uxoris by right of his second wife, Constance of Castile, whom he had married in 1371. However, crisis ensued almost immediately in his absence, and in 1387 King Richard’s misrule brought England to the brink of civil war. Only John, on his return to England in 1389, succeeded in persuading the Lords Appellant and King Richard to compromise to usher in a period of relative stability.

In 1386, The Old Swiss Confederacy makes great strides in establishing control over its territory by soundly defeating the Archduchy of Austria in the Battle of Sempach.

Lisboa-Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga-Retrato dito de Vasco da Gama-20140917.jpg

Portrait of Vasco da Gama

In 1497, Vasco Da Gama sets sail to find a sea route to India

In 1540, England’s King Henry VIII had his six-month marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, annulled.

In 1572, Nineteen Catholics suffer martyrdom for their beliefs in the Dutch town of Gorkum.

In 1595, Johannes Kepler discovered inscribed perfect geometric solid “construction of universe”

In 1755, British General Edward Braddock was mortally wounded as his troops suffered a massive defeat near present-day Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War. One survivor was an aide to Braddock – Col. George Washington. Braddock was borne off the field by Washington and Col. Nicholas Meriwether, and died on 13 July from wounds suffered in the battle. Before he died Braddock left Washington his ceremonial sash that he wore with his battle uniform and muttered some of his last words, which were ‘Who would have thought?’ Reportedly, Washington never went anywhere without this sash for the rest of his life, be it as the commander of the Continental Army or with his presidential duties. It is still on display today at Washington’s home on the Potomac RiverMount Vernon.

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to Gen. George Washington’s rebel troops in New York.

In 1778, Delegates from eight U-S states signed the Articles of Confederation, and they were ratified by Congress on this day in 1781. The Articles of Confederation held the states together for nine years until the Constitution could be written and approved. Unlike the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation did not provide a strong presidency and did not give the national government any power to collect taxes. A dozen years passed after the Declaration of Independence before the American colonies organized enough to hold a presidential election.

In 1780, Denmark declares neutrality.

In 1792, at Columbia College in New York, Samuel Mitchell was named the first professor of agriculture in America.

In 1795, James Swan paid off the U.S. national debt of $2,024,899.

EdmundBurke1771.jpgIn 1797, Edmund Burke, Irish-English philosopher and politician (b. 1729)dies. He was an Irish statesman born in Dublin, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party. He is mainly remembered for his support of the cause of the American Revolutionaries, and for his later opposition to the French Revolution. The latter led to his becoming the leading figure within the conservative faction of the Whig party, which he dubbed the “Old Whigs”, in opposition to the pro–French Revolution “New Whigs”, led by Charles James Fox. Burke was praised by both conservatives and liberals in the 19th century. Since the 20th century, he has generally been viewed as the philosophical founder of modern conservatism.

In 1808, The leather splitting machine was patented this day by Samuel Parker of Billerica, MA.

In 1815, the first natural gas well was discovered in the U.S.

In 1816, Argentina declared its independence from Spain at the Congress of Tucuman.

In 1847, a 10-hour work day was established for workers in the State of New Hampshire on this day. Today, it’s down to eight hours, minus time for breaks, lunch and general goofing-off…

In 1850,  U.S. President Zachary Taylor dies and Millard Fillmore succeeds him as 13th President of the United States.

In 1850, Mirza Ali Muhammad, the prophet of the Baha’i faith, was executed by a firing squad in Tabriz, Iran.

In 1852Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan, American lawyer and politician, 2nd United States Secretary of the Interior (b. 1794) under President Millard Fillmore dies. He resigned after a tenure of only 11 days. McKennan cited his “peculiar nervous temperament” which responded to excitement and depression for his reason to resign. During his brief time as Secretary, McKennan was the head of the 1850 Census, which was being conducted that summer, and he issued a remarkably foresighted statement on the importance of protecting individual privacy:

Information has been received at this office that in some cases unnecessary exposure has been made by the assistant marshals with reference to the business and pursuits, and other facts relating to individuals, merely to gratify curiosity, or the facts applied to the private use or pecuniary advantage of the assistant, to the injury of others. Such a use of the returns was neither contemplated by the act itself nor justified by the intentions and designs of those who enacted the law. No individual employed under sanction of the Government to obtain these facts has a right to promulgate or expose them without authority.

…all marshals and assistants are expected to consider the facts intrusted to them as if obtained exclusively for the use of the Government, and not to be used in any way to the gratification of curiosity, the exposure of any man’s business or pursuits, or for the private emolument of the marshals or assistants, who, while employed in this service, act as the agents of the Government in the most confidential capacity.

James Strang daguerreotype (1856).jpgIn 1856, James Strang, American religious leader (b. 1813) dies. He was an American religious leader, politician and self-proclaimed monarch who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), a faction of the Latter Day Saint movement. A major contender for leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints during the 1844 succession crisis, Strang vied with Brigham Young and Sidney Rigdon for control of the main body of Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois before his rejection by that group led him to start his own sect. While serving as Prophet, Seer and Revelator of his church—which he claimed to be the sole legitimate continuation of the Church of Christ founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830—Strang reigned for six years as the crowned “king” of an ecclesiastical monarchy that he established on Beaver Island in the US state of Michigan. Building an organization that eventually rivaled Young’s in Utah, Strang gained nearly 12,000 adherents prior to his murder in 1856, which brought down his kingdom and all but extinguished his sect.

In 1862, General John Hunt Morgan captured Tompkinsville, Kentucky.

In 1869, the corncob pipe was invented. The pipe was made from a special type of corn with smaller kernels on the cob. The cobs are first dried for two years. Then they are hollowed out to make a bowl shape. The bowls are dipped in a plaster-based mixture and varnished or lacquered on the outside. Shanks made from pine wood are then inserted into the bowls. Famous corncob smokers included General Douglas MacArthur, Mark Twain, and Norman Rockwell were perhaps the most famous smokers of this type of pipe, along with the cartoon characters Popeye and Frosty the Snowman.

In 1891, Irene Coit became the first woman to receive a Certificate of Admission to Yale University.

Daniel Hale Williams.jpgIn 1893, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the world’s first successful open heart surgery without using anesthesia. He was an American general surgeon, who in 1893 performed the first documented, successful pericardium surgery in the United States to repair a wound. He founded Chicago’s Provident Hospital, the first non-segregated hospital in the United States and also founded an associated nursing school for African Americans.

The heart surgery at Provident, which his patient survived for the next twenty years, is referred to as “the first successful heart surgery” by Encyclopedia Britannica. In 1913, Williams was elected as the only African-American charter member of the American College of Surgeons.

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan caused a sensation at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago with his speech denouncing supporters of the gold standard. Said Bryan: “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind on a cross of gold.” (Bryan went on to win the party’s nomination.).

In 1900, Boxer Rebellion: The Governor of Shanxi province in North China orders the execution of 45 foreign Christian missionaries and local church members, including children.

In 1900, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom gives Royal Assent to an Act creating Australia thus uniting separate colonies on the continent under one federal government.

In 1902, a patent is obtained for barbituric acid – hope for insomniacs.

In 1903, Future Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin is exiled to Siberia for three years.

In 1910, archeologists find a tablet drawn-up in 94 AD chronicling the fall of Jerusalem.

In 1910, The first airplane to fly a mile in the air did so this day with W.R. Brookins of Atlantic City, NJ at the controls.

In 1915, South African forces under Louis Botha forced the surrender of German South West Africa.

In 1917, British warship “Vanguard” explodes at Scapa Flow killing about 800.

In 1918, Congress authorized the Distinguished Service Medal.

In 1918, Great Train Wreck of 1918, 101 people were killed and 171 were injured as an inbound local train collided with an outbound express in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1922,  Johnny Weissmuller swims the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the ‘minute barrier’.

In 1926, Chiang Kai-shek appointed to national-revolutionary supreme commander.

In 1932, The state of São Paulo revolts against the Brazilian Federal Government, starting the Constitutionalist Revolution.

Little Ferry facility after the fire

On July 9, 1937fire gutted a film storage facility (pictured) in Little Ferry, New Jersey, rented by the American studio 20th Century-Fox. Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several high-profile fires in film industry laboratories, studios, and vaults, although the precise causes were often unknown. In Little Ferry, gases produced by decaying film, subjected to high temperatures and inadequate ventilation, spontaneously combusted. The fire caused one death and two injuries, and destroyed all of the archived film in the vaults, resulting in the complete loss of most of the silent films produced by the Fox Film Corporation before 1932. Also destroyed were negatives from Educational Pictures and films of several other studios. The fire brought attention to the potential for decaying nitrate film to spontaneously ignite, and to the need for fire safety in film preservation. Production and use of nitrate film were gradually phased out in favor of safer alternatives.

In 1940, RAF bombs Germany.

In 1942, Germans begin drive towards Stalingrad in the USSR.

In 1942, Thirteen-year-old ANNE FRANK went into hiding with her family and four other Jews in an annex over her father’s business in Amsterdam. She died of typhus nearly three years later at Germany’s Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

In 1943, British air raid sinks U-435.

In 1943World War II: Operation HuskyAllied forces perform an amphibious invasion of Sicily.

In 1944, World War II: Battle of Normandy – British and Canadian forces capture Caen, France.

In 1944, Battle of Saipan, during World War II, American forces secured Saipan as the last Japanese defenses fell. Saipan is secured after 24 days of fighting, costing 3,100 U.S. troops.

In 1944, U-740 sinks.

In 1944, World War II: Battle of Tali-Ihantala – Finland wins the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in northern Europe. The Red Army withdraws its troops from Ihantala and digs into a defensive position, thus ending the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.

In 1945, Mayor Fiorello Laguardia read the funnies over radio station WNYC so the kids wouldn’t miss them during the newspaper strike in New York City.

In 1947, Spain votes for Franco monarchy.

In 1947, the engagement of Britain’s Princess Elizabeth to Lt. Philip Mountbatten was announced. They married that November.

In 1951, President Truman asked Congress to formally end the state of war between the United States and Germany.

In 1953, The first commuter, passenger service by helicopter began in America’s largest city this day. New York Airways provided the lift for busy people who wanted to avoid the traffic below.

In 1955, first black executive on White House staff (E Frederic Morrow).

In 1957, the discovery of element 102, nobelium, was announced.

In 1958, Lituya Bay is hit by a megatsunami. The wave is recorded at 524 meters high, the largest in recorded history.

In 1960, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev warned the U.S. against intervention in Cuba and said Soviet forces would support the Cuban people.

In 1960, Washington was quite alarmed after new Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared himself a communist. After all, Cuba was just 90 or so miles south of Florida — too close for comfort. But on this date, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened to attack the United States with rockets if American forces attempted to oust Cuba’s communist government.

In 1961, Turkish voters approve the Turkish Constitution of 1961 in a referendum.

In 1962Andy Warhol‘s Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibition opens at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

In 1962, The Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test is conducted by the United States.

In 1963, the comic strip “Fred Basset” debut. fred basset photo fred_basset594g.gif

In 1969, the US Department of Agriculture suspended the use of DDT after environmentalists demonstrated that the herbicide was destroying wildlife.

In 1972, The Troubles: In Belfast, British Army snipers shoot five civilians dead in the Springhill Massacre.

In 1976, Uganda asked the U.N. to condemn Israel for the Entebbe raid.

In 1979, Voyager II flies past Jupiter, and sends the first pictures of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, back to Earth.

In 1979, A car bomb destroys a Renault motor car owned by the famed “Nazi huntersSerge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France. A note purportedly from ODESSA claims responsibility.

In 1981, Barry Goldwater suggests “every good Christian ought to kick Jerry Falwell right in the ass.”

In 1981, Donkey Kong, a video game created by Nintendo, is released. The game marks the debut of Nintendo’s future mascot, Mario.

In 1982, Margaret Thatcher begins her second term as British prime minster.

In 1982, a Pan Am Boeing 727 crashed in Kenner, Louisiana, killing all 146 people aboard and eight people on the ground.

In 1985, President Reagan’s budget director, Davis A. Stockman, announced his resignation to pursue a career in private business.

In 1986, all laws banning consensual sex among adult homosexuals are repealed in New Zealand.

In 1986, the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography released the final draft of its 2,000-page report, which linked hard-core porn to sex crimes.

In 1986, The Parliament of New Zealand passes the Homosexual Law Reform Act legalising homosexuality in New Zealand.

In 1987, Oliver North said he shredded evidence as part of a cover-up of his role in the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1989, President Bush arrived in Warsaw, Poland, for a visit that included an address to the National Assembly and a meeting with Solidarity founder Lech Walesa.

In 1990, Leaders of the world’s seven richest nations opened a three-day economic summit in Houston, the first such gathering in the post-Cold War era.

In 1991, the Los Angeles Police Department was charged with the use of excessive force in numerous situations.

In 1991, Former CIA officer Alan D. Fiers pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges in the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1992, Democrat Bill Clinton tapped Tennessee Sen. Al Gore to be his running mate.

In 1993, British scientists using DNA genetic fingerprinting tests, identified the bones of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and members of his family.

In 1993, N.Y. Post ceases Publication.

In 1993, The Parliament of Canada passes the Nunavut Act that would legally divide the Northwest Territories based on plebiscite results.

In 1994, Planned talks between North Korea and South Korea were put on hold following the death of North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung.

In 1994, Members of the Group of Seven nations concluded their economic summit in Naples, Italy.

In 1995, French commandos boarded the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior Two in the South Pacific.

In 1996, Ross Perot announces candidacy for Reform Party’s presidential nomination.

In 1996, former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm began a drive for the presidential nomination of Ross Perot’s fledgling Reform Party.

In 1996, Thousands of flag-waving children gave Nelson Mandela a hero’s welcome to Britain, cheering and chanting his name as the South African president’s state visit was launched in a blaze of royal pomp and ceremony.

In 1997, leaders of 16 NATO nations met with 25 other countries in an unprecedented security summit in Madrid, Spain.

In 1997, Same sex benefits became law in Hawaii.

In 1998, Congress sent President Clinton an election-year bill overhauling the Internal Revenue Service; Clinton said he would sign it.

In 1999, a jury in Los Angeles ordered General Motors Corporation to pay $4.9 billion to six people severely burned when their Chevrolet Malibu exploded in flames in a rear-end collision. (A judge later reduced the punitive damages to $1.09 billion, while letting stand $107 million in compensatory damages; GM is continuing to appeal as of 2000.)

In 1999, Days of student protests begin after Iranian police and hardliners attack a student dormitory at the University of Tehran.

In 2011,  South Sudan gains independence and secedes from Sudan.

In 2014,  A gunman kills six people including four children near Spring, Texas.

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